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Ask the Monger: What Cheeses are the Best for Melting?


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What Cheeses are the Best for Melting? 

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In general, higher moisture cheeses that are young and soft or semifirm are the best for melting. Start by figuring out what you are cooking. Having fun with Fondue? I say look to the mountains! Some of the best cheeses for melting are the nutty, grassy, and fruity “cooked curd” Alpine-style cheeses that come from France, Switzerland, as well as a couple others made right here in the U.S. My French favorites are Comté, Beaufort, Abondance and Emmental. Swiss cheeses are a classic for fondue, like Challerhocker, Appenzeller, and Gruyére. From the U.S., Tarentaise and Alpha Tolman work well, too. Experiment and ask your cheesemonger for samples to discover your favorites.

Rocking out with your Raclette grill? All of the cheeses mentioned above would work well, as would Morbier, Gabietou, Ossau Iraty and Fontina. They’re nice and tasty poured over potatoes. Speaking of, have you ever tried Tartiflette? If you don’t know what it is, you should add it to your “melted cheese party” rotation ASAP! Stinky cheese baked over potatoes, onions, and bacon – what’s not to love? Washed rind French Reblochon is the traditional cheese to use for this dish, but if you can’t find it Taleggio or Jasper Hill Farms Willoughby fit the bill nicely.

For a cheeseburger, I like to use creamy Saint Agur blue or even brie. For mac & cheese, try some smoked gouda and grated cheddar for a match made in heaven. If you’re making pizza, start with fresh of low-moisture mozzarella for melted cheese bliss, but after that the options are endless. Of course, any of these melters work like a dream in a grilled cheese. Be creative – any of the aforementioned melters will work like a dream!

Special thanks to cheesemonger Mary Connolly of MarieFromage.com for letting us share her expertise! Got an inquiry? Tweet at us with #AskCultureCheese, and we’ll get you an answer!

Mary Connolly

Mary is the chef-owner of Marie Fromage LLC (www.mariefromage.com), where she hosts cheese tasting classes & parties and creates cheese platters for events. She is also an instructor at the French Cheese Board in New York City. Her favorite cheese? Hard to pick one, but the stinkier the better!

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