If those words sound familiar to you, you are a true cheese aficionado, so for all those cheese lovers out there, it’s time to read on and learn more about the famous European cheesy way of life and when and how you can appreciate all types of cheese.
Europeans – especially the French – are crazy about cheese. It’s part of their culture to enjoy and share cheese at different times of the day in different ways.
- Europeans eat cheese at the end of lunch or dinner, just before dessert. The various cheeses are presented on a plate or a board and are eaten with bread and sometimes a green salad.
- European cheeses are also popular cooking ingredients. For instance, think of the famous quiche Lorraine, tartines and Parmesan risotto – cheese is an important ingredient in each recipe.
- The most famous way to enjoy cheese is as a traditional aperitif. Recently, younger French people have developed the ”aperitif dinner” concept: a cheese plate consumed as a proper dinner, either at the weekend or after work during the week.
- For tips on how to create the perfect European cheese plate, click here.
If you want to enjoy European cheese right away, here are two easy recipes for a dinner or aperitif with friends or family:
Ham and cheese tartine
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 5 min
- 1 slice pumpernickel bread, toasted
- ¼ cup rocket
- 2 slices ham
- 1 tbsp shaved provolone cheese
- 1 tbsp roasted red peppers, sliced
Top the toasted bread with the remaining ingredients and bake the tartine at 180°C for 4 min.
Mozzarella and tomato pitta pizzas
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Serves: 4 (2 rounds each)
- 4 pitta rounds
- 700g fresh cow’s milk mozzarella, sliced
- 4 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
- olive oil, for drizzling
- salt and pepper, to taste
- large handful fresh basil leaves
- Divide the mozzarella among the pittas (the cheese doesn‘t need to completely cover the rounds). Add a few slices of the larger tomatoes, enough to almost cover the mozzarella. Fill in the gaps with the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake the pizzas at 180°C for 10 min.
- When they’re cooked, top with fresh basil before serving.