10 Great Cheeses You Should Try

Thu, 2013-09-12 (All day)

With hundreds of cheeses available today, we at Cowpower thought it time to create a list of our top 10 favourite cheeses you can find at your local farmer’s market or supermarket. Why not try them and let us know what you think.

1. Pecorino – Italy
Pecorino was introduced approximately 2,000 years ago in the countryside surrounding Rome. Exclusively made from Sardinian sheep’s milk, the uniqueness of this cheese is due to the pressing process that removes a lot of the moisture, making the cheese hard. This cheese is eaten in small cubes or grated onto pasta for its strong flavour.

2. Camembert – France
Marie Harel, a farmer from Normandy, first made Camembert in 1791. Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, Camembert is difference from Pecorino as it has a soft texture. This cheese is best eaten on crackers or served sliced with spicy steak.

3. Gruyère – Switzerland
Gruyère is named after the town in Switzerland where it was first made in the 12th century. Cooked at a low temperature to remove moisture after it curdles, Gruyère is sliced into tiny pieces and then agitated. The uniqueness of Gruyere is the characteristic holes created by the bacteria inside the cheese. This cheese has a lovely hard texture and nutty flavour.

4. Mascarpone – Italy
Mascarpone is a spreadable and thick ivory-coloured cheese with a rich flavour similar to cream. Originally made in 16th century, this cheese consists of 75% butterfat which is heated to 85ºC. Mascarpone is one of the main ingredients in Tiramisu, and is best served chilled with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top.

5. Red Windsor – England
Red Windsor is made similarly to cheddar cheese, except that red wine is added. This cheese has a firm texture with pink marbling throughout and a strong taste with a hint of wine. This cheese is best served plain with crackers to shock your guests!

6. Nettle– England
Nettle cheese is one of the more obscure cheeses that originated from Cornwall in South-west England. Before maturation, this cheese is tightly wrapped in nettle leaves. Nettle cheese can vary from a creamy to a crumbly texture and leaves a strong aftertaste in the mouth with its own unique sharp flavour.

7. Stilton – England
In 1730 in Stilton, a man named Cooper Thornhill sold a cheese called ‘Stilton’ in his Inn for the first time. This cheese is a rich and creamy blue cheese that can be enjoyed with crackers, salads or soup.

8. Danablu – Denmark
Danablu or Danish Blue is a strong flavoured blue cheese with a soft texture. Danablu was devised in the 20th by Marius Boel who copied blue Roquefort cheese made in France. Before eating, this cheese is left to age for 2-3 months, giving it a strong butyric tang. Due to its strong flavour this cheese is best eaten with other strong flavoured foods.

9. Emmental – Switzerland
Emmental was first made in the 1290’s in a place called Emmental, near Berne. One of the oldest cheeses from Switzerland, this cheese has a firm texture with large holes called ‘eyes’ that are made by bacteria metabolizing in the cheese and releasing carbon dioxide bubbles. This cheese is best eaten in a sandwich.

10. Halloumi – Cyprus
This is a really great cheese and a firm favourite of the Cowpower office. Originating from Middle Eastern Bedouins, this Cypriot cheese is made from goat and sheep milk. Due to its uniqueness, Halloumi does not melt when cooked. As such, Halloumi is great to fry or barbecue, as the outside of the cheese becomes crispy while the inside becomes soft. It has a strong salty taste and the texture feels a little like eating rubber.

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