Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cheddar: Breakfast of Champions

Cheddar hasn't been the chief cheese on my mind lately. Several other cheeses have been competing for my attention and taste buds.

I've been spending most of my free time, when I haven't been wretchedly sick, preparing for my upcoming class at Murray's Cheese shop (Monday, April 14). For a class on cheeses to eat for breakfast, I've got to put more than just Cheddar on the tasting plate. So far I've lined up seven cheeses for the class: Ben's Cream Cheese, Manouri, Young Goat Gouda, Burrata, Greek Feta, Ombra, and Mrs. Quicke's Cheddar.

Only half of the cheeses listed above are traditionally eaten for breakfast (cream cheese, Gouda, and feta), but all of them make for a delicious breakfast. Manouri can replace cream cheese and offer a more luxurious mouth feel; Ombra is a hard Spanish sheep's milk cheese that doesn't clash with your morning coffee and goes quite nicely with a drizzle of honey and some fresh fruit; and Cheddar can be eaten on its own on toast or paired with marmalade or a spicy plum chutney.

What Cheddar really has going for it as a breakfast cheese is that you can do so damn much with it. Here are just a few breakfast dishes that Cheddar make great:

Toast with thin slices of Cheddar, topped with pear slices and a drizzle of honey
Cheddar and chive biscuits or scones
Omelet with spinach, roasted tomatoes, and Cheddar
Omelet with sauteed apples
Scrambled eggs with Cheddar and pimenton
Cheddar and green chili breakfast burrito
Cheddar grits with shrimp or sun-dried tomatoes
Pimento cheese spread
Pizza topped with Cheddar and slices of fresh fruit

Basically, you can eat Cheddar morning, noon, and night.

No comments: