For the cheese aficionados among us there is nothing better than a plate of the creamy white stuff, preferably accompanied by fresh bread and numerous chutneys. Whether you like yours sharp and blue or soft and creamy, cheese is one of those food stuffs that evokes both passion and lifelong dedication.
So, while we would never knock the classic cheese plate, for those wanting to be a little more adventurous with their fairy dairy product we have rounded up some of the most creative ways to incorporate cheese into your meals.
GROWN-UP GRILLED CHEESE
Just A Taste via Pinterest
The deliciousness of cream cheese and red velvet combined is almost too much to bear. Almost. This stacked recipe is something of a labour of love, with Brown-Eyed Baker suggesting, "it helps to spread the work out over a couple of days" but the results certainly look worth the effort.
MAC AND CHEESE RAVIOLI
The Food in my Beard via Pinterest
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, that is tiny portions of macaroni cheese encased in ravioli. Dan, the Boston-based blogger behind this carb-laden genious, puts it best when he says "If this incorporated pizza I think my head would have exploded."
BEER CHEESE SPREAD
Some time ago it seems America got hold of the French recipe for Mornay sauce and sexed it up like only America can - With beer.
A favourite in Kentucky, it's used as a dip for the likes of pretzels, crudites and crackers. The Beeroness has a simple, 'foolproof' version of the dish while Food Wishes goes for the whole shebang, including garlic, Tabasco sauce and flat beer. The blog does admit, however, that "very few love Kentucky Beer Cheese at first bite."
SPICY CHEESE STRAWS
My Recipes via Pinterest
The quintessential English party food filler, cheese straws seem to be loved and loathed in equal measure. For the naysayers who find them too dull and dry, this recipe adds a pinch of crushed red chili pepper to the mix - ideal to dip in your cooling beer cheese sauce (see above).
DEEP FRIED HAM AND SWISS CHEESE CROQUETTES
Urban Cookery via Pinterest
One of our favourite deep-friend delicacies, the croquette is at its finest when its proffering the winning combination of ham and cheese.
OOEY GOOEY CHEESE FONDUE
The Culinary Queen via Pinterest
Aaah, melted cheese - it's one of the few dishes so delicious we're happy to consume it communally. This innovative concoction includes apple juice and sweet paprika.
GOATS CHEESE AND FIG TART
Donna Hay via Pinterest
An ambrosial dish of gooey goodness and best of all, this recipe advocates shop-bought pastry. It's not on the list, but we'll be serving ours with some crumbled up walnuts on top. Yes, check us out.
Sprinkles and Glitter via Pinterest
Believe it or not, there's an art to compiling the perfect cheeseboard. There are rules too, such as keeping the cheese at room temperature for at least an hour before serving. And, as cheese supremo Jacquelyn Clark points out, it's best to "keep the super pungent cheeses on a plate by themselves" to prevent them from overpowering the milder cheeses.