Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summer camp in a San Francisco culinary school - Cheese

From the English

Hard: Cheddar cheese is a yellow to off-white, and sometimes sharp-tasting cheese originally made in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Cheddar, made in the classical way, tends to have a sharp, pungent flavour, often slightly earthy. Its texture is firm, with farmhouse traditional Cheddar being slightly crumble.

Semi-hard: Gloucester is a traditional, unpasteurised cheese which has been made in Gloucestershire, England, since the 16th century, at one time made only with the milk of once nearly-extinct Gloucester cattle.

From the Dutch

Mild: Edam is a Dutch cheese traditionally sold in spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat of red paraffin wax. It is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Most "young" Edam cheese has a very mild flavor, is slightly salty or nutty, and has almost no smell when compared to other cheeses. As the cheese ages, its flavor sharpens, and it becomes firmer. It has a significantly lower fat content than many other traditional cheeses. Mild Edam goes well with fruit such as peaches, melons, apricots, and cherries. Aged Edam is often eaten with traditional "cheese fruits" like pears and apples. Like most cheeses, it is commonly eaten on crackers and bread.

Mild: Gouda is a yellow cheese made from cow's milk. The cheese is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. Exported Gouda which has aged more has a pungent underlying bitterness, yet is still considerably creamier and sometimes discernible by a black paraffin wax coating. This strong tasting cheese is hard and often too brittle.

From the Swiss

Firm: Gruyère is a hard yellow cheese, named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland. Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming with age more assertive, earthy, and complex. When fully aged (five months to a year) it tends to have small holes and cracks which impart a slightly grainy mouthfeel. Gruyère is generally known as one of the finest cheeses for baking, having a distinctive but not overpowering taste. It is a good melting cheese, particularly suited for fondues, along with Vacherin and Emmental. It is also traditionally used in French onion soup, as well as in croque monsieur.

Firm: Emmental is a cheese originally comes from the Emme valley in the canton of Bern. Emmentaler is a yellow, medium-hard cheese. Failure to remove CO2 bubbles during production, due to inconsistent pressing, results in the large holes ("eyes") characteristic of this cheese.

From the Italian

Hard: Parmigiano-Reggiano (the same cheese manufactured elsewhere is referred to as Parmesan), is a hard granular cheese. The name Parmesan is used for cheeses imitating Parmigiano-Reggiano, with phrases such as Italian hard cheese adopted to skirt legal constraints. Uses of the cheese include being grated with a grater over pasta, stirred into soup and risotto, and eaten in chunks with balsamic vinegar. It is also a key ingredient in alfredo sauce and pesto.

From the French

Soft: Brie is a soft cows' cheese named after Brie, the French province from which it originated. It is pale in color with a slight greyish tinge under a rind of white mold; very soft and savoury with a hint of ammonia. The whitish moldy rind is typically eaten.

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