So here I am. Again.
I had a long talk this weekend about food choices with a friend who has recently gone vegan. I've actually been eating fairly healthy for me, but find that I do best with a high-protein, low-carb diet.
I generally give up cheese and all dairy products for the month of December to save my voice, but I probably think about cheese during that time the way a smoker trying to kick the habit thinks about cigarettes. I don't think I could ever go vegan.
- Raclette: All the accoutrements! The grill, the little trays, the side dishes! The melty, gooey goodness! The conversation!
- Stilton: I love all blue cheeses, and probably could have written a list of my top 10 blue cheeses alone, but I settled for only three, all ridiculously expensive. Beyond the taste, and the semi-dry crumbly texture, I love the color of Stilton. There's no other cheese that has quite that shade of yellow. I also love tracing the puncture veins and nibbling out the blue.
- Cabrales: A Spanish blue, not for the faint hearted. I love it best warmed and melted with a filet, but it's also good in mashed potatoes, or cold with endive or just in chunks. It's definitely the most intense cheese on this list.
- Roquefort: This one combines two of my loves: blue veining and a high cream content that just coats the mouth.
- St. Andres: Speaking of high cream content. Brie is for newbies; you can buy brie at Walmart, for pete's sake. Go with a triple creme every chance you get.
- Brillat Savarin: Another triple creme. I love it also for its namesake, who said "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."
- Bulgarian Feta: Not French. Definitely not Greek. Always pick Bulgarian feta. Something about it has the perfect degree of brininess and intensity.
- Kefalotiri: The Greek cheese used in saganaki. Enough said.
- Cabecou: My favorite illegal cheese. It's a tiny little thing, but so full of complex flavors from the rind to the puddling center. Plus, you're left with a handy terracotta dish at the end.
- Pimento: I bet you thought this list would be all gourmet. Nope. Homemade pimento cheese is cheese nirvana for me.