Struggling to shop for that picky colleague, or your friend who’s already bought themselves everything? Looking for a stress-free and undeniably delicious snack for your low-key holiday get-together? Or do you simply want to kick grandma’s recipes up a notch this year? The solution is simple: cheese. Not just any cheese, nice cheese.
Cheese makes everything – even 2020 – better. That’s why Josh Gentine, a third-generation member of the Sargento Foods legacy, founded The Big Cheese Co. Well, that, and he stumbled upon 850,000 pounds of extra-sharp, 12- to 15-year aged cheddar in Wisconsin. According to Gentine, cheese gets sharper and more complex with each passing year. He maintains his cheddar is ‘the sharpest you’ve ever tasted. Here are three tips for making this holiday the cheesiest one ever.
Cheese is the perfect gift. “Cheese is our common denominator,” says Gentine. “There are only two types of people in this world: people who already love cheese and people who need to try cheese.”
Some companies send cheese blocks directly to your doorstep, so you can cross everyone off your gift list without leaving the sofa. It’s an unexpected gift that you can be confident will be enjoyed and not regifted or left to gather dust in a hallway closet.
Charcuterie boards have blossomed into their own popular subgenre of #foodporn on Instagram. It’s becoming a full-fledged movement, with people creating over-the-top, picture-perfect trays packed with premium deli and dairy. The art of the board is all about balance, in both colour and flavour. Put your folded, reddish cuts of cured meat opposite pale cheeses, next to green olives or grape garnish. Mix and match an assortment of hard and soft cheeses with tapenades and spreads. Temper the salty meats with sweeter fruits like pears or apples. With charcuterie, your guest becomes the chef, piling up a plate the way they like it, so you’ve got to give them options.
Serve your extra-sharp, aged cheddar (and other cheeses) at room temperature. When cheese is too cold, its taste is muted. By allowing cheese to come to room temperature, you’re allowing its flavours to come out and join the party.
Sharpen a family favourite
This holiday isn’t like any other, so why not put a twist on old traditions? Family recipes that stay the same year after year can become tired or stale, so add a little zing with a cheesy kick. The secret is the sharp cheddar. Adding shreds of the zesty treat brings more complexity to dishes. It’s the perfect way to amp up mac and cheese, bring extra creaminess to grits or polenta, elevate a grilled cheese sandwich or breathe second life into leftovers like turkey melts.