We’re Eating More Cheese Than Ever. How To Do It Better

Up to now, cheese guides have tended to focus more on where and how cheese is made than on how best to enjoy it. Meanwhile, according to the USDA, Americans’ annual consumption of natural (as opposed to processed) cheese increased from 19.3 to 29.47 pounds per capita between 1995 and 2015, and the range of cheeses to choose from has become downright daunting. The time has come for “The Book of Cheese: The Essential Guide To Discovering Cheeses You’ll Love,” published this month by Flatiron Books. In it, author Liz Thorpe introduces a blessedly consumer-focused framework for making sense of the expanding cheese universe. Familiar “Gateway Cheeses” serve as points of departure to lesser-known styles with similar flavors and textures. Parmesan is the entry point to “hard, grainy cheeses with nutty character,” Swiss the portal to “smooth, pliable, brilliant melters.” As few others can, Ms. Thorpe connects the dots between supermarket brie and Sequatchie Cove Creamery Dancing Fern, “one of the most complex and thoughtful cheeses being made in America.” After beginning behind the counter at New York’s influential Murray’s Cheese, she rose to vice president and brought Murray’s kiosks to grocery stores around the U.S. Throughout the book she offers pairings, plus flavor wheels to help you develop a palate and a vocabulary. There are recipes, too…

And to see Ms. Thorpe’s Homemade Whole-Milk Ricotta recipe, click on the text above.   Thanks to Tia Keenan for bringing us this yummy-sounding recommendation!  Bon appetit!

9 surprising health benefits of cheese

It’s easy to lump in cheese with cake, bread, and other waistline offenders. Not so fast, though: Although some dairy products might pack on pounds, many cheeses are actually good for you in moderation, as part of a balanced diet. (Read: This isn’t permission to eat a wedge of cheese for lunch, with a chaser of cheesecake.) Here are a few tasty morsels of information from nutritionist Karen Ansel, R.D.N., coauthor of Healthy in a Hurry: Simple, Wholesome Recipes for Every Meal of the Day; her insights will help you indulge in all the right ways. “Cheese may help you stay slim thanks to a substance called butyrate, found in many cheeses,” says Ansel. Gruyère, blue, and Gouda, Parmesan, and cheddar all have high amounts. “Research suggests that it may help boost metabolism. These cheeses also encourage the bacteria in our gut to make even more butyrate, so it’s a double win.” This news is easy to digest: “One study found that the butyrate in cheese can protect against colon cancer by nourishing the cells of your colon,” says Ansel, “and by reducing that inflammation that can damage the colon over time.” “Protein-packed cheese is a smart snack for building muscle,” Ansel says. Protein is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. “For the best protein boost, try ricotta cheese,” says Ansel. “It’s one of the single best sources of whey protein, which is especially advantageous for muscle building. And it tastes a lot better than a gritty protein powder.” A strong case for Parmesan and cheddar: “Since it’s made from milk, cheese is packed with calcium to help keep your bones strong,” Ansel says. “Snacking on just one ounce of Parmesan gives you 336 milligrams of calcium, and the same amount of cheddar offers 216 milligrams.” That’s a good portion of the day’s needs: Most adult men require 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Chew on this: “Eating cheese can keep your teeth healthier thanks to calcium and phosphorus,” Ansel says. “These two minerals fight the lactic acid that’s naturally present in our mouths and prevent it from breaking down tooth enamel.” You need that enamel to chew food without damage to the teeth, as well as to prevent cavities and erosion. Go on, upgrade from hamburger to cheeseburger. Those same butyrate-dense cheeses may help protect against type 2 diabetes. “Although research in this area is just starting to emerge, a study in the journal Diabetes found that mice that ate chow containing added butyrate had insulin levels that were 50 percent lower than mice who ate the regular kind. Experts suspect that butyrate may help human bodies use insulin more effectively too, in its managing of blood-sugar levels.”

Fun!  Think I’ll have some cheese now!  To read the rest of this informative article from Adam Hurly over at GQ, click on the text above.   🙂

Where you can find the world’s best cheese

Whether you’re craving Gouda, Swiss, or a creamy spread, your options are plenty.And true cheese aficionados know that to get the absolute top varieties, you need to think globally. Here are the nine cheeses you have to try, all the way from France, Spain, Italy…and yes, Vermont.

Just click on the text above to see where to find some of the “world’s best cheese”…at least according to Edna Ishayik, the author of this piece.     🙂

Cheese So Amazing It Might Cure Cancer, Study Says – As if you needed more proof that cheese is awesome

It’s a miracle that cheese, which is essentially tasty mold, somehow entered the general culture as a foodstuff, and not something to be avoided. But we are so grateful for it, because cheese is a delicious and amazing thing—especially a gluey brie slathered on a cracker or a buttery havarti served with apple slices or grapes. Or a sharp, tangy Vermont cheddar. Or a funky blue cheese … anyway, you get the picture. Now, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin, cheese is not only delicious, it may hold the key to kicking cancer’s ass. This is because cheese contains nisin, a “naturally occurring food preservative that grows on dairy products” has been shown to combat cancer and lethal bacterias in an experiment where mice were fed a “nicin milkshake” which resulted in slowed growth of cancerous tumors in the little rodents. This is very early yet, but the studies look promising. Just add this to the long list of reasons to love cheese in all its forms—just don’t get addicted.

Nice!!   🙂