I’ve had a version of turophobia pretty much my entire life. I must have had too many bad experiences with cheese early in life. I would eat and enjoy several of the, I guess i would call them basic or common cheeses, but never went much beyond things like mozzarella, provolone, Parm Reg, supermarket cheddar, monterey jack, etc.
That changed at the beginning of last year. I tried probably close to a hundred cheeses that were new to me in 2019. Didn’t like them all, but I liked most of them.
If someone had told me in 2018 that one of my favorite cheeses would be a goat cheese, i would have said they were crazy, but Midnight Moon was maybe even my very favorite of 2019. I liked all the aged goudas I tried, even really liked Ewephoria which is an aged sheep’s milk gouda and liked Lamb Chopper, another sheep’s milk gouda. Smoked gouda is now my go to sandwich cheese.
Ended up loving lots of cheddars, too. High Plains, Cabot Clothbound, Beecher’s Flagship, Beehive SeaHive, Collier’s, and Kerrygold Skellig(but surprisingly not as fond of Dubliner) were some of my favorites, but I don’t think I ran into a cheddar I didn’t like.
Of the Alpines I liked Challerhocker best. Still not my favorite category of cheeses but I liked the smoked gruyeres I tried, too.
I expanded the grating cheeses I use on pasta beyond Parm. Plenty of those I liked, too. Piave vecchio, Aged Asiago, pecorino Calabrese(which i like better than pecorino Romano), and Sartori SarVecchio(American parm that I liked almost as much as the real thing Parm Reg which is my favorite cheese if i had to pick one) were some of my favorites for that. Found out i don’t care for truffled pecorino.
Not a big fan of the blues, but I discovered I do like them on a burger. Tried 8 and liked Stilton the least but I probably need to give that one a second chance.
A couple of misses that i had high hopes for were Humboldt Fog and Brie(double cream was what I had.) Didn’t hate them, but they didn’t do anything for me either.
Parrano Robusto was another favorite which i suppose is no surprise since it’s sort of a cross between Parm and gouda.
I bought Liz Thorpe’s Book of Cheese early last year, and it was a big help. I went from knowing next to nothing about cheeses to knowing a respectable amount. 2019 may have been my best food year ever. It’s either that or the year I discovered Indian food.