A big thank you to Castello Moments for sponsoring this post–and giving me the opportunity to share these delicious cheeses with you all.
As you probably already know, I’m sort of obsessed with cheese. I like all sorts of cheese, mild, sharp, stinky, not-so-stinky, and everything in between.
So you can imagine just how excited I was to arrive home from work a few weeks ago and see pounds upon pounds of glorious Castello cheese (produced with milk from cows grazing on small mountain farms in the Alps) sitting in my fridge.
Since I have very little self control, I opened them up almost immediately and had to take a few small bites of each….
Weissbier, with its distinct orange wax rind, is soft, smooth, buttery, and the epitome of a great melting cheese. It has a nutty, but delicate flavor, with just a touch of funkiness, and beer undertones. Perfect for a homemade mac ‘n cheese (which I made about two days later), cheese sandwiches, omelettes, and grilled vegetables.
The next cheese on my agenda to try was the Castello Classic, which is much firmer than the Weissbier. It is a slightly sharper cheese and offers a hint of spice, as well as smoky aroma. It pairs extremely well with charcuterie, sun-dried tomatoes, and full-bodied red wines.
And lastly, but certainly not least…
This was my absolute favorite among the three! I could happily munch on this cheese all day long–which is quite dangerous, considering I have quite a bit of it left. As you can see below, it is a dry, hard, granular cheese (very similar to a high-quality Parmesan), which is perfect for grating or slicing into very thin slices (I use a vegetable peeler to do this).
It is much more salty and complex than the other two cheeses, with overtones of caramel and pine–and works perfectly grated over your favorite pasta dishes or salads. Delicious!
As you can probably already tell, there are so many ways that these cheese can be used–whether served alone on a nice cheeseboard with some great wine, or added into your favorite dishes. They also work and compliment each other extremely well.
For this reason, I chose to make classic French gougeres with a combination of all three Castello cheeses. What one cheese offers in melt-ability, another offers in saltiness, and so forth.
Gougeres are made with a choux pastry that is mixed with cheese, baked at a high temperature (to puff and steam), and generally served warm as an appetizer.
While they traditionally are supposed to be very small (about the size of a Brussels sprout), I tend to prefer to make them a tad bit larger and more substantial.
Topped with a little bit of fresh Hirten cheese, these little baked pastries can be put together extremely quickly and customized to your liking (with more cheese, fresh herbs, roasted garlic, etc.)