Month: February 2017
A World Where Baked Goods Are King!
There’s nothing better than a house that smells like sweet baked goods, there’s nothing better than a belly full of them either! Let’s turn on the oven, get cozy, and take a tour on these glorious baked goods!
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British Hot Cross Bun
Hot Cross Buns used to be available during Easter time, as they symbolize the religious event that Easter is. They’re stacked with currants and have a cross to symbolize the crucifixion. They also contain a number of spices to represent the embalming process prior to the burial. You may get your fingers sticky, but these tasty buns are definitely worth it!
Portuguese Pastel De Nata
This small egg custard tart is one of Portugal’s favorite snacks. It was first baked by monks at the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon. It was made quite by accident, or as an experiment, the monks had too many egg yolks left over after separating the egg whites to starch their clothes, so they came up with the delicious egg custard.
Italian Ferrarese Panpepato
There are many varieties of panforte in Italy. They usually consist of densely-packed nuts and dried fruit, with a pinch of cinnamon, pepper and even sometimes alcohol! They are then baked into a loaf, and then covered in chocolate. This baked good is very filling, so a little goes a long way. It is said that it is a modern-day take on medieval sweetbread.
If you find yourself in China anytime soon, you will definitely want to try their Chinese Mooncakes! It is a pastry crust stuffed with red bean paste or lotus seed paste. They seem to be more than a tradition than a delicacy as it is reported that around two million mooncakes are thrown away each year! What a waste!
Originally from Lombardy, this sweet brioche loaf can be great for Christmas time but does come in many different varieties to suit all seasons. It ca be dusted with powdered sugar to being dotted with dried fruit or chocolate. Panettone is known for its dome shape, it may have the texture of brioche but its leavening process is a lot more complicated because an acidic cure is used to make it more akin to sourdough than a traditional cake.
This beauty was popularized in the 18th century Habsburg Empire. The pastry is filo and is layered with sliced apples. Back in 1696, the original was actually layered with turnip- so glad they switched to apples; it tastes much sweeter and nicer!
New England Whoopee Pies
You might not be able to tell whether it is a pie or a cookie. New England Whoopee Pies are a mixture of both. It usually consists of a gingerbread or chocolate soft cakey top and bottom with a creamy filling. They might possibly be the fanciest Orea look-alike you ever see! It is argued among New England and Mane about who invented it, but either way, it is a delicious delicacy!
This tasty treat is made from a rice flour pastry baked in a clay pot lined with banana leaves and it is dusted with coconut! Making it can be more complicated than eating it, that’s for sure, but it is definitely worth it!
The Potica is Slovenian’s national pastry. It is a favored centerpiece for holiday meals or special occasions. This baked good is normally filled with ground walnuts on a really large sheet of pastry that is rolled and then jiggled from one corner into a tight serpent-like shape. It is then laid into a terracotta Bundt pan to bake. Usually, it is served in slices.
The name ‘German Blitzkuchen’ sounds a lot fancier than what it actually is- coffee cake. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best coffee cakes you’ll ever try! It’s quite bizarre how coffee cake doesn’t actually have any coffee in!
The translation of this baked good is “Golden Coffee Cake”, it is traditional to have on birthdays, but can also be a popular choice for a dessert smorgasbord. you may wonder why a coffee cake is being classed as a baked good rather than a cake. Well, this is no ordinary coffee cake, it is twisted like a pretzel and has flavors of almonds and saffron and cardamom.
A Countdown of the Greatest Cured Italian Meats!
Italy is famous for many things, contributing at large to the well-loved dishes such as pizza and pasta, in the world today. However, their most important contribution has got to be the cured Italian meats. Without them, our pizzas would just be a pool of orange grease, our charcuterie boards would be so very boring and most of all, Oscar Mayer would be nothing, without his famous Bologna!
Image Source: Carlos Gawronski/Vetta/Getty Images
Pizza would be a much healthier dish if it wasn’t for pepperoni, but that’s no fun and not as tasty, so thank you pepperoni! Although people usually don’t know exactly what it is made of (either cured beef or pork in a slice), everyone can agree that its overpowering taste and greasiness is why it is one of Italy’s greatest contributions to the world’s love of pizza.
