Cheese Cheese Everywhere


“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” – Charles de Gaulle

Ah, cheese. That decadent, delicious dairy delight that we all love to consume. But how many of us have really experienced the world of cheese? How many of us have truly all the different varieties of cheese that are out there? Very few of us, I’d wager. When it comes to this culinary delight, the majority of us are trapped in our own little bubble of cheddar, American, Mozzarella, Parmesan (usually in pre-grated form), and a few others. And this is unfortunate because there’s a whole world of cheese out there just waiting to be enjoyed. And when I say world, I mean all around planet Earth. Nearly every nation around the globe has one or more cheeses that are unique to their piece of geography. You’re probably familiar with Gruyere and Emmental from Switzerland, Parmesan and Romano from Italy, or Brie from France. But have you ever tried Vacherin Fribourgeois? That’s another cheese from Switzerland. How about Accasciato and Bel Paise from Italy or Cendre d’Olivet from France? Or why not get really crazy and serve Ackawi, Baladi, Kanafeh, Kashkaval, and Shanklish at your next dinner party. Those cheeses are all from Lebanon.

Okay those last few are a bit exotic and probably not available here in the US. But it still illustrates my point – that when it comes to cheese, there’s an infinite number of ways to provide some new sensations for your palate.

So if it’s cheese you want and love, then I encourage you to think outside the cheddar box and try some new varieties. Your palate will thank you. Note: if you have to think outside the Velveeta box or the Chez-Whiz can, then you’re beyond help.


3 thoughts on “Cheese Cheese Everywhere

  1. Mark, your posts are wonderful! I read this even tho I don’t eat any cheese these days. It made me salivate! So…I think you might find Kashkaval at Garden Fresh in Palatine (or Northbrook) and maybe some of the others as well, especially Middle Eastern. I also found authentic Paneer there once upon a time. And I used to find some exotic cheeses along Devon Ave. from time to time, places like Ted’s or the Arab groceries. It’s been 16 years since I shopped there, tho. A lot might have changed. Love your posts — they’re always so informative.


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