Brick cheese is a square or rectangle-shaped cheese. White to pale yellow in color, this type of cheese can range from sweet and mild when young to strong and savory after the aging process. Brick cheeses are ideal for sandwiches and recipes calling for melted cheese.
Brick cheese was created during the late 1800's, making it the oldest cheese born in the United States. Created from being pressed by bricks, the cheese was named after its own cooking process. Specialty brick cheeses can be made with buttery, garlic, or other herbal flavorings. The sharp finish of the cheese on its own makes it a popular product.
A semi-soft cheese, brick is made with whole milk. Hot, red clay bricks are used to press cheese curds into their block shape. Before packaging, the cheese is typically treated with a whey solution and stored for several days on wooden shelves.
This type of cheese is a good source of protein. A single slice of brick contains a quarter of an ounce (nearly seven grams) of the nutrient. A high-fat food, brick cheese contains just over a quarter of an ounce (eight grams) of fat per serving. It also has 105 calories per slice.
Since it crumbles and melts so easily, brick cheese can be used in a wide variety of recipes. Savory dishes, like pork cordon bleu, can be prepared with this cheese. Simple appetizers, such as cheese with fruit and crackers, are especially good with brick cheeses. Comfort foods, like macaroni and cheese, broccoli and cheese casserole dishes, and potato salad, can also be made with the cheese. Other popular recipes for this food include breakfast stratas, cheesy spreads, and specialty sandwiches.
To store brick cheese, keep it in the warmest spot of the refrigerator. This is typically in the door. If kept in this place, wrapped well, and stored away from heat or moisture, the cheese may last for a long period of time. Once opened, young varieties may last for up to two weeks, while older types of cheese may be stored for four. Should the cheese develop a strong unpleasant odor or begin to grow mold, it should be discarded.
If brick cheese is unavailable, many other cheeses may be substituted for brick recipes. Dishes that require mild cheese flavors can be substituted with Jack, Lagerkaese, or Havarti cheeses. Those requiring an aged type of cheese may work well with a Limburger instead.