Much like its name, Lardo is cured back fat. It is very similar to bacon, except without all the meat… It’s addictive rosemary flavor will have you hooked on it!
If you want to be traditional, you might want to call it Salumi instead. Now, despite all the variety that there is to choose from, you will have to agree that Salami alone is a delicacy. It’s delicious on a cheese plate, sandwiches or even on its own. Salami was once a peasant’s simple storec upboard staple, but now it is a staple of the world’s finest wine bars. The point is, whether it is being cut off a basic stick, or coming from one of Oscar Mayer’s finely vacuum-sealed packages, you’ll never be disappointed.
Mortadella is perhaps one of Italy’s finest contributions to cold cuts. The world without mortadella is not the world anyone would want to live in. Its perfect blend of pork, nuts, spices and other delicious ingredients make it very much like and Italian version of bologna.
This delicious, ultra-fatty salumi is made from the meat surrounding a pig’s shoulder or neck. Given where the meat is from, it gives the flavor a salty one, along with the greasy strips of fat. It is a very popular cured meat on charcuterie plates all over, along with it being a staple to the deli-style Italian sandwiches.
Making more use of prime cuts than a sandwich-style salami, this dry sausage, melts in your mouth with its overload of fat chunks. Not only is it mouthwatering, it leaves your tongue coated in delicious spices. This cured meat just overpowers the senses with its rich flavor.
This Italian meat is leaner than pretty much all of them. Although it can look quite like a Tootsie Roll, it tastes quite the opposite. Its taste is similar to dried salted steak and can actually be served up with a meal.. a very filling meal!
Referring to Culatello as “Italian Ham” does not do it justice at all. Culatello is perfection and also quite a rare Italian cured meat to find because it was banned from importation due to it being aged in a bladder. However, just recently, the ban was lifted, so it should be gracing our hungry tummies soon enough!
This delicious combination of roasted and cured pig is what makes up Porchetta. You could compare this beautiful, Italian cured meat to an all-meat burrito, the skin being the outer shell, pork belly, and loin as the filling, with the garlic and spices acting as the salsa. Unlike most cured meats, Porchetta hasn’t been cured all the way through, so it doesn’t have a very long expiry date, which means you have to eat it fast.
Pancetta is Italy’s version of bacon. This salty chunk of pork fat will have your mouth-watering. Even though it is cured and not smoked, it is just as delicious whether it is served in cutlets or is thinly sliced.
This amazing piece of meat takes the throne with its abilities to make even vegetables delicious when wrapped around them, and to make pizza even tastier (who thought that was possible?!) If you really want to devour some glorious pork, Prosciutto is where it at! the tasty, salty, paper-thin pieces will leave you dying for more.
Some of the World’s Best and Delicious Breads!
Everyone loves bread; from Irish soda bread to Palestinian spinach pies, enjoy as we explore the bread of the world.
Source: ThinkStock Images
The secret to a tortilla rich in flavor is the masa being made from freshly ground white or blue corn. Fresh masa is widely available in cities of the large Mexican population, but a dry corn flour such as masa harina can also be used. In Mexico, the tortillas are flattened with a wooden press, and then the dough is pressed between sheets of plastic to keep it from sticking.
Gorditas are a favorite Mexico City street food. They are soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. These savory corn cakes make a good base for all types of toppings including shredded chicken to pulled pork. To make the gordita even more luscious you fry the dough in lard or butter instead of oil.
Palestinian Spinach Pies
The spinach which fills the fatayers isn’t flavored with feta, instead, it is spiked with lemon and sumac, which is a tangy Middle Eastern spice. This recipe is from Palestinian- born baker, Maha Ziadeh. Ziadeh forms the pies into a triangle, however the regular half-moon shape is a lot easier to do.
Lavash can be a soft flatbread and is usually made with water, flour, and salt. The thickness all depends on how thin it is rolled out. Sometimes, the lavash is dusted with toasted sesame seeds or spices before baking.
The Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe favor eggy challah bread as their Jewish Sabbath bread. However, the Sephardic Jews of the Mediterranean, enjoy their challahs with anise and caraway, thus calling it the Sephardic Challah. Usually, challahs are braided, but Sephardic Challah is twisted into a round, turban-shaped loaf. They do this by stretching the dough into a long rope and then they coil it.
