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What are 'eye' cheeses?

Eye cheeses are those that contain holes or eyes, such as Swiss-style Emmental, Gruyere and Raclette, the Dutch-style Edam and Gouda, and Havarti and Tilsit.

The cheese is usually smooth and satiny and the eyes are formed by the production of carbon dioxide during ripening. The eyes can be large and quite distinct as in Emmental, or small in close-textured cheeses, such as Gouda.

The flavor of these eye cheeses is mild, slightly sweet and nutty, so they are enjoyed by most children. They are usually cut from a wheel so look attractive on a cheese board. They are also suitable for cooking. Rachlette, in particular, is good for melting and serving Swiss-style over new potatoes.

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15:53:11 on 10/05/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What are 'pasta filata' cheeses?

Australian Mozzarella, Bocconcini, Provolone and Haloumy belong to the family of 'pasta filata' cheeses originally produced in Italy. These cheeses are characterized by working the curd to a plastic state in hot water, so that it may be drawn out to a rope. It is then cut into varying lengths for moulding into individual shapes. Pasta filata cheeses are also called stretched curd cheeses.

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14:46:20 on 10/05/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Should cheese be served before or after dessert?

The French and other Continental Europeans offer the cheese board before dessert to accompany the last of the red wine that has been served with the main course. This completes the savory part of the meal before guests move on to the sweet course, a logical progression for the palate and the one generally preferred by cheese enthusiasts.

In Britain, there was a tradition of ending a formal dinner with a savory to accompany the port, and the cheese was served after dessert. With today's lighter, more casual meals, cheese may be offered as an alternative to dessert. Do whichever you prefer.

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13:14:02 on 10/05/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When grilling or baking cheese on top of a dish, it looks unpleasant. What went wrong?

Providing that you have chosen a cheese appropriate for grilling or baking, it is most likely that the cheese has been covercooked. In fact, cheese needs only to be melted. Do not put it too close to a fierce grill. Once cheese reaches temperatures above 75 degrees C, it is likely to become hard, stringy or chewy, because the heat encourages the proteins, fat and water in the cheese to separate.

For a successful result, try adding an equal quantity of fresh breadcrumbs to the grated cheese.

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12:19:48 on 10/05/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -