Know How to Pick ‘Em! The older the better.

by Rebecca Brumberg

Great cheeses always make a memorable party, and so does beautiful weather; but when entertaining in the spring heat, these two factors can put your party on a collision course set for cheesy disaster! With Memorial Day right around the corner, we decided to ask our cheesemongers at Di Bruno Bros. to recommend the best cheeses for outdoor entertaining, so when it comes to your party, you know how to pick ‘em!

“The older, the better!” is the advice from our cheesemongers at the Di Bruno Bros. Italian Market store. The explanation behind this catchy phrase is that older cheeses have already lost their moisture in the cheese making process, during which milk solids (curds) and liquids (whey) are separated. Curds that are designated for hard cheeses are cut into very tiny pieces before they are molded and firmly pressed, which releases even more moisture, and creates a firmer cheese, which loses even more moisture as it ages. Soft cheeses are handled in larger pieces and gently pressed, and only aged for a month or two, which explains why they would sweat out their moisture on a hot day when left on a cheese plate. Firmer, dryer cheeses are aged from 3 months to 3 years, and can absolutely hold their own on a warm spring day.

We recommend trying our 5 year gouda, this extra aged cheese has incredible flavor with hints of butterscotch and caramel, plus outstanding texture;

Pecorino Ginepro, an Italian sheep’s milk cheese rubbed with balsamic vinegar and juniper for a nutty and herby sweetness;

and Parmigiano Reggiano Vecchio, a classic choice with a perfectly crumbly texture that pairs well with red wines and amber beers.

Most often our cheesemongers are asked how to serve the cheeses; we recommend pairing these three cheeses with crusty bread; a drizzle of Balsamico Suite, one of our favorite 10 year aged vinegars; and the Di Bruno customer favorite, our homemade Honey Roasted Pecans.