Irish Soda Bread
Irish soda bread is a delicacy of Ireland but is also a traditional product to many poor countries- this is because it is made with only the most basic of ingredients: baking soda, soured milk, salt, and flour. It’s perfectly accompanied by corned beef and cabbage or simply smeared with Irish butter.
Rosemary-Potato Focaccia Rolls
These rolls are gourmet rolls like no other. They are perfect for many different uses such as mini pizzas, mini flatbread, specialty sandwiches. It is a good idea to vary the toppings by season: using potato and rosemary in the winter and tomatoes and feta in the summer.
Bring Life To Any Party With A Cheese & Salami Plate!
Have you ever been invited to a party and upon arriving, you’ve noticed not only how mundane the crowd is but how “bleh” the food is? There is a solution for such a crisis! As the old adage goes, “Be the difference that makes the difference”. This could not be truer in such an instance. If you want to add life to a mundane party, be the life of the party and it all starts with great food! Here is an idea for making you a top-notch “life of the party” invitee!
Image source: Rose2carmel
A big key to building a cheese and salami plate is letting your palate be your guide. Filling your platter with tastes you like, while paying extra attention to variety, is a good place to start. Here are a few tips on how to assemble your own cheese and salami plate:
Choose a variety of Cheeses
Having a broad spectrum of different cheeses will really help your plate. Ranging from a firm, aged, Spanish Manchego cheese to a soft and robust Taleggio cheese will make it all the more enjoyable. Added to the variety could be a Venissimo cheese which adds boldness to the mix, with the smoky and porky flavors! If you’re unsure of what variety you should choose, it’s always good to ask for recommendations at your local cheese shop too!
Choose a variety of Salami
You may want to only select a variety of different salami from the same brand, but you could mix it up a little by trying flavors from different brands which sound interesting to you. Some may be aged, spicy, or even herb crusted. There are so many possibilities out there! There will always be a variety which matches your palate.
Add sweet and spicy condiments into the mix
A big part of your plate will be the condiments alongside. Honey comb and Marcona almonds are great to accompany cheese and salami. Hot mustard, olives, and roasted red peppers also really bring out the flavor of the cheese and salami and the contrast so well together. Bread is the biggest, most popular condiment to go along with cheese and salami. A grilled baguette slice with olive oil brushed on can make for mouth-watering salami and cheese topped bites.
Serve at room temperature: A simple, but an important rule for a cheese and salami plate is that they must be served at room temperature, for the best taste. Serve when the cheese and salami have been out the refrigerator for around 20-30 minutes and enjoy!
A How-To On Pairing Cured Meats and Cheeses
Pairing Cured Meat And Cheeses
When pairing things, two approaches generally come into play. The first approach would be to pair like flavors, for instance, two sour ingredients. With this, the similar flavors may cancel each other out and let the other flavors flourish. The second, more common approach is that opposites attract, this takes play in every type of pairing there is, not just in food.
Sometimes, cheese alone on a cheese plate is not enough. You may want to consider other easy additions to compliment the cheese such as: honey, fruit, and crackers. However, if
you’re looking to really add something different and like no other, cured meat is the way to go! It might sound like a difficult pairing, but it really isn’t hard at all. The main tip is to make the most out of it, this can be done by knowing some of the general principles.
The best way to pair cured meat and cheese is through opposites. Unlike wine, beer, or spirits, meat is full of fat, protein, and salt, just like cheese. So you need to proceed with care when pairing the two as you can end up having an overwhelming flavor.
The two major groups that cured meat falls into are: encased or whole muscle. Encased meats have a noticeable tang to them, with intense aromas of black pepper, red pepper, fennel, truffle, and so on. Whole muscle meats are much sweeter, nuttier and more “meaty” like. It’s important to keep this difference in mind when thinking about a meat’s acidity and sweetness.
Pairing With Whole Muscle Meats
When pairing wine with cheese, if you’re in doubt, it’s best to pair wine and food made in the same region. This is the same for meat and cheese, it also brings us to the notion that it is good to start with a classic:
Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto Di Parma literally begin their perfect pairing at the source. It is commonly known that the whey by-product of Parm is fed to the hogs, whose back legs actually become Prosciutto Di Parma! So one ingredient quite literally fuels the other, thus becoming the perfect pairing.
