Cheese & Butter Guide by Marky’s
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Top 10 Best Cheeses
So, according to the lead gourmet experts, the TOP-10 list of the Best Cheeses in the World is the following:
1. Asiago »
The tradition of making this cheese comes from Italy and dates back hundreds of years. Depending on its ripening period, the cheese texture varies from silken and smooth to firm and crumbly with the color of its paste changing from white to dark yellow. Its mild smell and piquant taste combining sharpness and fruitiness make the cheese a fine versatile dressing for diverse snacks and salads, soups and sauces, pastas and many more. Served with dried fruit or savory crackers and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Porter, Asiago reveals its best gourmet qualities.
This is a general term for the aged cheeses injected with special cultures of Penicillium mold to create blue and emerald or even grey and brownish veins or spots throughout the cheese interior. Maturing in caves under special natural conditions, blue cheeses get their distinctive aroma and original tangy taste. They usually serve as great additions to various appetizers. As blues have pretty strong and salty flavors, they should be served with sweeter dessert or sparkling wines. On the other hand, blues are versatile and shine well with beef, poultry and fish.
3. Brie »
Nicknamed as “the Queen of Cheeses”, it was originally created in the region of Brie, France. This is a dainty double crème cheese made from cow’s milk. According to the history, it had to be presented to the French kings as a tribute. Today, it will certainly be a piquant zest of any cheese plate. Accompanied by Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, Brie unfolds its mild sweetish flavors, especially when it is also served with fruit or berries, nuts or even dark chocolate.
4. Camembert »
It claims to be one of the best-known French cheeses and the world’s most imitated one. Its present name was given to the cheese by Napoleon, who liked it a lot. This is a soft-ripened cheese with runny and smooth texture, bloomy rind and full-flavored paste. Having a rich buttery taste with salty, mushroomy or delicate garlic tints, the cheese is usually served as a dainty seasoning to some salads or separately to crunchy baguette and light reds, though traditionally Camembert is paired with apple cider. The cheese is an especially fabulous appetizer when accompanied by fresh fruits and jams or honey, as well as by savory cold meats like salami or turkey.
5. Cheddar »
Originating from the village of Cheddar, England, it tends to be one of the world’s most enjoyed cow’s milk hard cheeses. The earliest Cheddar goes back to the late 12th century when the English kings declared it to be the finest cheese in Britain. Traditionally, it features firm texture and unique flavor balancing successfully between sharpness and creaminess. The younger cheese melts well, while the more aged type is great for grating.To highlight the individual qualities of Cheddar, it should be served with apples or nuts and a glass of strong ale, cider or Cabernet Sauvignon.
6. Gouda »
Being probably the most famous Dutch cheese traditionally made from cow’s milk, it does deserve its place among the world’s greatest cheeses. During its maturing process the cheese turns firmer in texture, and the color of its pate changes from ivory to gold. Its fragrant flavor and complex taste make Gouda excellent both as a table and dessert cheese which perfectly completes any cooking. Pears and plum jam with full-bodied reds will enhance the original taste of smoked Gouda, while orange marmalade and a glass of Riesling will match the traditional aged cheese perfectly.
7. Gruyere »
According to the medieval chronicles, the manufacturing of this cheese in the region of Gruyere, Switzerland, traces back to the early 12th century. Made from cow’s milk, the cheese gets the hardness and graininess of its texture as it ripens. Young Gruyere tastes creamier and sweeter, while the flavor of the more aged type has some assertive and earthy tints. While being a basic ingredient for classic fondue and a fine pairing for French onion soup, it is quite a versatile table cheese when grated or melted, which will add some special piquancy to any dish. Gruyere ideal beverage company is Port and Pinot Noir.
8. Mozzarella »
Today it is a generic name for the respective type of cheese. The name comes from the Italian word “mozzare” meaning “to cut”, and corresponds to the cheese making process, when the curds are cut into small pieces, and hot water is added to heat the cheese and make its consistency more elastic. Traditionally, the milk of Italian water buffalo is used, though now the cheese is also made from cow’s milk. Soft and supple in its texture, with mellow milky odor, snow-white Mozzarella must be eaten fresh, while it is still suitable for different cooking. It will turn your salads, sandwiches and pizzas into heavenly foods, especially when accompanied by Pinot Gris or Chianti.
9. Parmesan »
This is a type of cheese which includes several hard and grainy cheeses, such as Parmegiano Reggiano, “the King of Cheeses”, and Grana Padano. Both are aged cheeses made from cow’s milk. The fragrant scent and sweet taste with the tints of nuttiness and fruitiness make them just perfect for grating and using as a piquant seasoning to various snacks and hot dishes. When served separately, the Parmesan cheeses shine beautifully with apricot jam or dark chocolate and sparkling wines, creating outstanding gourmet pairings.
10. Pecorino »
This name denotes all Italian cheeses originally made from sheep’s milk. These are firm and creamery cheeses shaped like a drum. Younger Pecorinos are smoother and softer in texture possessing more mellow buttery flavors. Aged types are crumblier and feature rather nutty or earthy taste. Pecorinos are fine grating cheeses and hence great condiments to salads, soups or sauces, baking casseroles and pastas, as well as they can be served with sweet fruits, orange marmalade or honey. Dry reds like Amarone or Zinfandel are perfect beverage pairings to Pecorino cheeses.