Few things bring so much to so many dishes as cheese.
Whether dusted on pasta or melted on a pizza, cheese is the key to elevating many of our favourite foods to classic status. It can be gooey, chewy, stringy or salty, but every cheese is capable of making mealtimes great. Befitting its hallowed status on dinner tables everywhere, there are some dishes that don’t just benefit from cheese on the side, but rather thrust this supporting player centre stage. The results are magical. Here are the eight greatest cheesy dishes of all time.
We kick off our cheesy adventure in Germany. Made from a mix of two-thirds aged cheese, usually camembert or similar, and one-third butter, obatzda is then seasoned with paprika, salt pepper and a slosh of beer. Used as a spread on slices of thick white bread or traditional giant pretzels, obatzda is a beer-hall indulgence that ticks every drunk food box.
This is not the first, nor probably the last, time that the Twisted team will praise the virtues of this French comfort food classic. Tomme cheese is carefully whipped into buttery mashed potatoes, creating a rich, gooey pile of carby indulgence. For cheese and potato lovers, there is no better plate.
A variant on a type of Italian “provolone” cheese, provoleta is an Argentinian barbecue classic. Disks of cheese are placed directly onto a grill and seasoned with chilli and oregano until partly melted. The cheese is then coated in chimichurri and eaten with bread. As an appetiser before a meaty main event, there are few better options.
Another Twisted favourite, the Georgian khachapuri is a cheese and bread variant that was built to be a crowd pleaser. Bread “boats” are built from fresh white dough and then stuffed with local cheese. The result is a reservoir of cheesey joy, designed for excessive dipping.
5. Swiss Fondue
You can’t have a conversation about cheese without mentioning the national dish of Switzerland. A communal dish of tangy cheese, toasty booze and a touch of garlic, a proper Swiss fondue is a classic winter warmer. Eaten with long, specially designed forks with which to impale dunkable pieces of bread and meat, fondue is the perfect excuse to play with your food.
Of all the trends to have exploded on social media over the last few years, none are as worthy of recognition as raclette. Featuring semi-circles of hard Swiss cheese melted under a roaring grill before being spread over fries, hot dogs and all manner of other meals, the raclette is rightly acknowledged as having set the bar for everyday cheese-porn.
It’s hard to take something as unctuous as cheese and make it even more indulgent. Fortunately for everyone, the Greeks have managed it. A classic saganaki features blocks of feta, covered in batter and deep fried to produce a tangy, salty snack that turns any Greek feast into something the whole world will envy.
8. Hungarian cheesecake
It’s only right to finish our cheesy journey with dessert, and none showcase everyone’s favourite dairy product better than cheesecake. While most recipes require cream cheese to take a back seat, the Hungarians have adopted a different attitude. Sweetened cottage cheese and sour cream are added to a buttery base, before toppings are included as a secondary consideration. This makes Hungarian cheesecake the ultimate dessert for any cheese lover.
Clearly cheese is one of those things that can improve almost any situation. However, the dishes on this list truly take this most glorious of foods to the next level. For anyone who claims to be a cheese fan, working your way through these dishes is an absolute must.