What food is routinely eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a snack or appetizer and even for dessert? It’s imported, exported and made all over the world – even here in Colorado. Why of course it’s cheese!
Cheese has been around as long as history remembers. It wasn’t “invented” but rather “noticed” when milk left in a container coagulated. All types of milk make tasty cheese – cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, horse or camel. The milk can be raw, skimmed or pasteurized.
Cheese.com has put together a list of cheeses from A to Z that tells what country makes the cheese, what kind of milk is used and in some cases suitable wine parings. You will see old favorites and many you never knew existed.
With so many choices, how do you choose a cheese for your special occasion? Talk to a cheesemonger at a local cheese shop. Similar to how a sommelier is formally trained about wines, a cheesemonger is formally trained about cheese. The formal education is combined with years of tasting cheese to create an expert responsible for selecting, purchasing, ripening and storing cheeses.
Wanting to choose on your own? There are basic tips to consider when deciding what cheese to buy.
- Believe it or not, seasons do affect the taste of cheese, just as animal milk is affected by fresh green pastures or lack there of. Find out in what season the cheese you are considering was produced and ensure this is a good season for that flavor.
- Consider whether the milk used to make the cheese is pasteurized. Many pasteurized cheeses are created to have a standard taste. Look for cheeses that indicate unpasteurized milk or farm fresh.
- The best way to choose a cheese is to taste it! If you like it, buy it!
Where to shop
CBS Channel 4 put together a list of Colorado’s top cheese shops. Making the list is one shop in Longmont and three in Denver.
For an unforgettable cheese tasting and shopping experience, plan to attend the 4th Annual Colorado Cheese Festival this fall. Last year’s event was held at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and featured cheese makers from Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Utah, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Vermont, New York, Iowa and Massachusetts. While the website is not yet updated for this year’s event, please keep checking for details.
Cooking with Cheese
A lot of cheese is eaten with out being cooked into a recipe. However, there are oodles of recipes that call for various cheeses. From gourmet to basic, there is a dish out there to satisfy everyone’s cheese craving.
Food & Wine hosts more that 3,000 recipes featuring cheese. From roasted broccoli with walnuts and goat cheese to four cheese-stuffed portobellos to lemon-ricotta soufflés
What would a cheese blog be without grilled cheese sandwich ideas?
Finally, you can’t talk about cheese without giving out some ideas for cheese and wine pairing. While the cheesemonger or a sommelier can give you some advice, there are also numerous online suggestions to make your decision a little easier. Here are a few we found.