Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cheese of the Week: Jalapeño Jack

For a while now I been really into Jalapeño Jack. Yes, there I said it. I however think there is no shame in writing this. It has a nice flavor and normally the stuff that I get is spicy enough that I don't have to add salsa to my nightly quesadilla.

Other cheese people turn their nose to added flavour cheeses, and while I certainly don't like or understand the idea behind truffles in cheese. I think there is something to be said about the everyday comfort-food cheese.

I think most of the objections againt added flavor cheeses are related to the idea of "fancy" that most people have about artisanal cheese. That concept is what allows pieces of imported cheese to be sold for US$ 36 dlls a pound.

The price matches our idea of quality, unlike in other places where prices pay for the craftsmanship. Yes, price many times can signal quality, but only if the product is actually produced in a special way and not just because it has a label on it.

My cheese budget is only second to my rent. I even pay more for cheese than internet and phone combined. However, in that budget I always save a little for the cheese that is consumed everyday at home. So normally along the pieces of Appenzeller (Will's favourite) and Grayson, there are always some slices of Jalapeño Jack and a quarter pound of Quesillo.

I get the Jalapeño Jack at my local Armenian deli and I only get enough to last for two days. After that the slices are dry and the flavor of the chilli has turned bitter. This probably is due to the cheesemaking process and not because the cheese is necessarily bad. After all cheese and chillis are not historical from the same place, but nonetheless they taste good together.

Here is my recommendation: only get the cheese that you are going to consume during the week. Cheese does not keep well in the fridge once it has been cut. If a week has passed and you still want to eat that cheese, no matter what it is, it is better to cook with it. Cooking with cheese gives a little extra to your dish and a second life to that piece of nice cheese.

For last week's recommendation of Point Reyes, I still have a piece in my fridge that is still nice to eat with a piece of crusty bread or over toast in the morning, but I am rather using it to make potato & leek soup with blue cheese to fight the cold winter nights of New York City. This way I'll enjoy the flavor of the cheese and give it another use, leaving me space to get another blue cheese for the week.

If you have an added flavor cheese that you would like to recommend, let me know. I hear that people really like the Havarti with dill and the Horseradish Cheddar.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone.

No comments:

Post a Comment