That's me. I'm a cheese snob. Not the kind you're probably thinking of though. I'm the kind of cheese snob who thinks she's too good for those expensive, fancy, hard-to-pronounce cheeses. I enjoy a little feta and goat cheese, but beyond that, I prefer the basics- mozzarella, Parmesan, cheddar, monterey jack, even a little Swiss. I know how those cheeses taste. I know how to use them. I know that when I shed out precious moolah to buy them, I won't be disappointed because I know what to expect and they deliver.
Some of you are probably moaning in agony, imagining a world without fancy cheeses and want to traipse over here and shake me and tell me what I've been missing. Well, on a very small scale, I may have already learned that lesson.
I'm forever looking for new recipes to try, but for me this is a bit tricky because I don't grocery shop like most folks do. I do most of my shopping in my pantry and freezer, so if a recipe doesn't call for what I have (produce and meat-wise), I won't make it. I was thrilled to find a recipe over at Smitten Kitchen that I hardly had to adapt (I just substituted Swiss chard for the spinach and whole wheat bread crusts for the French bread) to fit what I had. Except for one main ingredient. Gruyere cheese. Oh, dear. I had never used Gruyere before. Nope, never. I scoped the cheese section out at our local grocery store during my last trip and found it sitting there, calling out to me, "I'm here! The recipe calls for me. Get over your cheese-snobby self and buy me!" So, I did. Then I went home and made Deb's Spinach and Cheese Strata.
Oh, dear me. I'm so glad I did. This cheese is mild in an assertive kind of way. It's not sour or bitey like I think a fancy cheese would be. It's well...just about perfect. Here's what my Food Lover's Companion has to say about it...
Gruyere [groo-YEHR; gree-YEHR] This moderate-fat, cow's milk cheese has a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is highly prized both for out-of-hand eating and cooking. It's usually aged 10 to 12 months and has a golden brown rind and a firm, pale yellow interior...
Dare I ask? What else am I missing?