Prosciutto Di Parma, like all whole muscle cured meats, should be sliced into very thin sheets, neatly trimmed with a ribbon of fat. It melts away on the tongue into a delicious whiff of hazelnut and sweet butter. Parmigiano Reggiano on the other hand is quite the opposite of the elegant Prosciutto Di Parma. It is coarse and craggy, with a distinct tang in the mouth. It shares toasted and nutty flavors but has a leanness because of its partially skimmed milk.
Important lessons to learn from this pairing:
- Flavors which compliment, focus on what is shared, if you can rely on other elements for the contrast needed.
- The texture is important. A mushy, floppy or semisoft cheese paired with a thin slice of meats lacks the contrast needed for a good pairing.
- Acidity is important. In this pairing, it is the cheese, in other pairings it could be the meat. But one element must contribute the sensation of tart, citrusy, mouthwatering brightness to cut out the protein and fat of the other.
Another classic pairing which works on these principles:
A lightly smoked whole muscle meat called Speck is brilliantly matched with a cheese which is textually like Parm, but tastes completely different: Piave. Astringency in the meat is completely reliant on the wood that the meat is smoked over, while the cheese bursts with pineapple and tropical fruit. That is where it is opposite to our first classical pairing: the cheese handles the sweetness while the meat takes the savory lead.
Pairing With Encased Meats
The perfect instruments for spreading an even dipping in the right cheeses come from small-diameter sausage links, which are cured slowly over time and sliced into quarter-inch- thick coins. Most sausages give off amazing spices, garlic, smoke, or even heat, which adds a third component of flavor to play around with when pairing. A well-liked favorite:
Paprika- and cayenne- laden Spanish- Style Chorizo immersed into a perfectly ripened sheep’s milk La Serena will make your mouth water. La Serena, which is a bit airier than custard and full of tart, vegetal and what some would say sour flavors, is a thistle-coagulated cheese. This cheese succeeds in cooling the heat of the chorizo and you’re left with the sweet taste of paprika and garlic. Other cheeses which also work well are Fresh Ricotta or Goat’s Cheese. Cheeses that preserve lactic notes of fresh milk, but earthly notes of age also work well as cooling cheeses to spicy, smoky, or gamey meats.
Minding your meat’s acidity and added flavors is generally what to keep in mind when pairing cheeses with cured meats.
Cured Meats Which Are Cheese-Friendly
Not many of Europe’s cured meats make it into the U.S. but there are still a lot of domestic producers creating great cured meats with European traditions. Here are some brands to try:
– S. Wallace Edwards and Sons
– Olli Salumeria
– La Quercia
– Olympic Provisions
– Creminelli Fine Meats
Cheeses So Bizarre, They Will Leave You Scratching Your Head
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1. The Cheese Made of Real Gold- A Stilton Cheese
In hopes that this cheese will be a perfect addition to your Christmas menu, cheese makers created a stilton cheese… made of real gold. Clawson Stilton Gold is 67 times more expensive than regular stilton, selling for £60.87 per 100g slice, or £608 per kilo- almost 1,000 U.S. Dollars!
This cheese took the title of the most expensive cheese the UK has ever made. It would cost £6 just for the cheese to top one cracker! Clawson claims that the premium white Stilton is so high in price because it is shot-through with a mixture of real edible gold leaf and real gold liqueur. They also claim that they’ve even been contacted by a famous popstar and a Gulf- based oil Sheikh who are desperate to sample a piece of the expensive cheese.
2. The World’s Most Expensive Cheese- Pule
Pule, being Serbian for foal, is made at the Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Belgrade, Serbia. It costs $1700 a pound! The reason being for this is donkey’s milk. It takes around 25 liters alone, of donkey’s milk to make a mere one kilogram of the white, crumbly cheese.
According to the dairy’s manager, there is no other special ingredient which goes into making the cheese, its price is just based purely on the going rate for donkey’s milk (around 45 dollars per liter). However, Pule isn’t produced commercially anyway, so even if you’re a billionaire, you wouldn’t be able to just rush over to your local cheese shop to buy some.
3. The Cheese That Is So Stinky, That It Was Banned From Public Transportation- Epoisses
Epiosses, one of the smelliest cheeses you can find, was one of Napoleon’s favorites. Just to give you a taste of how repulsive the odor of this cheese is, it was banned from public transportation all over France. This cheese is made from cow’s milk and is washed in pomace brandy.
