Are you a foodie, or just get a rush out of trying delicious (sometimes weird) food items? Well, who wouldn’t like to experiment with a variety of delicacies from different cuisines? Cheese is one of the most drool-worthy food items all over the world and is available in a plethora of choices.
While some varieties will melt in your mouth, giving you a burst of cheesy delight, others will make you work to avail their flavoursome richness. If you love cheese, here are 10 varieties that you must try once in your life — of course, if you dare!
Place of origin: Sardinia, Italy
”The most dangerous cheese in the world,” as said by Gordon Ramsay, Casu Marzu is enjoyed by a select population only. Wondering why? It comes with a serving of live maggots on it.
Originated in Sardinia, Italy, for centuries it has been made from pecorino cheese that the sheep farmers let rot to attract flies. When the fly eggs hatch, the fermentation of the cheese takes place and it becomes Casu Marzu. The ripe cheese leaves an aftertaste that lasts for hours. However, it is considered unsafe to eat once the larvae have died, so it is preferably eaten with translucent white worms that are still squiggling.
Place of origin: Tibet
Texture: Extremely hard
While most of us are used to the dripping cheese that pizza chains have so endeared us to, there is one that might break your teeth if you try to take a bite. How is it eaten then? Although there are softer varieties, the hard kind can be gnawed and sucked upon, if you like earthy flavours.
It is made by wrapping the curd from yak’s milk in cloth and pressing it hard to get rid of the water. After it is dry, it is cut into pieces and further allowed to dry over a wood fire.
Place of origin: Italy
Texture: Creamy to crumbly
This sharp and pungent cheese packs a powerful punch in terms of its flavour. It comes in two varieties mostly — Dolce and Piccante. The Dolce gorgonzola is allowed to age for three months, while the Piccante for six to twelve months. This rich cheese is better eaten with food rather than on its own, owing to its pungent smell.
Place of origin: Cyprus
All your grilled and fried cheese fantasies may come true in this Cyprus-born Halloumi cheese that is (really!) hard to melt. Having a melting point higher than other types of cheese, it is often relished during the summer months with juicy watermelon slices.
Place of origin: Netherlands
Texture: Semi-hard to hard
Named after the town of Gouda in the Southern Netherlands, the flavour of this cheese can vary as per the time of ageing. The younger variety is mild with a smooth and semi-hard texture, while the older one is hard and crumbly, with a richer flavour.
Place of origin: Switzerland
Texture: Firm and dense
Gruyère has a flavour that matures with age. It is aged between six months and a year and is really hard. However, the unpasteurised (raw) variety has a particularly delicious taste.
Stilton cheese (made of real gold)
Place of origin: UK
Texture: Semi-soft, crumbly, creamy
This Stilton cheese is shot through with a combination of real edible gold leaf and real gold liqueur. It is one of the most expensive cheese and a 100g slice would cost around Rs 66,895.
Epoisses (this stinky cheese has been banned on public transport)
Place of origin: France
Known as Napolean’s favourite cheese, this French delicacy is made from raw cow’s milk and its rind is washed with pomace brandy. Its odour is quite repulsive and it is banned from public transports in France. However, it is edible as long as it smells like someone who hasn’t showered in a week. If it starts to reek of ammonia, it is time to throw it out.
Place of origin: Italy
Texture: Hard and crumbly
One of the oldest cheese types, it goes back to Roman times. Having a salty and sharp taste, this hard cheese is made out of sheep’s milk. For those, who enjoy strong flavours, Pecorino Romano is a tasty choice.
Place of origin: England
Texture: Moist and crumbly
Boasting a tart flavour, this cheese variety is often combined with fruits like cranberries and apricots. It has a white to pale-yellow appearance and is often crumbly. Originated from the village of Wensleydale in North Yorkshire, Wensleydale is one of the most popular cheese in England.
So, what type of cheese would you love to try? Share it in the comments below.