Bandel To Mascarpone; Your Complete Guide To Fresh Cheeses
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The unbridled joy of biting into melt-in-your-mouth paneer tikka, charred and smoky from the coals is one of the best food memories to make for oneself. As a culture with access to plenty of fresh cheeses around us, we seldom take a moment to stop and notice how much of it we consume without appreciating its jiggly, squishy richness and fresh taste, right off the bat. Hence, we figured it could only do best if a curated guide to all the fresh, soft cheeses be made known to our readers.


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Named after the erstwhile Portuguese colony in West Bengal, this salty and smoky cheese can give any block of feta some stiff competition. This cow’s milk cheese is famously native to Calcutta and is now a dwindling ingredient which also comes in a smoked variation. Due to the absence of preservatives in the cheese, its shelf life is only a few days long and is typically soaked in water for a few hours before eating.


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This buttery soft block of cheese is usually made by curdling milk with an acidic agent and pressed onto a cheesecloth with a weight on top to coagulate the curds together. With a slight tang and fresh dairy flavour, paneer is often used in curries, as a scramble or even stuffed into other vegetables.


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Firmer and denser in texture than mozzarella, haloumi prides itself in being a great cheese to grill on a hot pan. Slightly chewy in texture and salty, haloumi cheese has a mild milky flavour which makes it great to cut slices of over salads, grilled for a sharing platter or even eaten inside a sandwich.

Also Read: 

From Portugal To Bengal, This Bandel Cheese Speaks Volumes Of The Ancient Links


Image Credits: Culinary Hill

Made from the discarded whey obtained while making other cheeses, ricotta is a fresh, soft cheese that is fluffy and slightly sweet from the flavour of milk solids. This versatile cheese works well in everything from sauces, cheesecakes, as a filling for sandwiches and even lasagna.


Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This fatty and creamy cheese made from cow milk has a mild twang similar to the flavour from Greek yoghurt. The fluffy cheese has a texture which is a cross between cream cheese and whipped cream, making it great for recipes like tiramisu and cheesecakes.


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This mildly salty, creamy cheese is a tinier version of fresh mozzarella cheese and is made the same way, only shaped into smaller spheres. This fresh, soft cheese is perfect on everything from salads, pizzas, sandwiches or even eaten as is with some freshly sliced tomatoes and basil for company.