Edit note: With assistant editor Jess Kapadia out on vacation this week, we’re rerunning some of her best What To Eat: Lunch columns. Today, it’s some sort of crazy melted cheese rhapsody.
I dream of fondue so thick you can stand a breadstick upright in it. I broke up with a perfectly normal human being solely for being allergic to dairy. Not lactose-intolerant, but allergic. And, beginning in preschool, my mother used to pack a cheese course in my lunch box designed to be soft by noon, fully aware that this would only contribute to her raising a toddling snob.
Some cheeses lend themselves to melting better than others. American slices are the obvious choice, those meticulous engineers pretty much had one goal in mind. Brie turns into a much tamer animal once it’s melted, its moldy funk all but disappears and it gets along with practically everything it melts upon, berry-oriented especially. Muenster melts so well we accidentally invented our favorite new sandwich with it. And blue cheese melts and browns so beautifully you wonder how the Cobb salad survives.
I’ve found that a few cheeses famous for arriving melted are actually more delicious and retain a more pleasant texture at room temperature. Ever drag a whole slice of fresh mozzarella that really did look melted at the time off a piece of pizza with your teeth by accident? Or seen cheddar oil gather and pool on the top of your mac and cheese with no melty qualities to be found? For shame. Take a leaf out of New Cheese Day’s book and try melting something new on something that needs it. Need a little inspiration?
- The Hamembert: Grilled ham and camembert
- The Go-Turkey: Goat cheese and turkey
- The Tobias: A sliced hard-boiled egg and blue cheese melt (please leave a comment if you get the reference)
- The Feta Sau: Pork roast and feta
And, as always, your suggestions are welcome below. Got any cheese-meltingly hot creations? Share the wealth.