Cheese Demystified: The Funky, Stinky, and Scary

Cheese expert Christine Hyatt unmasks cheese
Cheese Chick Productions

Don't be afraid of these scary cheeses.

With Halloween upon us, the time is ripe to explore some fantastic cheeses which may look a wee bit scary on the outside, but which are gems of flavor perfection — a truly grown-up treat.

Click here to see the Cheese Demystified: The Funky, Stinky, and Scary (Slideshow)

For the uninitiated, some selections in the cheese case may look a bit menacing, but don’t let that dissuade you. Handcrafted cheeses made with traditional production techniques and a plethora of cultures, develop a variety of unique and intriguing rinds, which can put timid tasters out of their comfort zone.

With cultured curd that runs the gamut from wrinkly, brain-like orbs to velvety-rinded pucks to blue-rinded barrels and funky, aromatic rounds, these are definitely not the "American Cheese" of your youth.

processed-cheese-slicesThankfully, those truly scary, plastic-wrapped singles have been relegated to their highest aspirations: topping generic, sad burgers and oozing from Wonder Bread grilled cheese.

Rinds that form on these handcrafted cheeses appear as beneficial molds and bacteria colonize on or in a cheese. As they flourish, they transform youthful, rather bland fresh cheese curds into the wildly funky, oozy, or aromatic specimen it is destined to become.

Read on to hear more about some of my favorite "Scary Cheeses," which are fun, grown-up treats for Halloween and beyond. Seek them out at your favorite cheese shop or order online direct from the producer.

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All of the selections in this article are part of the American Cheese Society Best of Show Project, a photo retrospective of three decades of award-winning cheeses from North America’s premier organization supporting and promoting American cheese.

I hope this inspires you to try some of these tasty, not scary cheeses! Learn more about these incredible cheeses and get serving suggestions in the links above.
Christine Hyatt is the "Cheese Creative" behind Cheese Chick Productions, a niche marketing company specializing in food photography, video production, and sharing the story of handcrafted cheese and the people who make it. During her tenure as American Cheese Society president, she championed American Cheese Month, which celebrates its third year this month. She loves answering cheesy questions on Facebook and Twitter.
This post originally appeared on Women You Should Know