Cheese it up this Easter
The Easter holiday is upon us and, as is customary on the Rock, we will be consuming hundreds of buns and cheeses. As you indulge, Food brings to the table a brief history of popular cheeses eaten by Jamaicans.
Cheddar is originally from the village of Cheddar, England, and is the most popular type of cheese in Jamaica. It is a firm, cow's milk cheese that ranges in flavour from mild to sharp and in colour from natural white to pumpkin orange. The optimal ageing period is five to six years; however, for most uses, a three-year-old cheese is fine and a five-year-old cheddar can be saved for special occasions.
Smoked Gouda is originally from Holland and is made from cow's milk. This sausage-shaped cheese is perfect for impromptu picnics, party platters or midnight snacks.
Gloucester is made from fat-free cow's milk (single) and whole milk (double). It is matured for four to eight months, but is best eaten young - around 10 weeks of age.
Parmesan (Parmigiano) is originally from Italy and is made from cow's milk. This is one of the world's most popular and widely enjoyed cheeses.
Feta is originally from Greece and is made from a mixture of sheep's and goat's milk.
Swiss is originally from the United States. It is mild in flavour, sweet and nut like. It can be eaten with apples, pears, grapes, and thinly sliced prosciutto ham and salami, fruity white wine, aged red wine, cran-raspberry juice, tomato, or vegetable juice.
Mozzarella is originally from Italy and is a sliceable curd cheese. It is traditionally made from water buffalo milk. Most Mozzarella is now made from cow's milk. Water buffalo milk is very high in fat and casein and not easily digestible in its raw form. Mozzarella contains 40 to 45 per cent fat, although there are now lower fat, skim versions available.
Blue is originally from the United States and is made up of cow's and goat's milk. It is white and has blue veins and a sometimes-crumbly interior. This cheese usually has a tangy, piquant, spicy, and peppery flavour. It is used in salad dressings with cream cheese for spreads.