Grilling Cheeses: A Summer Specialty

Looking for something different to put on the grill this summer during your cookouts? Grilling cheeses are a delicious option! We've chosen 4 styles of grilling cheeses from 4 countries to bring to your next barbecue! 

You might be wondering why these cheeses wont melt right through the grates on your grill and become a messy pile of burnt cheese at the bottom? The wonder behind grilling cheeses is their high melting point. A high melting point allows the cheese to soften as it is heated but never liquify entirely. This is due to the low acidic nature of these cheeses, which is a result of no additional acids or bacterias that produce acid being added to the cheese during its preparation. Now that we've covered the basics behind the science of grilling cheeses, let's take a look at 4 style of grilling cheese from around the world:

  1. Halloumi
    • Halloumi is a grilling cheese made with a blend of sheep's and goat's milks in Cyprus. Halloumi is widely available and the most common of these grilling cheeses. To prepare Halloumi, brush the cheese with olive oil and grill it at medium heat until you begin to see seered, char marks on the sides. Serve the cheese as is on a meze plate with olives and fresh vegetables or add it to a sandwich as a vegetarian friendly substitute for meat.  
  2. Caciocavallo Ragusano
    • Ragusano is a raw cow's milk pasta-filata style cheese made in Sicily. Ragusano is more often pan fried than grilled and makes a delicious appetizer. When meat was a luxury reserved for the rich of Sicily, fried Ragusano was referred to as the "poor-man's steak." As it ages Ragusano develops a distinct piquant, spicy flavor that blends well with herbs and olive oil. To prepare Ragusano, pan fry it with a light drizzle of olive oil on low heat until it begins to soften, then sprinkle a blend of herbs of your choosing on each side to create a warm, flavorful snack!
  3. Queso Panela
    • Queso Panela is a Mexican grilling cheese made from cow's milk. Also able to be grilled this cheese is delicious on its own, enjoyed with fresh salsa, or added to dishes as a meat alternative in tacos, cactus or faba bean salads, and other summery dishes! Similarly to Halloumi, this cheese should be brushed in oil and grilled for a minute or two on each side. 
  4. Juustoleipa
    • Juustoleipa is a Scandinavian cheese primarily produced in Finland and Sweden using cow's milk. Often referred to as "Bread Cheese" the curds of this cheese are pressed and baked, giving the outside of the cheese a crust-like appearance similar to a loaf of bread. Traditionally this cheese is served at breakfast with a cup of coffee and warm lingonberry jam. To prepare it, grill at a medium heat and dice while still warm and serve alongside the jam for a savory start to your day!

Surprise your cookout guests with any of these cheeses for a warm, gooey treat sure to please! 

 

Daniel McElligott, Oldways Cheese Coalition Research Consultant

 

Image: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/recipe/grilled-halloumi-and-red-pepper-salad/