One thing I really miss sometimes is a crunchy cracker. With 5 types of cheese in the refrigerator, it was the perfect time to try a cheese crisp comparison.
From semi-hard to hard, shredded, thin deli slices and block cheeses, these 5 options ran the gamut of factors. The results were as different as the cheeses themselves.
The Cheese Varieties:
Reggianito, block (similar to Parmesan)
Tybo, thin deli slices folded in quarters (similar to Provolone)
Fynbo, block (similar to Muenster or Monterrey Jack)
Sardo, block (similar to Romano)
4-Cheese Blend, shredded (a blend of Parmesan, Mozzarella, Cheddar & Fontina)
All of the 5 cheeses cooked differently and had a distinctive final taste and appearance.
Preheat a small non-stick or seasoned cast iron pan over low-medium heat.
Add cheese in thin slices (less than 1/4" of 1.5 cm thick) and measuring approximately 1-1/2"- 2" (4-5 cm) square.
(You could also add: crushed rosemary, fresh cracked pepper or red pepper flakes to enhance the taste of your cheese crisps. I do not recommend adding extra salt, as most variety of cheese is generally high in salt already.)
Flip cheese when it's starting to brown and bubble. The soft cheeses are more difficult to flip than the hard cheeses.
Once both sides of the cheese are consistently browned, remove from the pan and let cool on a plate or cooling rack lined paper towel. The crisps become more crunchy when fully cooled.
Cool cucumber slices, a low-carb vegetable chutney, a slice of avocado, or eggplant caviar ....and of course, a good red wine.
Taste Test Results:
The shredded cheese was the most difficult to flip and created the most inconsistent shape BUT it had great medium golden color, a light, crisp, easy to eat texture, and tasted like a Cheese-It crackers. They were lovely.
The second favorite was a tie between the two harder cheeses: Reggianito and Sardo. These were easy to cook and flip because they didn't melt as much. These two were also the lightest in color, and the cheese taste came through more. I recommend keeping the slices very thin so they get consistently crispy. Thicker pieces are chewy, but the overall taste of the cheese was great, with a distinctive flavor.
The softer cheeses were quite bland and more difficult to cook/flip, and ended up getting darker in the pan because of their soft consistency.
Try various cheeses that are available in your area.
Stick with small cheese pieces to cook. A 2"x 2" (5 cm x 5 cm) cracker size is preferable. The softer cheeses will expand more when cooked than hard cheese.
Be aware that pre-bagged, shredded cheese may contain an anti-caking agent that could raise blood sugar levels more than block cheese. Please read all labels.
Have fun cooking!
Please let us know in the comments below, what variety of cheese did you use for your Cheese Crisps? What did you think?