Choosing Cheeses

Along with her recommendations for constructing an irresistible cheese plate, chef/owner of Camaje Bistro Abigail Hitchcock ’94 has highlighted a selection of cheeses with different textures, tastes and uses.

Here are her notes on a variety of cheeses to help you expand your dairy horizons. 

 

An icon of a sheep surrounded by text. Manchego cheese from Spain starts from sheep’s milk and tastes nutty, grassy and gamy. It is best for eating on its own or melting on top of a dish. If it is aged, manchego also grates well. Ossau-Iraty cheese from Pyrenees, France, is made from sheep’s milk and features a distinct sheep flavor and grassiness with a firm, smooth texture. It is excellent for melting and for eating on its own.

An icon of a cow surrounded by text. Point Reyes Bay cheese from California is a blue cheese with a fudgy, grassy and tangy taste. It is best for eating straight or with a drizzle of honey. Gorgonzola cheese from Italy is a blue cheese with a soft, spicy and earthy flavor. It is best for eating straight and for any cooking application. Cremeux de Bourgogne cheese from Burgundy, France, is made from cow’s milk and also has a mild, buttery flavor with a bloomy rind. It’s best for straight eating. Beaufort cheese from Savoie, France, comes from cow’s milk and has a firm, nutty flavor with a light tang. It is best for eating by itself or making a killer grilled cheese, and it melts well. Gruyère cheese from Switzerland starts from cow’s milk and has a firm texture. Gruyère can have a funky taste, or feature notes of caramel if it is aged. It is best for eating on its own and melts well. St. André cheese from Normandy, France, is made from cow’s milk and features a mild, buttery flavor with a bloomy rind. It is best for straight eating.

An icon of a goat surrounded by text. Humboldt Fog cheese from California is made from goat’s milk and has a soft texture with a bloomy rind. It is best for eating straight. Goat cheese logs hail from various locales and start with goat’s milk. This cheese is fresh, soft and tangy. It is best for mixing in with flavors and crumbling on top of salads.

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