12 Great Cheeses for the Cheese Curious

12 Great Cheeses for the Cheese Curious

If you love cheese and are curious about the wide variety of cheeses available, you’re in luck! From your most well-known cheese like cheddar and gruyere to the more obscure like Himalayan Yak cheese, the world of cheese is far larger than you may realize. Once you discover it, the culinary possibilities are endless. 

Here are some great cheese types to try that have won fans across the world as an introduction to international cheeses or if you’re just curious about cheese in general. 

You may be a little more familiar with cheeses you have tried in the past or you know because of what you’ve come across browsing the aisles at your local grocery store. Well known cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and blue cheese are of the most common selections people have heard of. 

1. An aged cheddar

We have a 10 year version; great cheddar is a treat. Cheddar gets very complex with a broad flavor profile, and yet still retains the familiar taste that makes it so popular. The traditional English bandage wrapped 40# classics, Cheese is Love, and the 3 year cheddar from Oregon’s Rogue Creamery are all crowd pleasers. Cheddar is one of the most loved cheeses in America.

2. A great Parmigiano Reggiano DOP

Once you’ve had fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese (from a just-cracked-open wheel, or - even better - if you get a piece from the center of the wheel) you will never even think about buying the stuff in the plastic tube again. There is a reason Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is called ”the King of Cheeses.” We will be  cracking wheels regularly at Capella Cheese, ensuring you always get the freshest and most flavorful. 

3. Triple cream

Ultra rich and oh-so-creamy are the trademark qualities for these great cheeses. Triple cream means that they have a minimum of 75% butterfat. Most cheeses are around 45%, and butter is around 85%. French cheese Brillat-Savarin, and Trillium from America's Tulip Tree Creamery are sure crowd pleasers. Try these cheeses with your favorite sparkling wine, it is a tasty pairing!

4. Fresh goat cheese

Freshness is a must for a good chêvre, and our freshest is from Capriole. A good goat cheese is so versatile. It can be used in recipes, served as a dip, covered in herbs or flowers to add even more flavor, or even be made into a salad dressing. The key is to select goat cheese that is super fresh, as the flavor profile will change is it ages. Enjoy it as soon as possible once you get it home.

5. Real manchego

Is made from the true black sheep from La Mancha, the bread of the cheese's origin. To truly experience great Manchego it must be DO, certifying it is traditional and made in compliance with all rules. It must be pure sheep milk (some versions are blended with cow’s milk). The original authentic version has a pleasant sheep flavor that is not overpowering. It is great drizzled with a little honey.

6. A mild blue

Most blues aren’t as strong as people think. Try dolce gorgonzola - it is like cheese ice cream! It has all the features of blue cheese, but mild and easier to approach by a broader group. Mild blue can be flavorful, nuanced and have complex flavor elements. These mild blue are fantastic with just a tiny piece of dark chocolate.

7. A mild washed rind

A lot of  mild washed rind cheeses  have strong aroma, but mild flavor, like Epoisse. Washed rind cheeses all have a stronger aroma than most cheeses, but don’t be fooled into thinking they taste like they smell. The signature orange rind of washed cheeses and the additional aroma can make some people hesitant to give them a try, but most find them very enjoyable. They go well with fresh sourdough bread and medium to full bodied red wines. 

8. Burrata

The freshest mozzarella wrapped around milky curds. Most people love mozzarella, but they fall in love when they get a taste of great burrata. The firm exterior yields to the rich, creamy interior. It is great served Caprese style, with in season tomatoes and fresh basil or drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and crunchy sea salt. There is no wrong way to enjoy fresh burrata.

9. Robiola

A mixed milk cheese with complex flavors that develop from blending milks is what makes this cheese so interesting. Most versions are soft and creamy, but we have a version that is aged for a year. We recommend serving thinly sliced over warm pasta to unlock the umami flavors packed in this treasure. These cheeses represent some of the finest cheeses made in Italy.

10. Comté

Our Comté is aged in a mountainside cellar that was a former fort in World War I. This cheese is rich with subtle flavors. It has the flavor of toasted grain flavors that are part of the appeal of mountain cheeses from this region, and it has hints of earth that from aging in a specialized environment underground. Comte is one of our go-to cheeses - versatile, enjoyed by many, and great with wine or beer.

11. A local cheese

Local cheeses can show off the local terroir, especially fresh or young cheeses from local producers. It is best if you can buy them directly from the producer or at the farm. It is always a great thing to support a local cheese maker.

12. Goat gouda

Brabander Gouda

This is the cheese for people who have always believed they "don’t like goat cheese.” Our Brabander goat gouda has a lot of the mineral flavors that occur naturally in goat cheese, but with the light sweetness and crumbly texture of an aged gouda. It is firm but not hard. It even makes for an interesting replacement for Parmigiano Reggiano DOP when you want to change things up.

We encourage you to be adventurous, try something new, but still familiar. Always try to buy your cheese from a shop that cuts to order and allows you to taste it prior to buying. Having a friendly relationship with a skilled cheesemonger to help guide you to a wider variety of cheeses will help you enjoy them all the more.

Reading next

7 Must-Haves for Your Cheese Board
What is the Difference in Gorgonzola Piccante and Dolce?

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