12 days of cheesemas, aged cheeses, cheese advent calendar, cow's milk cheese, Gouda

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 9

(photo from Eats… blog)

So, you think you know what a sharp cheese is? You think it’s a 2 year aged cheddar or something cryovaced from Cabot or Cracker Barrel?

That’s adorable. 

Obviously you’ve never had a 5 year Age Gouda before.

This cheese knocks you in the jaw and doesn’t look back to see if you’re ok. It’s brittle and sweet like a hard butterscotch and riddled with pockets of ‘crunchy bits’ that people lose their shit over (tyrosine, for those that want to up their geek factor). The texture is dry and crumbly, so don’t even both trying to slice this cheese and melting is all but a no go unless you grate it like Parmesan.

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12 days of cheesemas, aged cheeses, cheese advent calendar, counting down my favorite holiday cheeses, holiday cheese plates, italian cheeses, parmigiano reggiano, raw milk

12 Days of Cheesemas–Day 12


(photo from Culture Magazine)

Parmigiano Reggiano. Not pre-grated, not that shit that comes in a canned shaker or is any way, shape or form, pasteurized. We’re talking about the “King of Cheeses” for God’s sake, so have some respect here. You want the real stuff, raw and imported. You know I love my American cheese makers, but you have my permission–actually, my encouragement–to roll your eyes at the next person trying to sell you ‘Parmesan’ at the farmer’s market. It’s not even a distant cousin to the real thing. This is 660 years of traditional cheese making at it’s absolutely most perfect execution. What the cow’s eat, how the milk is heated, where it’s aged–all of it is regulated by law and all of that fuss makes sense after one bite. There is no other cheese as nuanced as Parmigiano, with its perfect balance of creaminess, crunch, sweetness and salt. This is one of those cheeses that, once you have the real thing, you are very hard pressed to use any lesser substitute.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Missus and I to our friends, family and fellow food lovers.

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