There’s really nothing better on a cold, rainy day than a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s one of those things that take only minutes to make, but will warm your insides. There’s just something magical about pairing melted cheese with crispy buttery toast that makes for great comfort food.
All over the world, people turn to cheese to add a touch of richness and comfort to their food. Some are simple home made dishes, while others are classy restaurant creations. These are some of the most delicious cheese dishes from all over the world:
1. Pao de Queijo (Brazil)
These little round balls of cheesy goodness are made from a mixture of tapioca flour, Parmesan cheese, milk and eggs. More often than not, Brazilians will use a local cheese variety found in the Minas Gerais region which gives them a distinct flavour.
Sometimes, they’re also called Brazillian cheese bread, and the tapioca flour gives them a chewy texture that tastes best when eaten fresh out of the oven.
2. Syrniki (Russia)
Syrniki are cheese pancakes traditionally eaten by the Russians. It’s easy to prepare and quite cheap, which is why this dish became quite popular in the Russian countryside. The recipe calls for farmer’s cheese, which in the past was made regularly in Russian homes.
Nowadays, people tend to substitute it with cottage cheese, and the results are equally stunning. The pancakes are soft and oozing with cheesy goodness, and they’re usually served with a generous dollop of sour cream.
3. Poutine (Canada)
Poutine (pronounced pooh-tin) is a Canadian snack most commonly found in the Quebec region, where the French influence is strong. It’s basically a plate of fried potatoes topped with cheese curds and brown sauce. The combination of the crispy fried potatoes and the soft cheese curds with savoury brown sauce is what sends many people into a frenzy.
Poutine can be found in most cafes in Canada, and is almost considered a national dish. Canadians have even been known to eat this as a main meal, with little else.
4. Grilled Paneer Tikka (India)
In India, there is a version of a locally home made cheese called Paneer and it has a rather firm consistency, almost like tofu. However, when grilled in a Tandoor with spices, it takes on a softer, creamy consistency which just melts in your mouth.
Paneer Tikka is often served with a side of mint chutney, which balances out the spiciness of this cheese. It’s also often served with some form of Indian bread like naan, and a curry gravy.
5. Cheese Saganaki ( Greece)
Cheese saganaki is a Greek appetizer dish that consists of some firm slices of cheese grilled in a pan called a ‘Sagani’. Usually the piece of grilled cheese has to be firm in order to take the heat, so usually the Greeks use cheeses like graviera,kasseri, halloumi and feta.
The pieces of sliced cheese is drenched in water and then dipped into some flour before being shallow fried in vegetable oil. The fried cheese is often served with a wedge of lemon to help balance out the grease. Sometimes, it’s also served with bread.
6. Raclette Cheese ( Switzerland)
Raclette cheese has been gaining lots of exposure online and it’s no surprise, since it’s served in the most entertaining way possible. Large wheels of Raclette cheese are cut in half and the flat side is heated under a special heating contraption until it’s soft and melted.
The melted Raclette cheese is then pushed onto a plate of vegetables, pasta, meat or bread and enjoyed while it’s still warm and gooey.
7. Käsespätzle (Germany)
Spätzle is a type of traditional German egg noodle and this is one version of the noodle where it’s doused with cheese and baked to form like a cheesy casserole. It somewhat resembles the famous Mac n’ Cheese dish that Americans love so much, except that the noodles are slightly softer.
The cheese that’s usually used in this dish is Gruyere and Emmental and the finished casserole is often topped with caramelized onions to give it a slightly sweet taste at the end.
8. Obatzda (Germany)
The Germans seem to love their cheese and this particular cheese dish comes from Bavaria. It was usually served in biergartens, usually with bread and a pint of beer. Obatzda is made with a soft cheese like Camembert or cream cheese that’s flavoured with dark ale, butter and some spices.
The end product is a soft, spreadable, creamy topping for a salty pretzel. It also provides a rich accompaniment from any German beer.
9. Cacio e Pepe ( Italy)
Cacio e Pepe is a pasta dish from the Rome that combines the flavours of the Pecorino Romano cheese and pepper. The flavour of the pepper really highlight the creaminess of the cheese, making the whole dish just a marriage of opposites that work really well together.
Cacio e Pepe is now experiencing global popularity, after several restaurants started preparing this dish by tossing warm pasta directly in a wheel of Pecorino Romano cheese. The resulting creamy pasta is then plated and sprinkled with crushed black pepper.
10. Queso Fundido (Mexico)
It would appear that melted cheese over some type of bread is a favourite all over the world. In Mexico, local cheese like Oaxaca and Chihuahua are melted in a skillet together with spicy Chorizo sausages and some red and green peppers for that extra zing.
Once the whole skillet is hot and bubbling, the entire cheese mixture is poured over a piece of tortilla and wrapped up like a burrito. Alternatively, it can also be served with crispy nachos which you can dip into the melted cheese.
No matter which continent you’re on, you can’t deny that people in general love cheese. In fact, many cultures that previously did not have much dairy in their diets have incorporated cheese into traditional dishes to create mind blowing fusion foods. One example of this is of course sushi, whereby cheese maki is now a common sight.
If you’re an indomitable cheese lover, this is your chance to get out there and sample as many cheese dishes as possible around the world.