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Brussels cheese is a type of table cheese with a strong taste and smooth texture. It can be included in snacks and appetizers or melted as part of a fondue recipe. This cheese is often called Brusselse kaas in Dutch when listed alongside other Belgian cheeses such as rodoric or maredsous. The traditional process of making Brussels cheese is similar to that for other cow's milk cheeses in terms of basic ingredients, as well as the required ripening time.
Seasoned cheese tasters usually report that Brussels cheese has a definite salty taste that is often more pronounced than in some other cheeses. Other flavors notes in this kind of cheese can be reminders of citrus tastes, such as lemon or orange. When Brussels cheese is included in wine and cheese tasting, it is normally paired well only with specific types of mild, low-tannin wine.
As with other types of cheese, the traditional process of making Brussels cheese is generally considered both a science and an art form. The preliminary ingredients are typically pasteurized cow's milk along with a certain type of starter bacteria to begin the cheese fermentation process. Some cheese makers start with raw unpasteurized cow's milk, an option that generally requires a few additional steps and considerations. Brussels cheese made with this kind of milk usually needs to be put through a curing process for a minimum of two months in order to eliminate any strains of harmful bacteria. The average batch of this kind of table cheese results in about 1 pound (roughly 0.45 kg) per gallon (about 3.8 liters) of milk.
Quality cow's milk cheese is often a favorite spread on a variety of crackers, and recipes for Brussels cheese fondue are also popular. Many recipe instructions call for a mixture of Parmesan and Swiss cheese combined with measures of this stronger-flavored Belgian cheese for additional flavor. Other ingredients typically include egg yolks, flour, water, and bread crumbs. Many cooks also add in spices, such as cayenne pepper or nutmeg. After the cheese mixture is thoroughly melted and allowed to simmer without boiling, it is poured into an oiled rectangular pan and left to solidify.
Finished cheese fondue can differ slightly from other fondue foods due to the melting and molding of Brussels cheese mixed with the rest of the ingredients. Once the initial mixture has solidified, the average recipe calls for the finished cheese to be rolled into small balls. These are then browned in a deep fryer before being served as appetizer snacks.
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