XO Soused - using cheese in Chinese gastronomy

  
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Cheese, like milk, has always been an important part of the Chinese diet. The remnants of China’s artisanal cheese sector are found in China’s western regions - and made by ethnic communities - Rushan [乳扇, rǔshān], Rubing [乳餅, rǔbǐng], are the better known. But Nguri in Hokkien or Niuru in Hanyu [牛乳, niúrǔ], made in Fujian and Guangdong show that artisanal Chinese cheese making was more widespread and made deep in the Chinese heartland.

Why are fresh cheeses preferred over aged cheeses in Chinese gastronomy? How is Chinese cheese integrated into cooking and what flavours and textures does it impart? What difference does terroir make to the cooking and presentation process? What cheeses pair well with Chinese food?

an overhead image of a round turquoise dish in the middle of which is a pile of a small grey stones - on top of the stones sits three walnuts, evenly spaced, with a dollop of cheese on top.
Andrew’s cheese component of his ‘petit fours’. This is a blue cheese served on candied walnuts accompanied by a glass of plum vinegar sweetened naturally with figs. The presentation apes the traditional English style - meaning that the cheese course comes after dessert (rather than before, which is the classic French style), and usually accompanied by a sweetened, fortified wine, such as port.

Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by mafmadmaf.com

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