My refrigerator contains a lot of dairy products. Currently, it’s stocked with whole milk, half and half, heavy whipping cream, two types of yogurt (store-bought Greek and a homemade recipe I’m tweaking), sour cream, butter, and all my different cheeses. (I usually have labneh there too, but I just missed.) Cheeses are a category on their own. At any time, I need at least eight.
I don’t need eight specific cheeses, but I need at least one cheese from each of the following categories. (If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me Tweeter I need seven cheeses, but someone pointed out that I was missing cream cheese.) These are the cheeses I need to stay full and functional. They’re suited to my lifestyle and cravings, but I think everyone could benefit from identifying and categorizing their specific cheese needs.
My cheese needs are:
- Snack cheese: These are my pre-packaged Tillamook cheese strings, Babybells, sticks, and “snack portions” that I stuff in my mouth as a pre-facelift snack, or in those times when I get a little peckish, but I don’t don’t know what to eat.
- Cooking the cheese: It is cheese that mixes and melts in dishes. It’s usually bagged and pre-shredded, but Velveeta counts as well.
- Salad cheese: Ah, my is collapsing. This is usually a pre-crumbled blue cheese, although it can be a nice feta, and sometimes it overlaps with our next category (finishing cheese).
- Finishing cheese: It’s the cheese you use to finish a dish. It is usually “delicious” and full of flavors, like Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and cotija. Finishing cheese can sometimes be used as salad cheese.
- Cheese sandwich : These are (obviously) sliced cheeses that go on the sandwiches. I usually have two – the Dubliner (either block or sliced) and the American White Caterer (both honor my heritage in their own way).
- Hangry Cheese: It’s just cottage cheese. It fills a more urgent need than munching on cheese, as it can be shoveled into my mouth.
- Cream cheese: She is in a separate category.
- Process the cheese: It’s usually a small helping of something aged and crystals (I’m really into aged gouda right now), but sometimes it’s a super gooey washed-rind specimen. I usually eat it with a very good apple.
That’s just me, and while I value my own opinions, I’d love to hear yours. How many cheeses do you keep in your fridge? How many do you need to work? How much you’re want to? Tell me your cheese categories, your cheese cravings, your cheese dreams. Identify your cheese needs, then demand that they be met.