Cheese Characteristics and Uses, page 6


Provolone - The hard, stringy texture makes it easy to cut without crumbling. This light yellow to golden brown cheese is usually packaged in round, pear and sausage-shaped packages bound with a cord. It melts quickly when shredded. Full, sharp, piquant, usually smoked flavor. Provolone is the ubiquitous "hoagie cheese" found on almost all Italian-style sandwiches. Generally formed into cylinders or ball-shapes (in the U.S.), Provolone is white and firm-textured with a mild flavor. Provolone is very often smoked, making the cheese's flavor more assertive.

Besides its use in sandwiches, versatile Provolone may be used as a pizza topping (with Mozzarella), served on an antipasto tray or used in salads. Tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives, breads and pears. Serve with full-bodied reds like Merlot or Chianti and sparkling water.

Quark - This is soft, spreadable German-style cream cheese. Its fat content is higher than the skim milk Fromage Blanc, but significantly lower than Mascarpone. It is very white, with a tangy flavor.

Very versatile, Quark can be used in everything from bagel spreads to desserts.

Queso Blanco - This mild tasting cheese is the most popular cheese South of the Border - both for snacking and cooking. It is wonderful to cook with because, unlike American-type cheeses, it will become soft and creamy when heated but will not melt!

Use for stuffed chicken breasts.

Reblochon - Creamy, French cheese. Semi-soft, with mild and nutty flavor.

Good for dessert, with French bread, fruit, wine.

Ricotta - From Italy. Soft and fresh, mild and creamy.

Important cooking cheese for many Italian dishes, including lasagna.

Romano - Hard Italian cheese. Varies from mild to sharp.

Young cheeses good with bread, fruit, wine. Older cheeses grated for cooking.

Roquefort - Semi-soft French cheese. White marbled with blue-green. Sharp, pungent flavor.

Good for dessert with strong red wine; also salad dressings.

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