It is a very smelly, runny cheese but they say if it starts to smell too strongly of ammonia, it is no longer edible and should be thrown away. However, if it smells like someone who hasn’t showered in a week, enjoy!
4. The Cheese Made With Flying Maggots- Casu Marzu
Popular on the Italian island of Sardinia, Casu Marzu is a sheep cheese. The name literally means “rotten cheese”, which is ironic, because it is made with maggots and also why some have adapted the name to “maggot cheese”.
To create the maggot cheese, you begin with a slab of local sheep cheese, Pecorino Sardo, but you let it go beyond natural fermentation to a stage of infested decomposition. Larvae of the cheese fly (Piophila
Casei) are then added to the cheese, and the acid from their digestive system breaks the cheese’s fats down, making the overall product liquidy and soft. Casu Marzu usually contains thousands of larvae by the time it is ready for consumption.
Generally, the locals consider it unsafe to eat the cheese once the larvae have died, so it is served with the translucent white worms, that are one-third of an inch long, still squiggling. Many people brush the maggots off the cheese before eating it, while some others do not. The people who leave the maggots on the cheese may have to cover it with their hands as the maggots can jump up to six inches when disturbed.
5. The Cheese Made With Mite Excrement
Germany is definitely the world’s cheese powerhouse, producing over 1.8 million tons of 400 odd varieties of cheese annually. However, among all that cheese, one cheese, in particular stands out the most. Made in Würchwitz, this cheese is a highly sought after delicacy because of its unusual production process.
By allowing quark to sit in thousands on dust mites, Milbenkäse is the cheese that is made. Enzymes come from the mites’ excrement and they ripen the cheese. After one month, the cheese turns into a yellowish color, after three months, it turns into a reddish-brown, and after a year, the cheese turns into a blackish lump, which is most desirable to aficionados. People consume the mites along with the cheese. It is often described to taste bitter; people also believe it may have curative effects that keep people from being allergic to house dust.
6. The Cheese That Doesn’t Melt- Halloumi
Originating from Cyprus, Halloumi is a traditional cheese. It is suitable for grilling and frying because of its high melting point. You won’t find any BBQ in Cyprus without Halloumi, as it is a delicacy.
Another odd, but a common thing you see is Halloumi eaten together with watermelon in the warm seasons. The juice from the watermelon is refreshing while the Halloumi gives of a delicious taste.
It is one of the dishes that you’ll usually see served in a Cyprus Meze, and quite often, you’ll see the cheese alongside a cold beer in a taverna.
7. The World’s Strongest Cheese- Vieux Lille
The alternate names of this cheese are “Puant de Lille” and “Puant Macéré”, and they quite literally mean “stinking pickle”. This is just a mere description of how pungent the smell of this cheese is.
A British cheesemonger, The Teddington Cheese, which sells cheeses from around the world, only calls few kinds of cheese “pungent”. This is because, when they describe something as pungent, they really mean it, their icon behind the word being a man in a gas mask. If they were asked which is the strongest cheese in their shop, Vieux Lille would be a ‘strong’ contender for first place. This cheese is NOT for the faint-hearted. Along with its pungent odor, it has a strong and salty flavor.
5 of the Best “Swiss” Cheeses You’ve Never Heard Of!
The 5 Best Swiss Cheeses You Need To Try!
Image Source: http://www.bbc.com/travel/europe/switzerland
One of the most vital parts of the culture and history of Switzerland aside from its majestic landscapes and mountainous scenery, is its cheese. This is markedly evident as over 100 different cheeses are produced throughout Switzerland.
Cheese is a very important aspect of Swiss Culture! Dairy farming in the Swiss Alps dates back 2,000 years, to the time of ancient Romans, making it a crucial part of Swiss life and traditions. To this day, over 100 different cheeses are manufactured in Switzerland. It may come as a surprise that these cheeses are not mass-produced but in fact made in hundreds of smaller dairies which are controlled by a master cheese maker to ensure the best and most high standard cheeses.
Many cheeses of Switzerland often have their names plagiarized and abused. However, regardless of the fact that the cheeses are plagiarized, there is a long list of cheeses that originate from Switzerland.
