Last night, I made Swedish Rye Bread for Martin. To complete the Swedish experience, we ate the bread with slices of Jarlsberg cheese. Jarlsberg is actually Norwegian, but in my head, I equate it with Martin because his mom always had Jarlsberg or some other soft cheese to eat at their house. They would slice it and serve it on buttered open-faced bread with cucumbers and deli meat. Tasty.

While I diverged easily into the bread that I made, what I really wanted to discuss was cheese, as the topic of this post so eloquently states. 🙂 For a long time, I was buying hard, dry cheeses, the kind that work well mixed in with food. Then one day, Martin made a startling revelation to me – he hated all these hard cheeses! He missed soft cheese! Down with hard cheese! Viva La Revolution!

So I started buying soft cheese and he still wasn’t completely happy. Case in point, I bought the Jarlsberg and he revealed that he thought he liked Monterrey Jack the best. Well, now I know, and now we have no less than 7 cheeses in our refrigerator.

And this brings me to my final point: how much cheese do you own and what kind and why?

Here is my breakdown:

Parmesan Reggiano: I keep this on hand at all times, because so many recipes seem to call for this. I like that it can last a very long time in the refrigerator.
Fontina: I bought this on a whim, to make Alex’s polenta recipe. I didn’t really like it and now it sadly languishes in our fridge. Also, it has turned an interesting shade of red in some parts. I can’t tell if that is because it’s hardened there or because I should throw it out.
Bocconcini: I was at the Milk Pail last week, which markets itself as an “open European-style market,” which basically sells super fresh produce and cheese for really cheap. This bocconcini happened to be $1 / lb. I used it on top of my pizza and it was melty, just the way I wanted. There is, sadly, one left and it might go unused.
Vermont Sharp White Cheddar: I grew up eating this stuff and love it.
Australian Cheddar: We haven’t opened this yet, but the guy at the grocery store said it was a great soft cheddar. I bought this for Martin.
Jarlsberg: I think I’ve said enough about the Jarlsberg.
Gejost: This is Norwegian caramelized goat cheese. This is Martin’s equivalent to my Vermont sharp white cheddar. Before I found it for really cheap at the Milk Pail, I used to buy it for $6 / tiny package at the grocery store.

Now THAT is a lot of cheese. I never thought I’d see the day my refrigerator had so many different kinds of cheese.

EDIT: I forgot some cheeses!

Hard Cheddar: I am not sure what the name of this cheese is called, but I bought it from the Farmer’s Market from a local cheesemaker. It is tasty, but hard, like Parmesan.

And Amy’s comment reminded me that I too have cream cheese – two types, in fact! I have plain and chive onion. Mmmm.

Okay, now that I think about it, the amount of cheese we have in our fridge is amazing.