So I’ve got a thing for cheese, and I’m not afraid to show it. It’s more of a love kind of thing — the kind that will make you forget that you’re somewhat lactose intolerant. I’d like to think that my obsession is part of my genetic makeup, but I’m not entirely sure. I grew up surrounded by cheese lovers, maybe even connoisseurs; if not, then pretty close.
As kids, the only way to get my brother and me to eat sausage, peppers and onions, was to put a piece of cheese on it. Cheese can make every meal but definitely will not break it.
As a lover of all things cheese, it would be a dishonor to not mention pizza. Don’t even get me started. Like it’s right out of a movie, you take a bite and pull the pizza away, and the cheese is still attached. Oh boy, oh boy. Delicious.
During ski trips to Vermont, my dad drives about 45 minutes out of the way to go to this one specific country store that has the best smoked cheddar cheese. Oh, let me tell you. Crack that baby open the second you get back to the house because it is so good. It’s covered in not one, but two layers of wax to ensure maximum freshness. A few extra blocks are always purchased to bring back home and hide in the fridge for a little while to intensify those flavors.
For almost every holiday, my mom puts together the most delicious cheese concoction — wrapped brie. It’s similar to heaven wrapped in some more heaven. She takes a fresh wheel of brie, tops it in either an apricot jam, figs or even caramelized onions, or a combination of a few, wraps it in crescent roll dough and bakes it in the oven. Once it’s all golden brown, we indulge in the melty, gooey, flavorful mess. My family tends to pair this with crackers or some bread, but I’ll be honest in saying that it’s perfect on its own. (Trust me when I say that I’ve seen my grandpa leap up from his chair upon seeing this placed onto the snack table at Thanksgiving.) Can anyone please deliver this to West Campus like right now?
I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something so satisfying about sinking your teeth into a hot, crispy and buttery grilled cheese. The cheese is super stringy and hits your taste buds in all of the right places.
On occasion, my family will have fancy grilled cheese nights with a plethora of funky breads and yummy cheeses. During our most recent one, we went for some cool flavor combos. My dad and brothers picked up some olive bread, with whole, fresh Kalamata olives in it, and we had some brie leftover from the holiday season. Now, imagine this: thinly sliced olive bread, topped with gooey brie cheese, and pepper jelly. Even better, smoked gouda paired with turkey and warm, caramelized onions. The cheese gets all melty and the bread becomes warm and crunchy, both pairing to make a marvelous flavor combination in your mouth. There’s just so much happiness in a warm hunk of bread topped with some delicious cheese, grilled to golden-brown perfection.
As someone who is partly Greek, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve had a lot of feta in my day. The best feta is a little salty, but not too salty, super creamy and perfectly crumbly. Whether its sprinkled on top of a fresh salad or baked into spanakopita (spinach pie), feta will always have a place in my heart.
On a summer vacation a few years ago, my family discovered the most delicious goat cheese. While impossible to duplicate, we’ve come pretty close. It comes in a little container and is infused in rosemary, peppercorns and delicious olive oil. Spread that baby on some fresh bread, and voila, you have yourself a snack that will more than likely become a meal because you won’t be able to stop yourself because it’s so good.
I sincerely apologize to anyone that doesn’t like cheese or is lactose intolerant, but I guess the more for me.