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Fancy a scoop of blue cheese gelato? The cheesy trends taking over the world – words Alexa Wang
Whether you’re partial to a toastie on your lunch break or enjoy going to lavish weekend tastings with a well-paired wine, cheese is a beloved part of our cultural landscape. Found in 98% of British households, it’s such a common part of our lives that you’d be forgiven for thinking there was little that could be done to make it interesting.
However, some innovative minds out there have taken their love for cheese to the next level by breaking it out of the dairy ghetto. The result? Some seriously unexpected cheesy trends. Here is our pick of the most unusual.
Cheese subscription boxes
Cheese lovers no longer even need to leave the house to get their fix, thanks to the rising popularity of subscription boxes, which can be delivered straight to your door. Not only are they convenient, but cheese subscription boxes will expose you to new flavours and styles. Suffice to say, you’ll never be satisfied with a supermarket pack of Cathedral City again.
There are plenty of services to choose from, but if variety is what you’re after, a cheese subscription with a company like The Cheese Geek may be the best option. They guarantee that their customers will never receive the same cheese twice, so a monthly cheese delivery will give you the chance to try a whopping 60 different cheeses over the course of a year. There are also numerous options out there that pair cheeses with other gourmet favourites, including chocolate, charcuterie, real ales and fine wines.
With a great deal of global interest, The New York Times tipped cheese tea as one of 2019’s biggest food trend. First conceived in Taiwan, it usually served as cold green or black tea topped with a healthy head of salted cream cheese foam. The drink has been embraced everywhere from Melbourne to Edinburgh, with the heaviness of the cream cheese layer said to perfectly balance the refreshing taste of the tea.
Coffee drinkers, on the other hand, may be interested in kaffeost, a traditional northern Scandinavian beverage. This drink is made by dropping cubes of ‘bread cheese’ into a cup of coffee. As the cheese absorbs the liquid, it gives way to interesting new flavours in both parts of the beverage. And if you have more of a sweet tooth, Colombia’s cheese and hot chocolate combination may be more to your liking. Sounds strange, tastes wonderful.
Cheese theme parks
South Korea is home to the 32-acre Ismil Cheese Theme Park, which offers walking trails, rides, classes, tastings, all related to cheese. As well as learning about the area’s history and fromager culture, visitors can marvel at its centrepiece building, shaped like a wheel of Swiss cheese, while younger ones run are free to run wild in the playground.
Meanwhile, Eataly World, which opened in Bologna, Italy in 2017, has been described as the largest food park in the world, with an appropriately expansive section devoted to cheese. The highlight is a bar entirely dedicated to Parmigiano-Reggiano, which allows you to see exactly how the famed Italian cheese is produced on site. Animal lovers can also meet the cows, goats, and sheep responsible for the delicious treats they’ll sample throughout the day.
With turmeric, avocado and honey face masks all proving extremely popular with conscious cosmetics consumers, it was only a matter of time before dairy entered the mix. Enprani Bounce designed a skin cream which incorporates whey, a by-product of the cheesemaking process, to hydrate and tighten the skin. The formula also resembles the stretchy texture of mozzarella.
Another innovation is MIZON’s Cheese Repair Cream, which contains the dairy byproduct quark. The brand claims this extract is high in vitamins A, B1, B2, and E, all of which are great for boosting collagen production and firming skin. MIZON also follows a particular fermentation process that enables the quark to ‘breathe’, leaving visible air pockets in the product, reminiscent of Swiss cheese.
Cheese ice cream
An ice cream blending cheddar with sweet cream is a classic flavour in the Philippines. Occasionally speckled with orange bits of cheese, keso ice cream is often paired with a soft bread roll called a pan de sal, or an entirely different ice cream flavour.
OddFellows ice cream in New York incorporated the trend last year by teaming up with Murray’s Cheese to unveil a cheesy ice cream of their own. This concoction was made from Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Annelies, a cow’s milk cheese hailing from Switzerland and ageing for two years in the caves at Murray’s. Similarly, London gelato chain La Gelatiera offers customers scoops of Cornish blue and walnut, which contains roughly 100 grams of blue cheese per kilogram of ice cream.