If you are not from Wisconsin, which is in the United States, or have never visited the area, we can forgive you for not knowing what brick cheese is.
Brick cheese is a pale yellow or white cheese made from whole milk from cows.
In the article, we will look more into what brick cheese is, where it originated, what it tastes like, its substitutes, and where you can buy it.
Who knows, after reading this article, you might end up buying yourself some brick cheese.
History of Brick Cheese
As you can already tell, brick cheese gets its name from its shape, a brick. In general, cheese dates back to 8000BC. At that time, in the Fertile Crescent, the Neolithic farmers began the activity of cheesemaking.
Domesticated sheep and goats were the sources of milk for cheesemaking. The discovery of cheese gave people a survival advantage because it was rich in fat, proteins, and minerals.
The story of Brick cheese began in Wisconsin, US, in 1877. The maker, John Jossi, was an American cheesemaker who was born in Switzerland. During his time working in the Limburger, the plant is when he came up with the concept of making brick cheese.
He got a brick mold from which they used to make clay bricks but presently are not in use. theyThe mold brought out the brick shape of the cheese and hence the name brick cheese. Since he did not have anything to press the cheese with, he used a brick to press the cheese’s moisture.
What does brick cheese taste like?
The taste of cheese would depend on how long it has aged. Young Brick cheese has a mild butter sweet taste. This kind of cheese is excellent when used on sandwich slices. After some time, the brick cheese ripens and becomes stinky with a pungent smell.
Farmers use high temperatures in the culturing of brick cheese, which results in a different protein structure from the white American cheddar and more fat content.
The temperatures influence the taste because it becomes a softer taste with a sharp finish.
Brick cheese substitute
Since we can find brick cheese in Wisconsin and not many people know it exists, it is vital to know some of the substitutes if it is an ingredient in your recipes. The main defining factor of brick cheese is its melting point.
In terms of its consistency and taste, it is similar to most of the cheese available in the market. These are, therefore, the factors to look at when looking for a substitute.
Limburger cheese might be the closest thing to brick cheese than any other kind of cheese on this list. Although it originates from Europe, to be precise, Germany, Americans in Wisconsin state have widely embraced it.
Limburger cheese is not for the faint-hearted, and most people cannot stand the idea of consuming it, and that is because when it ages, it has a robust stinky smell that is hard to ignore. This smell comes from the rind. the taste, however, is mild compared to the smell
Like brick cheese, the more the Limburger cheese ages, the stronger its taste and smell become. Limburger cheese can be fantastic in your food, depending. It is famously jam and crackers, and also it is usually used in sandwiches.
It is safe to say that cheddar cheese is very popular in America and the rest of the world. Cheddar cheese is pocket-friendly compared to other types of cheese, and we all know how pricy cheese can get.
Cheddar cheese can be used as a substitute for brick cheese because they have the same fat content. Moreover, just like brick cheese, cheddar cheese has a gentle taste when it is a few days old, but it becomes more intense as it stays longer. One of the downsides of using cheddar as a substitute is its salt content.
Mozzarella can be used as a substitute for brick cheese when it comes to pizza or any other recipes that would require melting cheese. Detroit-style pizza is a famous American pizza that uses brick cheese alongside tomato sauce and other numerous toppings.
In color, Mozzarella has a pale yellow to white co; our which is similar to that of brick cheese.
Mozzarella is widely known for its relation to pizza. There are very few pizza recipes in the world that you would come across that do not include Mozzarella. The best thing about Mozzarella is that it has a mild taste just like the young brick cheese and will therefore not overwhelm your dish.
Monterey Jack cheese dates back to the 1700s when a guy named Jack sourced cheese from Spanish missionaries, making them in the city of monetary. Jack put his name on the cheese and started selling it, and therefore the name has not changed to this day.
Many Spanish and Mexican recipes use the Jack cheese because it has a mild flavor and would not overwhelm the food or other recipes. Thus, it is very similar to the young brick cheese, which also has a mild flavor. Another similarity between brick cheese and Jack cheese comes in the enhancement of taste as they age.
Provolone cheese originates from Italy, and depending on the location the cheese is made, it may have variations. In terms of taste, the cheese can either be sweet or spicy. Moreover, this depends on the time that has passed since its making.
The mild provolone cheese is similar to brick cheese when it comes to melting and flavor. Since it is sweet, it is advisable to eat it raw. The color of brick cheese and provolone cheese is similar, and it is a pale yellow to white color.
If you have ever heard of great mistakes, Tilsit cheese is an excellent example of such. History has it that some Dutch immigrants were making gouda in the 1700s, and a little messing up in the process of making it led to the Tilsit cheese.
Stores sometimes sell this type of cheese as fresh cheese. Its consistency also ranges from semi-soft to hard.
In cooking, one can use it in place of the brick cheese because it is terrific for baking and grilling. After all, both kinds of cheese have a higher melting point.
Weisslacker cheese has close characteristics to those of the german Limburger cheese. Like the Limburger cheese, it has a strong, pungent smell, which might be a turnoff to some people.
