Cheese, more often than not, has been identified as an autumn/winter delicacy. The warmth brought forward by eating most types of cheeses has made it a popular winter fare. This assessment, however, is a myth. The world is filled with a plethora of cheeses that even Charles De Gaulle once commented “How can I govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”; and he was just talking about one country.
There are certain types of cheeses which are perfect for the scorching summer months. Their light, airy texture lowers the mercury levels in your body and combined with your favorite cold beverage; the ultimate summer snack.
Hailing from Italy, the high moisture content of this cheese, makes it an ideal choice for the summer. Slices of cold mozzarella cheese placed on top of freshly cut tomatoes with a sprinkle of basil and olive oil is sure to wash away any summer woes. Mozzarella is either made from cow’s milk or buffalo milk, hence does not need to be aged. It’s light, rubbery texture melts in your mouth as it touches your hot palate. Make your very own “Insalata Caprese” at home and savor it with a chilled glass of rose or white wine on your porch.
- Fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly
- Buffalo mozzarella, sliced
- Olive oil
- Fresh basil or pesto
- Layer your serving tray with sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper
- Add a layer of mozzarella cheese and drizzle with olive oil
- Finish off with torn basil leaves or basil pesto, whichever you prefer. My preference is the basil leaves as it gives it the authentic rustic Italian taste
The best quality goat’s cheese is available in the summer months, reason being that goat’s lactate for ten months of the year, making it impossible for its availability in winter months. This soft white cheese is best served with crackers, on a salad or even as a dip for fresh vegetables. You can either trek across to your local deli to pick up some goat’s cheese or even make it at home. You can opt for my variations of homemade goat’s cheese in my previous blog titled “Basil and Sundried Tomato Cheese:An inspiration from Napa Valley“. If you want to avoid the hassle of cooking in the heat, just pat some deli goat’s cheese on a cracker, top with salt and sliced green chillies and wait for the flavors to explode in your mouth.
The first picture that comes to the fore of anyone’s mind when the word “summer” is mentioned is barbecues in the garden. Burgers and hot dogs grilled to perfection with a generous slice of cheddar cheese that melts with the heat of the burgers. Cheddar is one of the most sought after cheese in the summer because of picnics in the parks and barbecue fetes in the neighborhood. For your picnics, you can cut them into tiny wedges and stick them on a toothpick accompanied by capers and olives or make toasted cheddar cheese sandwiches to take along for the drive. This earthy, pungent tasting cheese is a favorite among children and adults alike. Whether placed on a cracker or atop a searing burger patty, cheddar cheese is a sure shot winner in the summers. You may take a few blocks of cheddar cheese to your picnics but that will never compare to the 1400 pound block of cheddar cheese served as a “refreshment” by former US President Andrew Jackson during on of his open house parties.
I could spend hours writing about different types of cheese but alas one blog post will not be enough. Writing this post has tempted me to go to the Italian Deli next to my place and buy some cheese. You should take advantage of the weather too and do the same.