Brick Cheese: Everything You Need to Know
We love to help you explore cheeses that you might not have tried before here at Shisler’s Cheese House. Today we are introducing you to the delicious Brick Cheese.
What is Brick Cheese?
Brick Cheese is a medium-soft cheese that is made in the form of a large rectangular or brick shape. It may also be named “brick” because the cheese curds are pressed with clay-fired bricks. Its color ranges from pale yellow to white.
How does it taste?
It has a sweet and mild flavor when young, and matures into a strong ripe cheese with age. It crumbles easily and is a little sticky to the knife when sliced.
How is Brick Cheese made?
Brick Cheese is an American original, produced in Wisconsin. Whilst the cheese making process is similar to American Cheddar, it is cultured at a slightly higher temperature which gives it a marginally higher fat content and slightly alters the protein structure. The cheese has a slightly softer taste with a sharper finish than regular Cheddar.
It was created in 1877 by John Jossi, a Swiss-born American cheese maker. Jossi came to the states in 1857 from Switzerland with his parents at the age of 12. The family settled first in upstate New York, but later Jossi moved to Richwood, in southwest Wisconsin. He envisioned a cheese made with curd that was drier than that used for the Limburger he had produced in the factories he worked in. He came up with the idea of using bricks to press the cheese, creating the shape that we know today.
How should it be eaten?
Brick Cheese is often served with corn polenta in the Midwest, where it is thinly sliced and melted underneath the polenta and then topped with tomato sauce.
It is also great for slicing and melts well, making it a delicious choice for grilled cheese sandwiches. This cheese goes very well with pickles, so it is perfect for adding flavor to a burger. Try it in your macaroni cheese or melted in potatoes gratin. You can even use it on pizza!
What should I drink with it?
If you like red wine, we recommend something fruity like a Beaujolais or Syrah to pair with brick cheese. White wines with peachy, tropical notes such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc are both good choices. This is also a great cheese to serve if you or your guests prefer beer, as it pairs well with Bock, lager and even stout.
How do you like to eat Brick Cheese? Let us know in the comments.