It’s National Cheese Day and that means it’s time to slice, melt, spread, and crumble your way to mouthwatering nirvana. We’ve put together a list of 6 of our favorite cheeses to help you do just that!
But first, we wanted to know what makes cheese so addictively delicious, and it turns out there’s a reason behind our cheesy cravings. Cheese contains casein and casein fragments called casomorphins, which is a casein-derived morphine-like compound. So basically, dairy protein has opiate molecules built in and when consumed, these fragments attach to the same brain receptors that prescription painkillers attach to. These food-based opiates are not strong enough to set off law enforcement alarms or turn you into an addict, but they are just strong enough to keep you coming back for more, even when you know the cheese plate is just supposed to be an appetizer and not the entire meal.
That being said, let’s get to the cheeses!
If you enjoy Gruyère, Comté is an excellent choice for expanding your cheese palate. Interestingly, only specific breeds of cows are used to get the exclusive raw milk, found in Montbéliarde and French Simmental. Considered one of the finest cheeses in the world, a wedge of Comté reveals a pale-yellow interior and a texture that can vary from silky, flabby to crystalline. The longer it’s aged the more complex the flavor becomes and can be described as smoother and less salty than Gruyère.
A popular French cheese that is rather unique and has been around since the 16th century and is said to have been a favorite of Napoleon who ate it with Chambertin wine. It has a rich and powerful flavor with a distinct smell, and is a mix of sweet, salty, and creamy. With its velvety, chewy, and firm texture and soft red-orange color, it’s definitely a stand out cheese.
Capricho de Cabra, is a Spanish phrase that roughly translats to “whim of the goat”. It’s a creamy, flavorful cheese made from Murciana goats, which produce milk high in fat and protein giving this cheese an amazingly decadent creaminess. The Capricho is dense and gives a burst of flavor with a sweet finish and is rolled in crushed green peppercorn.
An award-winning cheese from the United States that is aged approximately 12 months. It’s a semi-firm cheese made with BellaVitano Gold and then hand-rubbed with freshly ground espresso. It’s savory, creamy, nutty, and fruity, with a wonderful sweetness. Perfect for coffee and cheese lovers!
Halloumi cheese is from Cyprus and is a firm, brined, slightly springy white cheese, traditionally made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk. It stands out as unique because of how hearty and substantial it is. Due to its high melting point, it can easily be fried or grilled. In fact, grilled halloumi can often be mistaken for grilled chicken, and is served over salads or in sandwiches. It’s a firm, salty cheese that is best eaten warmed or grilled. It has a savory bite with a slightly creamy texture and is wonderfully delicious.
Cambozola is a triple cream, brie-style blue cheese made with pasteurized cow’s milk in the German region of Allgäu. It resembles Gorgonzola or Roquefort but is actually a cross between Camembert and Gorgonzola. It’s creamy and moist like Camembert with the rich sharpness of Gorgonzola. Cambozola has a wonderful savory and nutty flavor with undertones of sweetness.