Delicacies on the Plate: Cheese Assortments
Tasty and light, cheese is an essential part of each person’s daily diet, being an important source of calcium and fat for the body. You can eat cheese as an appetizer before a main course, as a simple snack between meals combined with fruit platters or other cold appetizers, or can be used in cooking – in sauces, desserts, grilled dishes etc.
Cheeses are obtained by curdling milk cow, sheep, goat or buffalo. Milk is curd using a combination of clot (or substitutes) and acidification. Bacteria are those who acidify milk and play an important role in defining the texture and flavor of many assortments of cheese. For extra flavor, there are used various plants, spices or molds inside the cheese.
There are over 650 types of cheese worldwide, of which most are made from cow’s milk. Cheese classification can be made by several criteria – the type of milk, fat content, consistency, process manufacturing, country of origin etc.
1. The milk used:
a. cow milk: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Mascarpone, Emmenthaler, Gouda, Cheddar;
b. sheep milk: Roquefort, Pecorino, Nasal, different sortiments of Romanian Cheese;
c. goat milk: Feta, Montrachet, Chevre, Caprino;
d. buffalo, camel or yak milk: Caravane, Airag.
a. soft: Mascarpone, Urda (Romanian Cheese), Camembert;
b. semi-ripened: Brie, Roquefort, Emmentaler;
c. ripened: Parmesan, Pecorino Romano;
3. Fabrication process:
a. cheese with mold on the outside: Brie;
b. cheese with mold inside: Roquefort;
c. kneaded cheese: Cottage in Bellows;
d. scalding cheese: Mozzarella;
e. brine cheese: Feta.
4. The fat content:
a. cottage cheese: Urda, Ricotta, Cottage Cheese;
b. semi-fat: Mozzarella, Halloumi, curd, cottage cheese;
c. fat: cheese, Feta, Brie, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Camembert;
d. very fat: Mascarpone
5. Country of origin: England, France and Italy are among the countries with long traditions in preparing varieties of famous cheese, such as Roquefort, Brie, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella and Romania has several assortments of cheese that Romanians, but not only, frequently consume for their freshness and flavor: urda, telemea, cas and branza de burduf.
In Sibiu area you can find an assortment of fermented cheese, prepared in fir bark, following a recipe similar to one used to prepare branza de burduf. The chilli cheese paste is suffed in a cylinder composed of fir or spruce bark. The resin shell adds a very special flavor to the cheese inside. The essences of fir and spruce bark were used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases of the digestive system.
Both cheese and wine, with centuries-old traditions, are natural products which are frequently consumed together. As cheese is whiter and fresher, the wine should have a stronger flavor and smell of fruit. There are no strict rules for choosing a particular type of wine that accompanies the cheese, but in general, white wines match better with more cheese than red wines. Fresh dry wines match perfectly with soft cheeses, especially goat.
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