The best Cheese

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different cheeses to choose from. They come in all shapes and sizes, colours, textures and even odours. Each country has a selection to offer which is specific to that country and even to a region in that country. They range in price because some have been matured for a long time to improve their flavour. Others have added ingredients such as wine or herbs.

Which one is best? I am a cheese lover and I know many others who are. It is impossible to say which ONE I like best because it depends on whether you are going to eat it with bread, in which case exactly which bread makes a difference too; or are you having this cheese in a salad or omelette? With cheese and biscuits? With a sandwich and soup?

A runny cheese such as brie can be quite mild and tame and must not be overpowered by what you have with it, which is why celery is very popular with it. A very strong cheese such as stilton can overpower anything else. Cheeses which have pieces of fruit inside them, such as wensleydale with cranberries, are delicious but would not go with a savoury soup. If you are making a quiche you may well choose a cheddar variety as this melts well and holds in flavour when cooked. But do not use a mild one. Parmesan is best to grate onto pasta when it is cooked but you only need a little of it. Some people make home made bread and use cheese in this. You must use a strong cheese then and only include a little of it. For cheese on toast you need a cheese which is solid, never creamy, and not too mild yet also not overpowering.

The reason there are so many varities of cheese is because we need a huge choice. Even if you have a favourite which you rate higher than all the others there will be times when you realise this favourite is not ideal for its intended purpose. You need to be open to new experiences with cheese and willing to try different variations and cheeses for different uses.

At the end of a dinner party many hosts get out their famous cheese boards which they present to their guests with a mixture of accompaniments. This is usually savoury biscuits, bread, celery, grapes, apple and butter. The whole idea of this is that each person can choose which cheese they like best.

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