Here is a list of the 5 best cheeses which are unique to Switzerland:
This is a hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It is light-colored and cured in herbal brine using wine or cider. Its name is from the region is it manufactured in Appenzell, which is located in northeast Switzerland. The flavor is often said to be nutty or fruity, ranging from mild to tangy, with a strong smell to it.
This cheese comes from central Switzerland and is unique because of 42 dairies in the region produce it. The cheese is extra hard with a smoother, nuttier flavor that has a less salty taste.
3. Schabziger/ Sapasago
This hard cheese is made in the Canton of Glarus region using skimmed milk and blue melilot (blue fenugreek), which is a herb which gives the cheese the green color. Its flavor is pungent, salty and sour which the smell matches.
4. Tilsit/ Tilsiter
This cheese is only semi-hard and dates back to the Prussian-Swiss settlers in the Mid- 19th Century. It is light-yellow colored with the flavor of a buttery, yet tangy kind that varies from slightly strong to pungent, depending on how long it has been aged. Sometimes it is said to taste like peppercorns.
This cheese is also semi hard and is manufactured in dairies of the canton of Fribourg. It is made from cow’s milk and has a semi to hard consistency and is covered in greyish- yellow rind. Because it is cured in damp conditions, it can be mildly acidic.
A How-To: Making Hard, Aged Cheese From Scratch
You may think that making hard cheese is more difficult than making soft cheese, but there’s not much difference when it comes both of them. When making soft cheese, you have to make curds, which can be quite difficult, as opposed to the few minutes of work you have to put in with hard cheese. It is just the long wait time which makes hard cheese making, a little challenging.
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When it comes to making hard, aged cheese from scratch, it takes some specialized equipment which you can purchase from special cheese- making suppliers.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
* Cheese Mold and Press- The two are quite expensive but it makes sense if you are going to be making hard cheese a lot.
* Cheese Salt- used to rub the cheese in prior to aging.
* Cheesecloth, butter muslin and a fat of your choice- used to wrap the cheese for aging.
* Waxed Paper
* Plastic Wrap
* Aluminum Foil
Pressing the curds into cheese
1. Line the mold with the damp cheese cloth.
2. Fill the cloth-lined mold to the top with cheese curds, pressing the curds down to fill all gaps. Fill mold to the top.
3. Cover the top of the curds with the extra cloth. Do this carefully to avoid any indents in the cheese.
4. Put the plastic or steel disc (that comes with the press) into the top of the mold and apply pressure for the time allocated by the specific recipe you are using. Whey will ooze out as you press, use a container to catch the liquid.
Now, it is important to follow the times the recipe advises, but if no times are provided, follow these times:
* Press for one hour at 5 pounds pressure.
* Flip the cheese, replace the mold, press for 8 to 12 hours at 20 pounds of pressure.
* Flip again, replace mold, press for 8 to 10 hours at 20 pounds of pressure.
5. Once pressing is done, remove the cheese from the mold and unwrap the cloth from around it and place it on a rack to cool off. Be sure it’s in a dark place away from drafts to air dry. Air dry according to the recipe.
Time to age your cheese!
An easy way to age cheese is by salt-rubbing. This means sprinkling salt over every inch of the cheese and rubbing it in. You then leave the cheese in a draft free, dark area for whatever time the recipe specifies.
Another way to age your cheese is to soak it in brine. This is used for cheeses with a short aging process. Brining makes bad bacteria grow on the outside of the cheese to age it further. It helps make the flavor a lot better and it develops the rind of the cheese.
* The type of brine depends on the cheese. The recipe will specify whether it is light, medium or fully saturated brine.
* Brine should be kept at 55 degrees if you want to reuse.
Whichever method you choose to age your cheese, you must remember where in your home you do this, is important. The place must be warm enough, dark, humid and completely clean. It can be as simple as a closet or in your basement. A long as the temperature is between 55 and 70 degrees, it will be a perfect place to age.
Do not get disheartened if your cheese doesn’t turn out perfect. It’s a process which takes time and patience and eventually, you’ll get a feel of what temperatures, places work best. Practice is the key to success in everything, especially Hard, Aged Cheese making.
A World of Beer and Cheese!
Beer and Cheese: A New Marriage?
