How to Make Cheese Panini Recipes

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One of the most wonderful things about panini is how versatile they can be. Far from being a sandwich that can only be created several ways, just about any sort of ingredient can be used in. This is most evident when selecting cheese panini recipes - so many sorts of cheese can be used in them.

As a matter of fact, panini is so versatile that practically any sort of cheese can be used in one! That said, however, some kinds make a better match than others. For the benefit of those who need to know, here are some of the more popular cheeses for use in these terrific sandwiches.

First up is provolone. This is a smooth-skinned, semi-hard cheese that is made with whole cow's milk. It's produced mainly in the Po River area of Italy. The flavor of provolone can vary greatly; you can choose between piquant or sharp-flavored varieties to sweet-flavored, much milder sorts, and there are many kinds that fall in between those two extremes.

Next is Swiss cheese, which can refer to either Emmental or Emmentaler cheese (a yellow cheese which is medium-hard and which comes with those characteristic large holes), or several kinds of cheese that are all very similar to Emmental cheese. Emmental cheese can be mild to piquant in flavor, albeit not all that sharp, whereas the Swiss cheeses are bittersweet and nutty. An interesting rule of thumb is that the larger the holes are, in general, the more pronounced the flavor of the cheese.

Up next we have Havarti cheese. This is a smooth, yellow- or cream-colored cheese that, unlike Emmental or Swiss cheese, has very small holes. Its flavor is buttery and the sweetness can vary from brand to brand, or with age as well. It can be slightly acidic, too. Interestingly, if you leave it out in a room-temperature area, it can soften rather fast, so take note of this if you'd like to use it in your panini.

And then there's Asiago cheese, which can be a good substitute for the somewhat better-known romano and parmesan cheeses. Fresh Asiago cheese is on the whole smooth, but as it ages it becomes more apt to crumble; aged Asiago cheese can taste very similar to Parmesan, and you might be surprised to find some crunchy bits in it thanks to the buildup of a certain amino acid called tyrosine (nothing wrong with this crunch though).

Those are some of the most popular varieties of cheese that you can use in your cheese panini recipes. I'll leave you with a rule of thumb regarding selecting cheese - use those sorts of cheeses that melt well and which can serve as a ‘glue' to hold the rest of the sandwich together. Enjoy!

Sabrina Rocca
Author: Easy Panini Recipes
For more great panini recipes and tips, visit Easy Panini Recipes contains over 50 easy to follow, step-by-step panini recipes that will make anyone look like a gourmet chef!

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