The notion of having only one type of cheese is, of course, unthinkable. However, as I was rummaging around and came across Brie, Gouda, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmigiana Reggiano, Mexican farm cheese, Pecorino Romano, and even Velveeta and American (chile con queso and cheeseburgers), I started thinking whether there were a single cheese that could do it all. The answer, of course, is “No!” Then I moved on to “Which one cheese could do a passable job at the most applications?” I kept coming back to Gruyere. What do you think on this pressing matter?
My usual 3 that are always on hand are gruyere , cheddar and Parmesan. I could do with only one of those if I had to, and it wouldn’t matter which one.
If I had to restrict myself to a single cheese, for both cooking and eating, then it would be a mature farmhouse Cheddar. Montgomery’s or Keen’s would be 1st and 2nd choice.
Asiago would be my choice. It’s good shaved over pasta dishes, shredded for homemade pizza, sliced in a sandwich. It would probably taste good melted over a burger too.
Might not be so good in chili or quesadillas, but I could get over that. If I HAD to, of course.
It’s good in grilled cheese, too.
I don’t like the flavor of Gruyère, so it would be cheddar for me.
Aged, with lots of crystals — passes for parm if you don’t have it, melts well (and if you’re careful it won’t separate), and eats great on its own. I like TJs unexpected cheddar and always have it on hand for exactly this all-purpose reason.
Try the little Tillamook Maker’s Reserve cheddar that is dated by year. It is quite a treat at less than the usual “quite a treat cheese” prices (like Harbison or Mt. Tam).
I’ve been alternating Cheddars: Welsh, Irish, English, Scottish, small batch Canadian, 1 year, 2 year, 7 year. I mix it up.
For whatever reason, American cheddars aren’t really sold in Canada. I have enjoyed some Vermont and Wisconsin Cheddars when I’ve been in the States.
That’s hard. Based on what I always have, I’d have to say sharp cheddar. Husband would definitely say Asiago. I’ll have to tell him someone on HO agrees!
Gruyere is a good choice. When I was an expat in Switzerland, I learned to use all the varieties for different purposes. From varieties good for melting to cheddar substitutes to the very aged, crystalline versions as a parm replacement (though I would of course, just buy parm). .
Try majestic Comté* and Gruyère side by side then decide.
(* Comté comes in various stages of -heavenly- maturity! )
As several have noted, some cheeses undergo pretty significant transformation as they age.
I like combining Comté and Gruyere, or Gruyere and Emmenthaler, or Cheddar and Gruyere.
My favourite macaroni & cheese and my favourite gratins call for a combination of gruyere and cheddar.
Mine, too (orecchiette and cheese) with grated Pec Rom and Panko on top! Mmmmmm. Also 86 the nutmeg and squirt a good splash of Sriracha in the Mornay. Same tricks for cheese soufflé but no Panko, and the finely grated Pec Rom is used in place of flour to the buttered inside of a Charlotte mold.
Sunshine loves Extra Sharp Cheddar.
My choice would be pepper jack!!
Ugh, what a nightmarish thought.
I’d have to go with Monterey Jack. Melts well, neutral flavor that can be spiced as you like, goes well with crackers, etc.
I eat most of my cheese straight, so if I had to pick one to eat forever it would be Humboldt Fog.
For an all-prpose cheese, provelone and gouda could be contenders.
So, alas, do we. Perhaps we should choose our “one cheese” with an eye to our birthdays.
Have to go baby Swiss for my tastes. Pretty close to Gruyere, but a tad creamier.