Beer and cheese may not be the first things you’d pair together, but believe it or not, the union of the two go all the way back to the Middle Ages. In fact, in Belgium, exceptional beer and cheeses were such an important part of their everyday lives, that even today it is a delicacy and small bowls of cheese are often served in beer bars to accompany your beer.
You may think the best suited alcoholic beverage to accompany cheese is wine. Although cheese can make the cheapest of wines enjoyable, wine can be overpowering to our taste buds at times and make it hard to relish delicious cheese to the fullest potential.
On the other hand, beer and cheese are both farmhouse products which automatically means they compliment each other. Typically, a farmer’s diet back in the day consisted of cold meat, cheese, and beer. Beer and cheese have very close origins, in the fact that barley, which is a cereal grass, is a product used to make beer and milk is a by- product of a cow eating grass. Consequently, the fact that they share such similar characteristics means that they are both alike in flavor and aroma and ultimately compliment each other greatly.
How to pair beer and cheese
Try having your favorite beer with a plate of different cheeses and find one which you most enjoy with it, as the preference is the best way to find a pairing. Also, putting together complex beers with complex cheeses is a good tip when it comes to pairing the two.
Here’s a list of ideas when it comes to pairing beer with popular cheeses:
* Pale Ale with Sharp Cheddar
* Wheat Beer with Feta
* Fruit Beer with Mascarpone
* Pilsner with American Cheese
* Brown Ale with Colby
* Amber Lager with Parmesan
* Octoberfest Beer with Swiss Cheese
Basically, the main thing when it comes to pairing beer with cheese is having a play around with the process, experiment with your own preferences and remember that beer is the beverage which goes with all types of food or on its own, so theirs a huge variety of possibilities!
A Helpful Serving Tip:
Buy raw milk, cow, goat or sheep cheeses. Milk that is not pasteurized and has not been processed will culture while milk that has undergone pasteurization processes produces cheese whose scents and flavors are removed. Contrarily, cheese that are produced from raw milk are richer, fuller and support traditional cheese-making processes.
Beloved Cheeses From Around The World
The World Of Cheese
The glorious world of cheese began around 4,000 years ago. Although the oldest evidence of cheese comes from Switzerland, an Arab merchant in the Middle East claims to have made cheese by accident, on his journey through the desert. The merchant stored a supply of milk in a pouch made from a sheep’s stomach, which in turn, with help from the desert sun, curdled the milk, forming the mouth-watering flavor of cheese. Obviously, it was an instant hit in the world, and thus came The World Of Cheese!
So which country loves cheese the most?
It may not ever dawn on you, but cheese consumption is actually dependent on genetics! It sounds bizarre that genetics can take any place in the consumption of glorious cheese, but when it comes to it- roughly 75 percent of the world’s population, 25 percent of that belonging to the U.S. alone, are lactose intolerant.
While only 5% of Caucasians are lactose intolerant, the table turns when it comes to those of east Asian descent and African descent, being that roughly 95% of east Asians and around 50% of people of African descent are lactose intolerant. This is why cheese is mainly found to have flourished in Europe as opposed to the regions of Asia and Africa. Through this knowledge, it is not surprising that the top 10 countries for cheese consumption per capita all fall within Europe, with France topping number 1 at 57.9 pounds per year and Netherlands being at number 10 with 42.7 pounds per year.
What are the most popular cheeses of the world?
A big part is played by climate when it comes to the world’s favorite cheeses. In places such as the Middle East and the Mediterranean, preservation of cheese was a challenge in the hot climate so salt was heavily added, to preserve. This is why Feta cheese is so loved in Greece. On the other end the climate spectrum, places such as the Alps, where caves served as great places to refrigerate cheese, fresher cheeses such as Gouda or Havarti could be relished.
Overall, the most favored cheese is dependent of climate as traditions date back 4,000 years ago, when modern day refrigeration was not an option. That being said, the indigenous adaptations follow through to this day, forming the different Nation favorites. The U.S. is a big combination of all Europe’s favorite cheese as it is a nation of immigrants, so it cannot really claim one indigenous favorite. (Native Americans had no dairy in their diet.) There are American cheeses today, but they’re mainly adaptions of European recipes. Latin America also holds a part in the United States’ favorite cheeses, with a lot of the nation being of Hispanic descent.