Celebrate National Macaroni and Cheese Day with tips for the perfect mac and cheese from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
When it comes to making a great macaroni and cheese sauce, understanding the melting properties of cheese is crucial. This can be tricky since different varieties not only melt in different ways, but at varying temperatures. In honor of National Macaroni and Cheese Day, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is sharing their expertise on the melting properties of six commonly used cheeses.
- Soft Cheeses– These cheeses are the easiest to melt and add a rich and creamy texture to any dish.
- Includes: cream cheese, queso blanco, brie and camembert
- Semi-Soft Cheeses– Another easy-to-melt variety, semi-soft cheeses can also aid in the melting process of other cheeses because of their moisture content. For instance, a semi-soft cheese like fontina will encourage the melting of a harder cheese such as parmesan.
- Includes: monterey jack, brick, muenster, fontina and havarti
- Semi-Hard Cheeses– Semi-hard cheeses perform best when shredded before melting. Consider pairing a semi-hard cheese with a semi-soft cheese for maximum melt and creaminess.
- Includes: cheddar, colby, edam and gouda
- Hard Cheeses– Hard cheeses should always be shredded or grated before melting. Let hard cheeses come to room temperature before attempting to melt.
- Includes: parmesan, romano and asiago
- Crumbly Cheeses– Crumbly cheeses often produce a grainy melt and require a long, slow cooking process to incorporate the cheese into sauces. For best results, pair a crumbly cheese with a soft or semi-soft cheese.
- Includes: blue, gorgonzola, feta
- Pasta Filata Cheeses– Pasta Filata cheeses have curds that are heated and stretched or kneaded before being molded into shape. These cheeses have a stretchy and elastic texture when melted, making them perfect for topping dishes like baked macaroni and cheese and pizza.
- Includes: mozzarella and provolone
For more inspiration, tools and tips for creating the best macaroni and cheese visit the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s website dedicated to All Things Mac & Cheese.