Quadrello di Bufala $21.99 lb. at Murray's, $7.04 for a rather small wedge. I was looking for a different washed rind cheese. The woman in line in front of me was going crazy for this one, so I bought it just because she was so excited. It looks like it comes in a pavé shape, like a Taleggio. It has a dense, ivory paste with a few dots of holes, and the rind is thick, pumpkin orange, and glistening with sticky, stinky stuff. There are some lines one the bottom where the cheese has sat on a mat. It actually doesn't smell so bad except when you first open it. It smells faintly of socks and leather, and something tangy like buttermilk. Excellent flavor and texture that is so buttery. It's buttery on the palate in the way that a Mascarpone is, but with a firm texture. It has a fresh milk flavor, but tinged with some animal flavors--I suppose the water buffalo milk--and then there is a sour, buttermilk finish and something vaguely floral and herbaceous. It finishes off a little tingly on the tongue. It is really pretty mild. It just melts in your mouth and is not as gooey as a Taleggio. Just enough salt. Almost too much, but it's good. It somehow reminds me of walking down the pet aisle at the grocery store. I'm getting a whiff of weird food, catnip, and woodchips. Photo of Quadrello di Bufala
Quark by Vermont Butter & Cheese "European-Style Fresh Cheese" Under $5 at Pomegranate. It is also available in other specialty stores and often supermarkets. I remember this cheese as a thick, curdy, granular low-fat cheese from Germany. This has the consistency almost of the Fromage Blanc, but it is not as runny. It is definitely thicker. It is much more mouth-filling and also not nearly as biting as Fromage Blanc. However, it does have a bitter edge and much acidity on the finish, much in the way that Fromage Blanc has. I also see a hint of granular texture in this as well. The Quark, I know as granular from the past, but this is super creamy. It is very well-balanced. This is more something I would sit and snack on. Bracing. This one is easy on the palate and refreshing. I like to eat it with a spoon or dip crackers into it. It is very pleasant. It also tastes the most like cottage cheese, I suppose, but with a much different texture and more acidity. Great on bread. The package suggests using it in cheesecakes or serving it with granola. Mix it with chopped herbs and serve with potatoes. It is only 35 calories per oz. with 2g fat. Kof-K kosher. Photo of Quark
Queso al Pimenton $11.59 at Central Market. The cheese is ivory-colored with an orange exterior and basket marks on the rind. It has a great mouthfeel. It is very creamy-flavored and textured. I am getting a little bit of olives and it's also lightly herbaceous. It tastes goaty. It turns out is is goat cheese. The rind is orange because it is rubbed with paprika. It is a delicate cheese. It's like American Munster, but it's not rubbery. It is also known as "Rocinante."
Queso Completo by Classy Delites $4.99 per
jar at World Market. This is a new product for the store. Apparently, this queso
got an honorable mention at the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival 2005. I was
at the festival and the lines were way too long to even taste anything, and the
heat was unbearable (the weather, not the food.) I love this queso. It has
onions, black beans, jalapenos, tomatoes and corn in it, and is a light queso
blanco color. On the ingredients list, among the usual preservatives, it lists
"cheddar cheese blend." It has a great consistency -- very much like eating a
good restaurant queso -- plus all the vegetables in it to give it texture and
make you feel like you are eating something halfway healthy. Tangy and creamy.
It is a little pricy for a small jar, but it's about what you would pay for a
bowl of queso in a restaurant, but much better. Even better, the entire jar is
only about 300 calories. Good thing because when I buy this, I eat the whole jar
in one sitting. It is made in Austin, Texas.
Queso Fresco Cow cheese $1.99 for 5 oz. at Central Market, and I bought a 12 oz. round because that’s the only way they sold it. Jaimito. It came in shrink-wrapped plastic, and was inside a wax paper type of bag with a scruffy logo of a little Mexican boy, Jaimito. There is also a sticker to hold it shut that says Quesos del Rancho (866) 593-1319. The sticker has a Mexican flag on it, and on the white part is a cactus and a bag of something, possibly cheese. It is like the queso panela, but not so much like a spongy loaf. It is also saltier. It has a metallic, chemical aftertaste. Very white, a little bit stringy and chewy, but also mushy and creamy. It is the consistency of Play-Doh. Pretty salty – 280 mg per oz. Only 70 calories per serving, 6 g of fat. This Jaimito is a brand name. I looked it up. The website is http://www.cheesemakers.com They are to the north of Houston. It is the same company that makes the Lonestar goat cheese that I like.
Queso de Papa Tropical
brand. Inexpensive. This is arguably the blandest cheese I have ever eaten. I
was talking to someone last week about cheeses in the Caribbean and Latin
America. He mentioned this Queso de Papa that is popular in Puerto Rico. It's
basically a split horn cheddar/colby style, light orange, young, and very
meltable. He said that you will find this cheese in neighborhoods where there is
a significant Puerto Rican population, and sure enough, there it was at my
grocery store. I bought some today just out of curiosity. I ate a sliver and
hardly could tell I had eaten anything. (I'm used to eating cheeses where you
only need a sliver to get the flavor.) It tastes buttery and a little nutty. I'm
not sure what "papa" refers to. Potatoes? Pope? Father? I did put it
on a baked potato.
Jaimito Queso Fresco 12oz. - (Keh-so Fresco) "Fresh Cheese" sweet, moist creamy, mild, extra crumbly, fine-grained, hand ground cheese that does not melt when heated. Great for crumbling over salad, refried beans, tostados, tacos, meats fruit and deserts. Excellent for stuffing chile rellenos, enchiladas nortenas and other baked dishes.
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