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Cheese questions


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Cheese questions

Janet A. Zimmerman | Jan 18, 2003 02:16 PM

Two cheese questions:

1) I was in the Mexican cheese section of the market picking up some cotija and saw this stuff called "quesadilla cheese" and picked up a package, thinking that it would be like like monterey jack with jalepenos. Unfortunately, it turned out to be some weird Mexican white version of Velveeta. I could tell it was processed, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway, thinking it couldn't be that bad. Boy was I wrong -- I mean it's been a long long time since I tried Velveeta, but I can't believe it could be worse than this stuff, which had a really plastic, cloying mouth feel and an odd sweet flavor. So question #1 is should I just chuck it, or is there anything palatable I can do with it? Cheese dip, maybe?

2) Then I was at a cheese shop picking up a few things, including some fontina. The cheese lady asked me if I wanted Danish or Italian. I said Italian. I'd never really thought about it before, but my guess is that before when I've gotten fontina it's probably been the Danish stuff because this was a lot more expensive than I'm used to. Anyway, by the time I got home, this stuff was really stinky (and let me just add here that I am not a fan of stinky cheese). Now I know that fontina is a little like havarti or raclette in that it smells much stronger than it tastes, and the cheese had been sitting out for a while by this time, so I figured that it'd be okay after refrigeration. It wasn't. The next day my whole fridge smelled awful, like something dead. I took out the fontina and noticed that the bottom of the rind was sort of pink and slimy. Trying really hard not to breathe, I cut off the offending rind, and rewrapped the rest of the cheese in new plastic. The remaining cheese now seems fine, smelling just like the fontina I've gotten before. So question #2 is, is Itailan fontina supposed to smell like something dead? Or was this spoiled?.


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