More people may know queso blanco, which originated in Spain and was brought to Mexico.
Much less well-known in the U.S. are Lithuanian white cheese, and juustoleipä, also known in the U.S. as Finnish squeaky cheese and bread cheese.
All of these cheeses fall into the category of grilling cheese, and have one important feature in common: They don’t melt on the grill (or with any other heat source).
You can grill them or bake them, and serve the firm patty as an appetizer, in a salad, on a burger, as a dessert with fruit, etc. It can give new meaning to a grilled cheese sandwich.
There are more uses below.
There’s a new grilling cheese in town: Rougette Bon Fire Grilling Cheese, a brand from Bavaria, Germany.
You can cook it on any grill (charcoal, electric, gas), as well as on the stove top and in the oven (just brush both sides of the slices with olive oil).
Bonus: The cheeses is lactose free! We’ll tell you more about it in a moment, but first:
In the process of cheese making, the fresh curds for grilling cheeses are heated in their own whey, which has been heated to a high temperature. The curds are then shaped and placed in brine.
That result is a rigid structure, creating cheese that remains intact under heat. Because of the high heat at which the curds were coagulated, they’ll never melt.
The cheese can be made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk, or a blend.
Rougette Bon Fire grilling cheeses from Käserei Champignon are available in two versions. One melts, one doesn’t.
These yummy patties can be heated directly on the grill. They completely hold their form and acquire grill marks. They won’t stick or melt: no mess (photos #1, #2, #3 and #4)!
The rind becomes crisp when heated: a crispy golden outside and a warm, creamy inside. Thus, they ooze a bit after you bite into them. Delightful!
While this cheese will be loved by any cheese eater, it’s a option for vegetarians beyond vegetable- and grain-based burgrers.
Serve the patty on a bun with lettuce, tomato, raw or grilled onion, and a side of pickles. Should you add a veggie or grain burger, too? Sure!
Carnivores can enjoy the grilled patty this way, too; or can place the cheese patty atop any meat or poultry burger.
We’d love to see a version with chili flakes mixed in!
Marinated Grilling Cheese
Rougette Bon Fire has a second type of “grilling cheese”: cheese rectangles that are marinated in oil and herbs (photos #5 and #6).
It does indeed melt, and serves as a hot cheese dip, spread or sauce.
It’s packaged in an aluminum pan that goes right onto the grill, and can be brought to the table.
Is It Halloumi?
The cheese is similar to halloumi, but is slightly different—a bit softer and less salty (both of which we think are benefits).
In the U.S., halloumi is a protected name, following the EU’s register of protected designations of origin. This means that only halloumi made in Cyprus can carry the name halloumi.
Cheese has always been an important source of protein for people who couldn’t afford meat.
In feudal† Europe, it was also known as “white meat” [source].
*Before India, paneer was made in the Middle East. Scholars believe that Afghan and Persian rulers introduced it to northern India in the 16th century. The word paneer comes from the peynir, which generically means “cheese” in the Turkish and Persian languages [source].
†Feudalism in medieval Europe flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. It was an oppressive system that structuring society around the ownership of land, or fiefdom (fief for short). The land was worked by peasant farmers (serfs), who were tied to individual plots of land and forbidden to move or change occupations without the permission of their lord. Like the serfs in Russia, the peasants lived in poverty and had minimal legal rights [source].