Once upon a time there was a little girl who didn't like creamy Milk however she absolutly love Cheese which is a contradiction in itself because Cheese is made of Milk which is rendered sometimes creamier but also sometimes dense and sometimes crumbly. Of course this little girl was myself.
The fact is I don't know why I like my Tea black and without Milk or I partly can explain it in a historical way: back in the days we had to consume Tea with Milk which was thick to make sure the Tea Leaves remained in the bottom of the cup. But since the invention of Tea strainers and then Tea bags, it is absolutly not necessary to have Milk in a cup of Tea. But as we say old habits die hard.
The Tea cup question... How do you like your Tea?
To go back to our subject of Cheese it is actually the thickness of the Milk which render Cheese a possible outcome of it by different processes. Those different methods do create the variety of Cheeses we can find, from Brie to Stilton passing by Goat Cheese.
Laughing Cow Cheese. One which I liked as a kid very much so.
As we all need Calcium, it is important to provide our bodies with it in one way or another (Vegetables are a good source of Calcium as well). For me it was Cheese. First of all coming from Normandy, I was within an area full of notorious Cheeses to be consumed. My favourite is the Brie, the Brie de Meaux in particular and the Pied d'Anglois. The texture is partly soft and I can just eat it like that or upon a slice of Bread.
A Brie is best eaten out of the fridge for a few hours to be at room temperature. Then it is onctuous.
Another Cheese I do like is a good creamy Camembert but, good Lord, does that Cheese stink... I remember one day in a rather full London double decker bus coming back home after having done my shopping, having a Camembert in my shopping bag... It was a hot Summer day, so you can imagine the reaction of others, lets just say it was interesting to see some people leaving the area I was seating to take their seats further away... However a good Camembert is very enjoyable to eat.
Grilled Camambert served with a Lamb Lettuce Salad, Grapes and toasted slices of Bread.
The beauty of Camembert is that it is wonderful just like that, but like Brie it is wonderful cooked as well because you then have a melting treasure on a plate full of goodness. Dare I say that grilled it makes an indulgent Starter or a nice Supper in Winter. You can for a Camembert even bake it within the wooden box in the oven (remove the lid of course), pierce it with a knife to make some little pockets on the top of the Camembert, place a little fresh Rosemary in each pockets to infuse the Cheese of the aroma of the Herb. Meanwhile you can bake alongside the Cheese a Garlic Bread, slices of a buttered Garlic Baguette. Within ten to fifteen minutes, you will have a mini Fondue to enjoy...: Crusty flavoured Bread slices to dip into the warm centre of a melted Camembert. This is totally decadent and indulgent but also very yummy. I would say this is a Wintery Treat par excellence.
Baked Camembert is so simple to do. It is just pure comfort Food.
Of course thinking in terms of Fondue, a Cheese Fondue is so well known everywhere, after all it is the National Dish of Switzerland. I will add that it so enjoyable but also that around a Foundue either Cheese or else, it is a time to communicate but as well to have an agreable and nice time with others. The Cheeses used there are different and mainly have a delicious nutty flavour: Emmental, Gruyére for example. It is served with crusty Bread to dip into the melted Cheese. White Wine is often used to loosen the Cheese but also to impart that merry flavour.
Swiss Fondue. Melted Cheese is a great delight to have.
We can't mention Cheese without speaking of hard Cheese like Cheddar Cheese. Cheddar is a staple in England like if we were saying that the moon is made of Cheese. Solid or grated, it is always in my fridge anyway. Not just because my Man loves it, because I love it too.
Loving good Cheese has always been with me. I must confess to like Blue Cheeses a hell of a lot. I will mention Roquefort here but also Saint Agur and Stilton (But I am missing a lot I enjoy as well like Dolcellate and Gorgonzolla and many more). Some may have a moist and almost creamy texture like the Roquefort while others have a crumbly texture which can still be fairly firm nonetheless.
The Stilton. Quintescentially British, coming from Stilton the town, Stilton has a long tradition behind its conception. This viney Blue Cheese finds its place on many Chrismas Cheese Platter.
From the tangy blue veins of Blue Cheeses which danses in your mouths we go to mention the very moist, soft and creamy, as white as snow bowls, Mozzarella and Burrata. Not only there are plenty of uses for them but also one can eat them fresh or cooked. To take three examples of some of my favourite Dishes using Mozzarella, I would say Mellanzane a la Parmigiana. Then it would be of course the Pizza. Those would be my two hot Courses of choice. When it go for a cold plate I love the unctuousness of Mozzarella with Tomatoes and whole Basil Leaves. The simplicity of that Salad speaks volume about good ingredients just drizzled with a dressing of Olive Oil and Balsamic Video. It is simply delicious especially on a hot Summer day.
Simple Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil Salad. Summer on a plate.
Of course there are many soft Cheese all over the World with one famous one being Cream Cheese which most knows as the brand Philadelphia to the most unusual speciality from the Jura Mountains of France called the Cancaillotte. As Cream Cheese is more readily available, it is used by many for whisking up a Cheese Cake or making up a Phili-Chipolatta Dog for a Saturday Movie night...
The Phili Chipolatta Dog/ Sandwich: Not for the faint hearted. You may fall asleep eating eat before the end of a Movie, so choose a thriller or an action Movie to enjoy that big baby of a Dog till the end of it.
There I will say, let us not forget Cheeses made with Goat Milk, Eew Milk etc and even Fruits like Quinces. Myself I am very partial to Goat Cheese. It is so enjoyable in a Salad de Chévre chaud. The round Croutons giving the dry texture to a part moist, part melted, part crumbly slice of Goat Cheese. My favourite Goat Cheese is called the Crottin de Chavignol, but it is easier to find a very decent brand with the appelation of Chavroux which makes different types of products with Goat Milk from spreadable ones to the Buche which is highly practical to slice.
A Chavroux Buche Goat Cheese.
I will let you discover the many Cheeses out there for you to try and to enjoy in the different sections down below. It may give you ideas for Cheese Platters but also a know how of pairing which Cheese with which Ingredient.
Home Made Cheese and White Wine Fondue for Two, served with Croutons, White Chicory Leaves and Baby Boiled Potatoes. Comfort Food at its best.