Ask the grumpies: Why is your favorite cheese the best cheese

Leah asks:

Why is your favorite cheese the best cheese? My favorite cheese is brie because it is delightfully creamy and decadent. A little goes a long way. Sharp cheddar is my runner up.

Ah, discussing our favorite cheeses is a question near and dear to our hearts.  Since we last waxed poetic on different kinds of cheeses, #2 has been to Italy and updated her cheese preferences accordingly.

#1:  St. Andre. Because it’s like the best of brie and boursin all in one wonderful cheese.

#2:   Although in general ricotta isn’t probably my favorite, buffalo ricotta from Italy is.  It’s like regular ricotta, but a lot more so.

A few of our commenters couldn’t help jumping the gun on this question so we’ll save them the need to post their answers again (unless, of course, they have more to add):

Chacha:  Extra-sharp, preferably white, cheddar is the cheese I always have on hand, because I love it and it keeps forever, but champignon brie is the Scheduled Cheese.

Linda:  Humboldt Fog is the best cheese, because it has several textures all in one slice: the rind and creaminess of brie, the crumbliness of chevre, and the barely perceptible grit of the ash layer. Plus, it is made with goat milk, which gives it a nice tang and means it can be enjoyed by the many people who have unpleasant side effects from cow milk products. :-)


Clearly y’all have never had Prima Donna aged (with the red rind): . When I read headlines about cheese being addicting, I thought, Oh, that makes sense – Prima Donna.  (Though I do like St. Andre as well! And, as a total side note, I once took a giant pie-shaped wedge of baked brie at a wedding when I mistook it for a custard pie. That was a surprising first bite.)


24 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Why is your favorite cheese the best cheese”

  1. Nanani Says:

    Best Cheese is a highly variable category, influenced by season, mood, and what it’s paired with.

    For a general sliced side-cheese, apple- maple- smoked cheddar is my go-to.
    For trays of cheese, gouda + local creamy cheeses.
    Briney soft feta is excellent with tomato-based sauces, hard crumbly feta in salads.

    And of course, PARMESAN. Pasta needs parmesan.
    Grated fresh of a block, not pre-grated in a container for preference.

    I need to seek out this St. André.

    (This topic is Best Topic)

  2. bogart Says:

    So. Many. Excellent. Cheeses.

    Not sure of the name but there’s a local goat dairy that makes an ash cheese that’s similar in form to a brie — white (greyish — ash) outer rind, runny middle (much runner than traditional brie, even the good stuff). So. Good. The riper the better.

  3. Leah Says:

    I want to find this Humboldt Fog! I wonder if it is available in the midwest . . .

    I also have come to love goat cheese. Super delicious in so many applications. It’s really good on chili!

  4. jjiraffe Says:

    La Tur is my favorite that I can get in the US. Expensive, so I rarely indulge :(

  5. kt Says:

    Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam.

  6. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    Back when I could still eat goat cheese, there was a delightful smoked goat cheddar from Mt. Sterling in Wisconsin. Actually, everything from Mt. Sterling was pretty spectacular.

    Also, this creme fraiche that I got at a dairy in the mountains in France once. Not strictly speaking cheese, but it was delicious (back when I could occasionally eat cow dairy without dying).

    And the Willy St. Coop would sell little cheese ends so you could get a random assortment… oh, those were the days.

  7. undine Says:

    First: all cheese is better than no cheese–mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese, etc. Most of these can be found around here in local varieties.

    But my favorite is very old and sharp cheddar, local if possible. One store (far away) has cheddar aged 12-15 years. Costco carried (but alas, no more) a Tillamook 5-year old aged cheddar that was very good.

  8. becca Says:

    Since cowgirl creamery seemed popular, I googled them up. Must try. Anyway, they have Encyclopedia of Cheese for your learning pleasure

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Our WF sells them in cut pieces because it’s easier to buy half of one for just under $10 (or a quarter for $5) than a whole one for almost $20. Even though they’re small.

      • kt Says:

        Agreed. Half a round is good enough for mindful consumption, and I’ll actually pay for it. I think I found it cheaper when I was living in NoCal, but now that I live in the Midwest it’s a once-a-year treat.

  9. Leigh Says:

    I don’t really like soft cheeses. I am a huge fan of aged cheddars. I love Beecher’s and Tillamook. Mmmmm.

  10. First Gen American Says:

    Reading this title made me walk over and slice a hunk of smoked Gouda as a snack.

    Although I love soft cheeses, the rest of the family is into hard cheese so that’s what I eat more of these days.

    I love a really aged know the kind where there are little delicious cheesy crystals in it. Yum.

    I have an amazing wine store down the street that has all manner of cheeses in it and they will cut me tiny hunks of the stuff only I can eat which is super nice. Hell if I remember the names of my favorites. There is one that is like a Camembert but a little sharper and firmer but still creamy. It’s such a good balance. Having taken a cheese making course, I do value and appreciate a fine raw milk cheese because I know how much time and effort is involved.

  11. kt Says:

    Reblochon, if you like stinky soft cheeses.

    Hook’s 20 year cheddar has those delightful crystals. I like that.

  12. JaneB Says:

    Manchego. MMMMM! To my taste, better than an aged cheddar, as it lacks the fierceness of acidity

    Flor de Ronde, a creamy white sem-hard goats cheese.

    Grilled halloumi (squeak and salt, YUMMY)

    I mean, any cheese is good except really strong blue cheese or the runny slightly rotten-ish ones which smell of the hotter, more-food-poisoning-y parts of France (sorry, Camembert and Brie fans, but to me, unripe those cheeses are boring and bland and you’d be better off with a goat’s cheese round of the same type because at least that has flavour, and ripe they taste like they’re going to poison me and they smell like something that once was food but has since passed through at least one alimentary canal – I think my body has something against whatever makes those cheeses the way they are, and tries its damndest to warn me not to eat them!), but if I had to pick my Last Cheese Ever, it would be one of those.

    Or a three course cheese fest of grilled halloumi with a crisp green salad and a balsalmic dressing, then Flor de Ronde with sourdough toast and maybe apple slices and pine honey, then Manchego with spanish omelette cubes and kalamata olives. Lots of lots and LOTS of Manchego. Maybe some of those flat thumb-nail-shaped Spanish almonds, salted, and more Manchego).

    Ribblesdale Matured goat’s cheese is really good too, but not sure how available that is outside northern England…

  13. chacha1 Says:

    I am going to find a slice of cheese now, thanks.

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