A World of Kosher Cheese

by Guest Columnist & KosherEye Friend

Jodi Wittenberg, co-founder, The Chosen Knish.com


Cheese, fromage (French), formaggio (Italian), or gvina (Israeli soft cheese), hard, soft, semi-soft or spreadable, we think they are all delicious! Cheese is a terrific summertime favorite loved by all. Whether you are young at heart and like to string a stick of Mozzarella or prefer a stinky Blue, as a high calcium and protein rich food, cheese is a staple in most refrigerators.

Cheeses from all over the world are conveniently available to today’s kosher consumer. We no longer have to travel to France for Brie, Italy for Provolone, or Israel for Feta.  Many selections are also available Cholov Yisroel as well. In the midst of the heat, sometimes it is just too hot to cook, and savory cheddar can just be a lifesaver. Add Sugar River Garlic Basil Cheddar to your everyday eggs and, voilà, a fancy omelet; turn your grilled cheese sandwich into a Panini with a little Smoked Cacio from Italy.

A guide to some summertime favorites to liven and lighten up your seasonal fare.

Goat Cheese – actually made from goats milk –  is available in logs, crumbles, and wedges. Goat cheese adds protein and body to a spinach salad or can be spread on toast or a cracker. Goat cheese is slightly lower in fat and typically easier to digest than cow’s milk products, and can be used as a mild substitute for cream cheese.

parmigianoParmigiano–Reggiano is a handcrafted and aged Italian hard cheese, slightly salty and grainy, with a nutty golden finish. Parmesan grated over any cold or hot pasta completes the dish. The rind is suitable to be dropped into a broth to add depth to any soup. Parmesan lasts for months and months due to its aging process, and keeps best in the refrigerator. Just shave off the edge if it gets too hard.

Monterey Jack is said to have been made by the Mexican Franciscan friars of Monterey, California, during the 19th century. California businessman David Jack first began to mass market the cheese. He produced a mild, white cheese, which came to be known as "Jack's Cheese", and eventually "Monterey Jack". This cheese is absolutely delicious on a cold or grilled veggie sub. Load that crusty bread with shredded lettuce, tomato, olives, banana peppers, sprouts, mayo, and mustard, and top it all off with a few slices of Pepper Jack.

scamorzamozzarellaMozzarella is traditionally made from the milk of the water buffalo, but is now commonly made from cow’s milk. Fresh mozzarella balls are mild and fresh with a moist soft and spongy texture from soaking in salted water. Fresh milk mozzarella is quite different from the very familiar drier type, “pizza cheese." Fresh mozzarella balls vary from white soft rounds to braids or knot shaped.  Cappiello brand makes a fresh mozzarella ball, braids, seasoned braids, and a Scamorza— Scamorza is an Italian cow's milk cheese, similar to mozzarella.

Artisanal cheese makers would generally form the cheese into a round shape, and then tie a string around the mass, one third of the distance from the top, and hang to dry. The resulting shape is pear–like. This is sometimes referred to as "strangling" the cheese. Fresh mozzarella balls are perfect for a fresh, seasonal caprese salad consisting of slices of mozzarella, sliced homegrown (if possible) tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Enjoy the following recipes: Goat Cheese Cheesecake and "Faux" Crab Quich – Kosher & Dairy,

About The Chosen Knish

thechosenknishlogo-2Do visit The Chosen Knish.com, a new e-commerce destination, created by Justin Katz and Jodi Wittenberg; founded because of their love for food, the food industry, and keeping kosher. The Chosen Knish offers a huge selection of exciting and scrumptious cheeses from all over the world, all under kosher supervision. They also offer hard to find and unique kosher grocery items. Their products are available on line at thechosenknish.com and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S Their mantra is... “Everything we sell is Kosher and Fabulous!!”

July 5, 2011

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