Let’s talk cheese
IN MY BASKET - Lydia D. Castillo (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Today, with a wide selection of cheese products ranging from spreadables to single slices, and with the wide reach of advertising, cheese has indeed conquered the Filipino palate.

Among all the flyers produced by hypermarts and supermarkets, those of the Rustan’s (and Marketplace’s) chain are the most attractive and colorful and they always excite a shopper to get what is on offer. They are well laid out, and illustrated in full color. It is not a tight page unlike some which are so crowded.

Recently they had a special promo called Fete du Fromage (for the love of cheese), which was a great help in enlightening us more on the many types of cheese produced around the world – France, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, etc.

We are familiar with the more popular cheeses – gouda, manchego, camembert, etc., but this flyer included more than we know about. This led us to go back to the history of cheese. In ancient times, livestock farmers produced more milk than their families  could consume. They left the excess under the sun, allowing it to curdle, whipping it on stones and occasionally adding salt. This was their way to store excess supply, as a long-lasting food, basically for soldiers. The Greeks were the first to use this curdled milk in their pastries. The Romans then became the masters of cheese manufacturing. The French are credited for classifying cheeses by region.

It was in the 17th Century when cheese evolved as a main element in cookery. In our own kitchen, cheese has played a prominent role in the preparation of special dishes because we confirmed that it enhances food flavor as well as provides an enticing aroma.

We use different kinds of cheese in a variety of dishes. Among them: Kraft for garlicky embotido, parmesan for chicken salad, for our olive-laced spaghetti and, most especially, queso de bola for our new caldereta of lamb chops and the special spread we do with sun-dried tomatoes.

In the distant past, cheese was be an “educated” taste, meaning not everyone found its unique flavor appetizing. Today, with a wide selection of cheese products ranging from spreadables to single slices,  and with the wide reach of advertising, plus the emergence of restaurants specializing in pasta, cheese has become an inexpensive frequent baon palaman, breakfast staple, a main meal and an accompaniment to fruits and wine. Indeed cheese has conquered the Filipino palate.

Serve cheese – an extensive selection is available in many stores.

Have a happy family Sunday!

E-mail me at lydiadolores34@gmail.com.

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