Many cooks tend to turn to the same three or four widely available cheeses for cooking. But here are three other options that don’t get the attention they deserve and are worth trying in cooked applications as well as on a cheese plate. You’ll find them in some supermarkets, most cheese shops, and online.
If you like Brie, try Taleggio
What it is: Italian cow’s-milk cheese with a soft rind
Why we love it: Lush, buttery texture and tangy, nutty, mushroomy taste with sharp funk
Good to know: The rind is edible, but not everyone will love its in-your-face funkiness.
Favorite Uses: Grilled cheese, panini, pizza, stromboli, mac and cheese
If you like Gruyère, try Comté
What it is: Name-protected French raw cow’s-milk cheese
Why we love it: Nutty and a touch sweet as well as sharp and savory, with a creamy yet firm texture; can be sliced, cubed, grated, or melted
Good to know: When subbing for Gruyère, which is saltier, you may have to adjust the seasoning of your dish. In melting applications, use a Comté aged less than a year; older Comtés are great for cheese plates.
If you like Parmesan, try Manchego Añejo
What it is: Hard Spanish sheep’s-milk cheese aged for a year (añejo means “aged”)
Why we love it: Deep nutty sweetness and a smooth, sheepy tang, with a slightly crumbly texture and pleasantly crunchy crystals
Good to know: If subbing Manchego añejo for grated Parmesan, you may need to increase the amount by 50 percent and adjust the seasoning of your dish to account for its milder, less salty flavor.