Gateway Cheese™ Upgrades

1. Gateway Cheese ®: Brie

Why You Love It: Butter, spreadable, and rich, often with a hint of mushroomy flavor

Upgrade to:

Fromager d’Affinois: The milk is filtered during cheesemaking to yield the silkiest most unbelievably creamy texture you can imagine. Anyone who appreciates butter will think you’re a genius.

Humboldt Fog from Cypress Grove Chevre: Yes, it’s made of goat milk. But imagine a slab of moist, lemony cheesecake. Trust me.

2. Gateway Cheese ®: Havarti 

Why You Love It: Simple, creamy, melts like a dream and doesn’t break the bank

Upgrade to:

Toma from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company: It’s got a rind and is aged a bit longer than Havarti so the texture is dense and fudgy, with aromas of warm butter and sweet, milky flavor. Plus, it’s made on a family farm in California.

Young Goat Gouda: Moist and pliable, this is a perfect example of what several months’ age does to goat milk. I promise it won’t be tart and tangy, but smooth, fruity and ever so caramelly. 

3. Gateway Cheese ®: Taleggio

Why You Love It: It introduced to the fact that stinky smelling cheese can be amazing tasting, plus it’s got Brie’s butter smearability

Upgrade to:

Von Trapp Oma from Von Trapp Farmstead/Cellars at Jasper Hill: Made of unpasteurized milk, this tender, plush stinker is a taste of the handmade: sweet, salty and occasionally garlicky.

Époisses: Sold in a small wooden box, the cheese looks like its covered in orange Vaseline. The flavor is more like salty beef pudding, pungent to be sure, but surprisingly easy to eat in quantity.

4. Gateway Cheese ®: Manchego

Why You Love It: Perhaps your first taste of sheep milk cheese, but always approachable and ideal for a crowd. It’s the perfect intro to the world of aged sheep and goat milk cheeses and their subtle, nutty, edging on caramel flavors.

Upgrade to:

Garrotxa: An aged goat cheese from northern Spain with soft, herbaceous flavor and a satisfyingly moist, chewy texture

Ossau Iraty: Firm, smooth and supple, this French sheep milk cheeses strikes a balance between fatty chew, impressions of grass and hay (without actually tasting like grass and hay), and sweet nuttiness

5. Gateway Cheese ®: Cheddar

Why You Love It: The old familiar! Because it comes in mild, medium or sharp; white or orange and you can always find one that you like

Upgrade to: 

Better block cheddar, such as Flagship from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese or Prairie Breeze from Milton Creamery: Many American cheesemakers are making cheeses that look like block cheddar but taste like buttered toast with pineapple and caramel intensity. 

Clothbound Cheddar, such as Cabot Clothbound or Quicke’s Mature: Drier texture and longer aging, coupled with earthier flavor that can be reminiscent of twice baked potato or roast meat. Complex enough for the extra sharp lover, with actually being extra sharp.

6. Gateway Cheese ®: Swiss

Why You Love It: It’s sweet, fruity and nutty, and it melts dreamily. But there is life behind the holey block at the deli counter. Look for specific cheeses from Alpine regions and American newcomers.

Upgrade to:

Le Gruyère: Made the same way for the past 900 years in western Switzerland, these enormous wheels smell like Nutella and taste like hazelnuts and cooked milk. 

Comté: The French interpretation tends to be subtler in flavor and really benefits from being freshly cut. When you can get that it’s firm, but incredibly moist and tastes like croissant dough, red fruits, and thick, sweet milk.

7. Gateway Cheese ®: Parmesan

Why You Love It: Hard, crystalline and good for grating, but also nutty and flavor intense for noshing

Upgrade to:

Piave: Also an aged cows’ milk cheese, this one is made in the northeastern region  of Italy and has a brilliant sweet flavor reminiscent of pineapple. (Tip: look for a red or black label for the most aged wheels)

Sartori BellaVitano Gold: Dense and intense, but with a creamier mouthfeel and rich flavors of melted butter. And made in Wisconsin!

8. Gateway Cheese ®: Blue

Why You Love It: Because it perks up your salad with salt, acidity and a punch of flavor. “Blue” is actually a general term that applies to hundreds of cheeses containing blue mold. 

Upgrade to:

A mellow, creamy blue for spreading, such as: Cambozola Black: Cut slices into salad or better yet eat it smeared on bread, so buttery is the texture thanks to cream-enrichment.

A dense, fudgy blue, such as Stilton: Aged blue cheese can be made with a “natural rind,” a brown crust on the exterior of the cheese that ensures balanced, earthy, nutty flavor, not just salt and peppery zip.