However, unlike the Limburger cheese, which has a mild taste, it has a strong taste, and therefore you cannot use a lot of it in food since it will overshadow the taste of the other ingredients you will use.
Since it has similarities to the Limburger, which has often been called a sibling to the brick cheese, it is safe to say that one can use Weisslacker cheese to substitute the brick cheese.
Tuma Cheese is a type of cheese that originates from Sicily and is a type of fresh cheese extracted just before salting and maturation in making pecorino cheese. Also referred to as toma, farmers use cow’s milk in making the cheese.
It has a delicate, mild flavor and a soft texture; therefore, it can be eaten raw. It has similar characteristics to mozzarella cheese; therefore, it is a perfect substitute for pizza cheese. Since it melts well, one can add it to most pizza recipes. Therefore we can use it as a substitute for brick cheese as far as making pizza is concerned.
Muenster cheese originates from the United States, and cheesemakers use unpasteurized cow’s milk to make it. It is semi-soft, and its taste may vary from mild to intense depending on the cheese’s age. The longer it has stayed since its making, the stronger the taste becomes. It is smooth in texture and paler in color with an orange rind.
What makes Muenster a good brick cheese substitute is its ability to melt. It can also be mixed with other cheese such as Mozzarella to enhance its taste. It is excellent for grilled cheese sandwiches, and since it can melt just like Mozzarella, one can use it as a substitute cheese in pizza.
Havarti is a Danish cheese that was first made by Hannah, who was a farmer in Denmark. She made it intending to get a too mild cheese, and that is what Havarti is.
It is a delicious creamy soft cheese that has a flexible texture. Havarti is the cheese to choose for those who have not developed a taste for strong-tasting cheese.
One can use it in place of brick cheese in cooking because it is excellent for grilling and baking. This is because it ranges from us semi-soft to hard and therefore has a higher melting point.
Where can I buy Brick cheese?
You will most of the time find it easy to get Brick cheese in the United States’ Wisconsin state because people developed brick cheese. Therefore, it is inevitable that farmers there will make it in plenty.
Unlike other places, most supermarkets and retail stores in Wisconsin do have brick cheese in stock.
If you live outside Wisconsin and you do not want to get brick cheese substitutes or make it for yourself because it is a tedious process, there are few places that you can get it from. Your local supermarket may have brick cheese, although this is not common. Moreover, brick cheese found in retail stores outside Wisconsin is not the ordinary kind.
You can also buy brick cheese online from Amazon and others, preferably offering same-day or second-day delivery.
Brick cheese vs. Mozzarella
The Wisconsin state of the United States is where a cheesemaker made the first brick cheese, and it is hard to find it in other areas because it is not so popular. On the other hand, Mozzarella is very popular, and people even term it “pizza cheese.” People worldwide use Mozzarella, which is a Southern Italian cheese, unlike brick cheese.
The milk used in making brick cheese is whole cow’s milk. Traditionally, cheesemakers would use water buffalo milk to make Mozzarella. In modern times a mixture of cow and goat milk or just cow’s milk.
In terms of fat content, mozzarella cheese has less fat content because it contains more moisture. Statistics say it has the lowest fat content alongside feta cheese. On the other hand, Brick cheese has a fair amount of fat content, which almost doubles that of mozzarella cheese.
Mozzarella is a new kind of cheese because it contains moisture. If left to age, it will lose moisture and become firmer, not what we want when it comes to Mozzarella. It has a shelf life of only two to four weeks. Brick cheese, on the other, is low in moisture and therefore can be aged.
Aged brick cheese is firm and robust because it has lost moisture. Mozzarella, on the other hand, is soft and chewy because it has moisture. Due to this property, aged brick cheese is more challenging to melt than mozzarella cheese. Ease of melting is a reason why people use Mozzarella on pizza.
In making Mozzarella, curds are heated in warm water, stretched, and finally rolled into moist balls. The making of brick cheese is different because cheesemakers will use a brick mold to shape the cheese, and clay-fired bricks press the cheese curds to lose moisture and become more compact.
Mozzarella has a salty flavor, which is very mild; that is why many recipes use it. The taste of brick cheese changes with age because, when it is young, brick cheese is sweet and mild, but when it ages, it acquires an intense taste like that of mild Limburger or cheddar cheese.
Brick cheese has a medium-soft texture, and it easily crumbles; however, as it ages, it becomes more compact. Mozzarella, on the other hand, has a semi-soft texture that becomes creamy and stringy when heated.
What can I make with Brick Cheese?
- Brick cheese is useful for making sandwiches because it melts well.
- In making pizza, people also use brick cheese. Since it melts well, brick cheese makes the Detroit-style pizza widely enjoyed in American states.
- Burgers with brick cheese are also very delicious.
- You can also have your mac and cheese with melted brick cheese.
Many people have said that brick cheese is the real deal when it comes to pizza. Others are still faithful to mozzarella cheese. Whichever you choose is up to you.