This post is sponsored by Castello Cheese – a brand that is near and dear to my heart. The recipes and opinions are my own.
There’s something infinitely pleasing about serving a singular slab of cheese as a cheese course. I’m not talking about the dainty pre-cut triangles in the supermarket; I’m talking about a giant quarter of a wheel weighing in at a hefty 4 pounds. While you can get all pretty and fancy with a cheese assortment and garnishes, sometimes size indeed matters. In the case of a 50 years birthday party on a beach for a good friend, one huge hunk seemed appropriate. We plunked it on a board and passed around the knives. Everyone dug in and before we could say “happy birthday” the cheese was gone. It was primitively perfect.
I don’t usually have a 4 pound block of cheese parked in my refrigerator, but, luckily for me and our fellow party goers, I had recently received 3 samples of Castello’s new line of alpine cheese to taste and review. Castello is a brand of cheese I know well from our life in Denmark, and the mere mention of its name elicits fond memories and misty eyes in my family. When I learned that Castello had a new line of alpine cheese they wished to promote I couldn’t resist. After all, we also lived many years in Switzerland, and some of our favorite cheese hails from Europe’s mountain regions.
Castello Hirten was our hands down favorite, a crumbly, nutty cheese with hints of caramel and flecks of salt crystals. Imagine a blend of the finest Parmigiano Reggiano and an aged Gouda or Prima Donna cheese. This cheese deserves to be eaten straight up with a glass of jammy red wine or Port. If you manage to save enough for cooking, it’s also a fine grating cheese and a robust alternative to aged Parmgiano or salty Pecorino Romano. Serve it grated over hearty pasta dishes, such as Pappardelle with Pork Ragu.
Castello Classic is a smoother cheese with the grassy floral notes found in French Comté or a mild Gruyère. Serve it as a mild cheese course with light to medium bodied red wine or white burgundy. This is my favorite cheese for a gratin or fondue, as it melts beautifully while imparting a strength of flavor without overwhelming. It stands up well to earthy kale in these individual Kale Gratins.
Castello Weissbier is the mildest cheese, smooth and buttery in flavor and texture. It’s a perfect melty cheese for your favorite family-friendly dishes such as Mac ‘n Cheese or a cheesy pizza such as Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza.
Win a Private Cheese Tasting in your home – enter by clicking on the banner below. Castello Moments and this post is in collaboration between TasteFood and Arla Foods USA.