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American cheese

Not many American cheeses find there way to British shores (with the possible exception of Monterey Jack), but here are a few of the better varieties.

Brick: An American cows' milk cheese, with an elastic texture and irregular holes. It gets its name from the manufactured shape, but is possibly descended from the German cheese 'Box'. See 'America Cheese'

Cottage cheese: This type of cheese is American in origin, having no connection to British cottages. Soft skimmed milk cheese, which is heated and then soured. It is naturally low in fat, this various from about 4g per 100g to just 1.5g - so all is good if you"re on a low fat diet. It's America's favourite cheese after Cheddar.

Liederkrantz: A good American cows' milk cheese, which was developed by Emil Frey at Monroe, New York State in 1892. He based it on the German cheese, Bismark Schlosskäse, which was imported - but always arrived in bad condition after its Atlantic crossing.

His creation was considered by most to be an improvement - being milder and less pungent. Its name came from a singing group admired by Frey and means 'wreath of song'.

It should be eaten young, when its taste is mellow and the centre creamy.

Monterey Jack: A mild, but tangy Cheddar-style cheese, originally from Monterey in California.

There are two kinds - High Moisture Jack, is made from whole milk, ripened for up to six weeks and rather bland. Dry Jack is hard and tangy and made from skimmed milk, then ripened for six months or more - it's a good grating cheese. Dry Jack is often oiled black. Used in some Tex-Mex dishes. See 'American Cheese'

Philadelphia: The brand name for possibly America's most famous cream cheese. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches are one of America's most popular snacks.

Vermont: An American 'Cheddar' - possibly the best. It's occasionally spiced with caraway or flavoured with sage.

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