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October 4, 2021

6 Hidden Gem Cheeses You Need to Know About

Here at I Love Imported Cheese we’re all about celebrating the many cheeses of the world.  And if you’ve been following along for awhile or are a major cheese lover yourself; you’re probably familiar with many of the European imported classics from Gruyere to Gouda to Gorgonzola.  But today let’s take a super deep dive into some lesser-known imported cheeses you need to know about! From South Africa to the Middle East to the Czech Republic,India Mexico, and Russia; there truly is a world of imported cheeses to explore.

Czech Republic

Smoked Maasdam is a firm, smoky cow’s milk cheese that’s delicious served on burgers, in sandwiches or paired with vegetables. You could also try it with Merlot or stout for a fun tasting experience.

India

A firm, milky, cow’s milk cheese that’s excellent in cooking; Paneer is similar to ricotta but firmer and smoother.  You can try pan frying it or tucking it into flatbread or naan. Or give our recipe for a classic favorite Saag Paneer a try!  This creamy spinach stew is a vegetarian favorite or fun side dish to serve with roast chicken or lamb.

SaagPaneer sm
SaagPaneer

 

Mexico

A creamy, mild cow’s milk cheese; Queso Blanco softens when melted while still keeping its shape.  One of our favorite ways to enjoy it is in party dips like this!

Queso Blanco
Queso Blanco

Middle East

Often referred to as yogurt cheese; Labneh is a thick, creamy, tangy cow’s milk cheese used in a variety of ways throughout the Middle East.  You can enjoy it as you would yogurt or use it in savory dips and Mezze Platters like this!

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Greek Mezze Platter

 

Russia

Let’s really broaden your cheese knowledge and explore some cheeses from Russia. A hard, slightly tangy cow’s milk cheese called Yaroslavsky is often served in salads or snack platters or drizzled with honey for desserts.  Another Russian favorite is Zakusochniy; a soft cow’s milk cheese similar to a Farmer’s cheese that’s often served as a dessert with fresh berries or jams.

South Africa

Finally let’s take a trip to Africa for a taste of Bleu en Blanc a sweet, tangy, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese. This gorgeously veined blue cheese has a bloomy white rind (similar to Camembert) and pairs deliciously with Port wine or or a sweet Rosé.

Want to go on more imported cheese virtual tasting tours?  Check out our Scandinavian Cheese and Travel Adventure!