The Ooey Gooey Fac­tor


India Today - - FOOD - Chef Kohli’s Top Six Chef Megha Kohli from the Olive Beach rec­om­mends six kinds of cheese per­fect for your sum­mer ta­ble

Fluffy pil­lows of fresh buf­falo moz­zarella driz­zled with bal­samic vine­gar and loaves of fresh bread drip­ping with hot smoked ched­dar cheese ap­pear ev­ery Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon on Megha Saikia’s din­ing ta­ble. This 34- year- old home­maker and her friends love cheese so much that they de­cided to start their own ‘ cheese club’ in Mum­bai’s Boriv­ili neigh­bour­hood. The mem­bers throw a weekly lunch where ev­ery­one con­trib­utes one cheese dish to the ta­ble. “It might be fat­ten­ing but there is so much plea­sure in eat­ing cheese. It’s a meal by it­self and great to munch on while catch­ing up with friends,” says Saikia.

Light, creamy and full of flavour, cheese is a ver­sa­tile and de­li­cious sum­mer food. Be it juicy wa­ter­melon chunks paired with salty feta or creamy ri­cotta swirls served over sour berry com­pote –- there are some cheese and food com­bi­na­tions that just evoke the taste of sum­mer, leav­ing In­dian house­holds hun­gry for more.

“Cheese not only works well as fit­ting ac­com­pa­ni­ments to sum­mer food but they also taste re­ally good in the sum­mer months. As cat­tle feed on fresh pas­tures, the fi­nal cheese gets a boost of flavour and tex­ture. In fact some goat and sheep cheese is made only in the sum­mer months,” says Abu Ram­chan­dani, owner of Cheese Farms in Pune. Ram­chan­dani not only stocks a va­ri­ety of im­ported cheeses but also makes sev­eral kinds of Euro­pean cheese from scratch on his farm. He de­liv­ers his prod­ucts to in­di­vid­u­als and re­tail shops across the coun­try. “Knowl­edge and de­mand of the once ‘ for­eign’ cheeses like pecorino, camem­bert, brie and feta has re­ally in­creased in In­dia. My cus­tomers now or­der im­ported cheese for daily con­sump­tion,” adds Ram­chan­dani.

In­ter­est­ingly, a small por­tion of cheese each day is a healthy ad­di­tion to your meal plan. Parme­san, half- fat ched­dar, edam, cot­tage cheese, goat cheese and feta are fairly low in fat and high in cal­cium, sodium, zinc and vi­ta­min D.

Whether it’s to sa­ti­ate a late- night junk food crav­ing or an early morn­ing break­fast binge, the gooey tex­ture and creamy taste of fresh cheese never fails to pro­vide in­stant com­fort.

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