New Nordic cheese
Fall’s biggest food trend can be summed up in one word: Scandinavian. Danish cheese brand Castello, known for artisanal cheeses far more interesting than the stuff that comes on your burger, is finally bringing four varieties to New York under the name Unika. A group of Denmark’s top chefs created these cheeses using new techniques and regional ingredients. As a result, the flavors will vary slightly with the seasons and the cows’ milk, which is sourced from Danish farms (Castello is produced by Arla Foods, a European dairy collective that remains farmer-owned after more than a century.)
Aquavit in Midtown is the only place to find them until Oct. 14, when several other high-end restaurants — including Luksus in Brooklyn and Tribeca’s Aamanns-Copenhagen — will begin featuring the batch. If there’s a cheese-lover in your life, we suggest you make reservations now.
The milk for this mild cheese comes from a region whose vegetation is influenced by a weather phenomenon called salt fog. Expect delicious salty crystals in this semi-hard variety.
Dill has long been used to preserve vegetables during winter in Scandinavia, but this cheese puts the herb in the spotlight. Dill seeds cover its crust, giving way to a creamy center.
When the chefs suggested depriving this developing cheese of oxygen, the dairy farmers pushed back. But the result is a blue cheese unlike any other with a sweet, fruity taste. If you find blues too intense, this one just might make you a fan.
This mild cheese resulted from a batch unintentionally left too long to dry and shrivel. Let it sit in your mouth a bit — though hard at first, it will melt on your tongue and release its buttery flavors.