fbpx ;

Cheese-Tasting: Life Beyond Cheddar

If you think that your recent purchase of goat cheese is an exotic choice, think again. A visit to The Better Cheddar, a gourmet cheese store in my hometown, opened my eyes to this most multifarious food. The protein- and calcium-packed delight is one of the oldest games in town; the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians—everybody dug the stuff.
A diverse assortment of that milk-based product we all know and love is made in at least 57 countries. Cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, camel, reindeer, yak and even donkey milk is used to make more than 500 varieties. Ass cheese, anyone?
A high-quality cheese is like a fine wine; each variety carries a distinctive color, aroma, taste and mouth-feel. And again like wine, not all cheese is created equal. To compare English Farmhouse Cheddar to a store-bought waxy, orange block of Kraft is like comparing Mozart to Metallica.
I was recently introduced to a Norwegian Gjetost (pronounced YEH-toast), a unique concoction unlike any cheese that’s crossed my palate before. It’s golden brown in color, with a creamy, fudge-like texture that tastes nutty sweet like caramel. Gjetost makes a wonderful quickie breakfast—munch down a couple of slices on an oat cracker with a few strawberries or a sliced pear, and it will stick with you until lunch.
Don’t be afraid to eat cheese. Besides being just damn tasty, it has many health benefits. Its consumption can help to lower blood sugar and blood pressure and—my personal fave—it aids in the reduction of abdominal fat! But don’t satisfy your cravings with a mass-produced, low-quality product or, God forbid, one of those processed types. Explore the world of fromage with your local-cheese monger and find out what really good cheese is all about. Oh, and let me know how that ass cheese tastes if you ever get your hands on it.
Have you tried any unusual cheese? Do you have a favorite? —Karen

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!