A Turophile’s Cheese Board

Love shows up in so many forms: sweaty, bold, robust, hard, European… Give in to your curiosity and succumb yourselves to these curdled phenomenons
Photo Credits: Collage Made By The Blog
August 1, 2023

Vallée Brebidoux

Swiss, cow, stinky and to some even offensive. But when rendered “sweaty,” this fragrant fromagination drives me into complete submission. Great for folding into a plushy omelet, but to enjoy it in its purest form, just spear it over the stove like a marshmallow. And wait for that moment it begins to drip sweat. [Vallee Brebidoux is — devastatingly — seasonal. When unavailable SCHNEBELHORN is another slightly less funky version]

La Tur, Alta Langa

This Italian “cupcake” of salty goopy unctuous marvelousness is a heroine of the cow-goat-sheep union and has rightfully won its place in my heart. It bears all the dreamy textures you can ask for in a soft cheese: a chalky brainy rind, silky gooeyness, and a dense fudgy core. Spoon, stroke, and bond in perfect unison.

La Peral

Spanish, Blue and salty jugular bliss. It’s ashy and possibly the driest of all blues, drier than even a Stilton. Beware, don’t let its salty indecency get to you, once you start you’ll insatiably crave more.

Zamorano

This Spanish semi-cured sheep’s milk cheese is sweeter, nuttier and by far more titillating than any Manchego I know of. Use it for grating over spicy tomato-vodka pasta, or cutting into bikini triangles for an aperitivo. Soft but hard, it’s everything I want in a cheese.

Ombra

It’s similar yet drier than even the most cured Manchego. It escapes heavy sheepiness, characteristic of many of its sheep’s-milk peers. Ideal for grating on ANYTHING. Parm’s envy. My bliss.

Ur-Eiche

Swiss and cow, this feller is the sultry yet distinguished cousin of Gruyere, Rrrrrr.

Gabietou

French and semi-firm, I also spear and let a chunk of this blended cow-sheep phenomenon melt away, in complete abandon to the hot stove and my hot heart. It’s not anything as overbearing as the Vallee Brebidoux but its subtly sharp finish lingers ever so much to have you hungering for your and especially its next bite.

Reblochon

There’s only one way to eat this French dairy treasure: hold a massive chunk of it over low flame and wait for it to ooze defenselessly onto your plate. Allow for cool-off, then slice into it with a meat knife as if it were steak. Warm, comfy and inviting. Aya.

Paski Syr

Croatian, hard, sheep, and an erotic-is-exotic alternative to its Italian or Spanish grate-worthy counterparts. I shave this in impossibly thin curls over smashed crispy fried artichoke “flowers.”

Bianco Sardo

This Italian, aged, sheep’s milk cheese is another sophisticated grating alternative to add to our grate-worthy harem.

Pardou Brebis Grand Cru

Basque, sheep, and semi-aged, pair this with the textural and emotional contrast of L’epicurien Red Pepper Confit with Raspberry & Cayenne and nothing else.

Beaufort d'Alpage AOC

A French cow’s-milk classic, its description is all in the name: “beau” and “fort,” meaning handsome and strong. Also, THE omelet-filler, the French way.

Sbrinz

Swiss, cow, and EXTRA HARD. Indelicately dry, and cheddary but a thousand times better, this aged ambrosia is best enjoyed in thick mouthfuls.

L'Etivaz

Swiss, cow, and comparable to a sharp Emmental, but much more seductive and inviting. The pleaser to all palettes.

Colston Bassett Stilton

Classic, English, Blue, enticingly veiny and addictively salty. Hard, crumbly, soft and creamy all illogically in one: The complete package. Heaven, if stuffed in pitted Castelvetrano green olives and popped in the oven for desiccated concentrated goodness.
For anyone on a mission to find the impossible (at least within the US), I also recommend Urnäscher Brauchtumskäse, 12 month-Aged Pecorino Pepato, Fromage Mauerhofer, and Piora

AND…
IF you are in the Basque region and so happen to find yourself in Biarritz (one of the best places on Earth), do stop by 1001 Fromages, the ultimate Cheese Nirvana.

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