As we enter the heart of football season, an inordinate amount
of my weekend diet revolves around cheese, often melted into a dip
or heated in a sandwich. And the question invariably arises, which
cheeses melt best? (aside from Velveeta, which does the trick but
doesn't really count, being more of a cheese-like product that's
harvested on the third moon of Saturn) To answer this question
succinctly, I defer to an excellent resource,
101 Things I Learned in Culinary School, by Louis Eguaras
with Matthew Frederick. Here's an excerpt from a page entitled,
"Soft Cheeses Melt Best."
cheeses (e.g., ricotta, feta) are used in pastries
and baking. They are the softest cheeses.
Soft cheeses (brie, camembert) ripen from
outside to inside, resulting in a runny center. The longer they are
aged, the sharper they taste and smell. They melt very easily.
Semi-soft cheeses (e.g., fontina, port
salut) are generally springy to the touch, mild in flavor, and melt
Firm or semi-hard cheeses (e.g., cheddar,
Swiss, manchego) generally have a strong flavor. They melt somewhat
but maintain their shape.
Hard grating cheeses (e.g., romano,
parmesan) have the lowest moisture content and become drier when
cooked. They will melt only in small shavings."
There you have it, sports fans. Go forth and fulfill your cheesy