My fridge is very dairy-heavy. Currently, it is stocked with whole milk, half & half, heavy whipping cream, two types of yogurt (store-bought Greek and a homemade recipe I’m tweaking), sour cream, butter, and all of my various cheeses. (I usually have some labneh in there as well, but I just ran out.) The cheeses are a category onto themselves. At any given moment, I need at least eight.
I do not need eight specific cheeses, but I do need at least one cheese from each of the following categories. (If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me tweet that I need seven cheeses, but someone pointed out I was missing cream cheese.) These are the cheeses I need to keep myself full and functioning. They are tailored to my particular lifestyle and desires, but I think everyone could benefit from identifying and categorizing their specific cheese needs.
My cheese needs are as follows:
- Snacking cheese: These are my string cheeses, my Babybells, my sticks and pre-wrapped Tillamook “snack portions” that I shove into my mouth as a pre-lifting snack, or in those moments when I’m feeling peckish, but don’t know what to eat.
- Cooking cheese: This is cheese that gets mixed and melted into dishes. It’s usually bagged and pre-shredded, but Velveeta also counts.
- Salad cheese: Ah, my crumbles. This is usually a pre-crumbled blue cheese, though it can be a nice feta, and sometimes there is overlap with our next category (finishing cheese).
- Finishing cheese: This is the cheese you use to finish a dish. It is usually “nice,” and packed with flavor, like Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, and cotija. Finishing cheese can sometimes double as salad cheese.
- Sandwich cheese: These are (obviously) sliced cheeses that go on sandwiches. I usually have two—Dubliner (either a block or pre-sliced) and deli white American (both honor my heritage in their own way).
- Hangry cheese: This is just cottage cheese. It fills a more urgent need than snacking cheese, as it can be shoveled…