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Hooked on Cheese: I’m Melting!!!

Hooked on Cheese: I’m Melting!!!


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Melty cheeses make the winter a little more bearable

Raclette partners perfectly with potatoes.

I can’t stand the cold of winter – I’ve always been a warm-weather, sunshine-loving guy. Thankfully, there’s one thing that never fails to help me forget about the bitterness of winter: melted cheese in all its delectable forms.

Fondue is the #1 classic wintry melted cheese dish. This mixture of Swiss mountain cheeses like Emmental or Gruyère and white wine (plus the optional kirsch) warms you to the core. Dip cubes of crusty bread in your fondue and be sure to scrape the bowl to get the browned cheese at the bottom – it's my favorite part. I always drink JJ Prum Riesling with my fondue: it’s an outstanding combo. Just add a few friends and you have yourself a serious winter shindig.

I love making Raclette as well: taking Swiss Raclette cheese, melting it on one of a few different types of Raclette machines, then scraping it off as it browns. Traditionally, it’s layered on top of boiled fingerling potatoes and served with grain mustard, onions, cornichons and dark rustic bread. I like pairing raclette with a medium-bodied red wine or Belgian white ale to cut through the buttery quality of the cheese. Note: if you don’t own a Raclette machine, never fear: they can usually be rented from a full-service cheese shop.

However, the ultimate melted cheese for winter is the highly sought-after, luscious Vacherin, available in limited quantities and only during the winter months. My friend, Swiss cheese importer Caroline Hostettler, always has an outstanding version. Served slightly warmed, this one-of-a-kind cheese has a liquid interior that’s so creamy, flavorful and smooth that it takes every ounce of my self-control to not eat the entire cheese by myself. When I purchase one of these beauties, I save it for a special occasion and pair it with a warm baguette and the finest champagne I can get my hands on.

These three winter cheeses are a great place to start, but there are many more meltable cheeses out there for you to discover this season. Don’t be afraid to brave the cold and explore your possibilities! Take it from me: the delicious results of your trekking will more than make up for all that time slogging through the snow and sleet.

You can follow Raymond's cheese adventures on Facebook, Twitter and his website. Additional reporting by Madeleine James.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

I love this stuff! I got hooked on it while traveling in Egypt and Syria a few years ago. I especially love it with the little black seeds in it (sesame, I think?). In Canada I used to live near a few Middle Eastern shops so I could get it all the time. Now that I'm in Wisconsin, I've been able to source it out at a little Asian market that has a small Middle Eastern section :) I'm going to have to try your recipe!

And an FYI for the vegetarians out there, most rennet used now is actually vegetable rennet, not from animal sources, as it's cheaper.

Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you share my love for this cheese. My daughter just asked if I could pack it in her lunch every day, so yes, I think it is addicting! And how wonderful that you found a little shop that sells it. As for the seeds, I've heard that they are actually nigella seeds, but I didn't grow up eating them, so they must be more popular in other parts of the Middle East.

Didn't know about vegetable rennet - thanks for sharing that fact. I have only read about the animal sources, so that is very interesting. Thanks.

Great post, thank you! My mouth is watering. I'm going right up to my favorite Middle-Eastern grocer and look for this!

So glad you liked it! I hope you can find it, but if not, check out the substitutes.

I've made queso blanco but this one is new to me. I doubt I'll find it in Oklahoma but I'll keep my eyes open! Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.