All posts by Angela Serednicki

Pieces of lechon kawali and lechon sauce

Expert Tips on How to Make Lechon Kawali, Filipino Crispy Fried Pork Belly

Filipino cuisine has been shaped by centuries of Chinese, Malaysian, Spanish, Indian, and Western influences. As a small South-Eastern country compromised of approximately 7,600 islands and with eight different major dialects, Filipino food is as diverse as its geography, history and culture. Despite each province’s distinct cooking preferences, there’s one particular dish that’s almost always the centre of every special celebration: Lechon. 

Related: 10 Popular Filipino Recipes, From Chicken Adobo to Halo-Halo 

Lechon is a whole roasted young suckling pig known for its juicy and fatty meat and irresistibly crispy skin, Chef Kuya P, the head chef at Toronto-based Filipino restaurant Lamesa, explains.

From Christmas to graduations and weddings, the difference between a get-together and a party is whether or not Lechon will be served as the main dish.  

“In the Philippines, every region has their method of cooking lechon. Some people would even fly out Lechons from different regions of the country for big celebrations like their wedding just because they like that particular type of Lechon style so much,” says Chef Kuya P.  

In other words, Filipinos are as passionate about Lechon as Italians are passionate about pasta.

Due to the size of a whole Lechon, many people opt for Lechon kawali. Lechon kawali is a crispy deep-fried pork belly made in a pan for a more accessible way to enjoy everyone’s favourite special Filipino dish. Here are five simple tips for cooking the best Lechon kawali: 

Choose the Perfect Cut of Pork Belly

The most important part of cooking Lechon kawali is the cut of your pork belly. 

Make sure you have a good fat to meat ratio,” Chef Kuya P explains. Pork belly is a boneless cut of meat and is topped with a thick layer of fat. If you’re making Lechon kawali, you’ll want to find a cut that’s at least 20 to 30 per cent fat. The higher the fat content, the longer it takes to render, but that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness will always be worth the wait.

See Also: Fried Pork Belly Pairs Perfectly With Crunchy Papaya Salad in This Traditional Thai Dish
Raw pork belly with salt and pepper

Add in Your Aromatics While Brine Boiling

Boiling your cut of pork belly until tender is an essential part of making your Lechon kawali as juicy as can be. Infuse flavour into your Lechon kawali and create a bine boil by turning to classic aromatics found in Filipino cuisine, such as garlic, bay leaf, chilis and peppercorn, Chef Kuya P recommends. Doing this step is an easy way to enrich the dish, and this step will ensure that your Lechon kawali will retain moisture during the frying process. 

Related: How to Make Vietnamese Bun Cha

Garlic and bay leaves on a brown cutting board

Thoroughly Dry Your Pork Before Frying

After your pork belly is cooked, drain the brine and add some salt and vinegar to the cut of meat. This step helps the pork belly dry out thoroughly while still retaining moisture, Chef Kuya P explains. Let it sit at room temperature for a minimum of two to three hours until the pork belly has dried completely.

You Might Also Like: Restaurant-Worthy Chinese Scallion Pancakes

A splatter screen and silver frying pan

Use The Right Equipment

Once the pork belly is thoroughly dried, it’s time to start frying. Divide your pork belly into batches and fry pork in the hot oil for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until the pork belly is golden brown and the skin is crispy. We recommend using a deep non-stick frying pan and only covering the pan partially while cooking. Additionally, don’t skip out on using a grease splatter screen while making Lechon kawali.

Don’t Forget the Lechon Sauce

Lechon kawali isn’t the same without a side of Lechon sauce. “Lechon sauce is a liver sauce made with breadcrumbs that’s sweet, acidic, and garlicky,” Chef Kuya P explains. Although there are many different ways to make Lechon Sauce, most Filipinos prefer using a bottle of Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce instead.

 Similar to how you might think of Heinz when you think of ketchup, the particular taste of Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce is a fan-favourite for Lechon sauce.  “Everyone who knows lechon sauce knows this brand, and if they ask for it, they will ask for it by the brand name Mang Tomas,” he explains. You can purchase Mang Tomas All Purpose sauce at your local Asian grocery retailer. 

Looking for a healthy side for your hearty Lechon kawali? Try serving it alongside this silky, tender Chinese eggplant.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images. 

12 Canadian TikTok Food Accounts You Need to Follow 

If you’re anything like us, time seems to fly by when you’re scrolling on TikTok. As one of the best places on the internet to binge-watch short-form videos, foodies from all over the world turn to TikTok for recipe inspiration, cooking tips and tricks, and restaurant recommendations. From whipped coffee to  baked feta pasta or your new favourite homemade chips, TikTok is home to an incredible global foodie community that’s always sure to entertain and inspire. Check out these Canadian TikTok accounts you should be following. 

@insta.noodls

This account is a must-follow for noodle aficionados. Whether you want to look for new ways to upgrade instant ramen or can’t get enough of this affordable pantry staple on its own, followers are always sure to learn something new. The “Mr.Noodles” of TikTok is based in the Toronto area and has garnered almost 13 million likes on his content so far. One of his most popular videos to date is his recipe tutorial on making creamy cheese ramen.  Follow @insta.noodls.

@insta.noodls

Reply to @pasteltiefling I boiled it this time #ramen #cooking #foodtiktok #foryoupage

♬ original sound – junna ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

@nutrientmatters

Sara is a Canadian TikTok creator who specializes in creating healthy and balanced recipes. Her content is all about adding more nutrients to average meals, but what sets Sara apart is her ability to make healthy homemade cooking so approachable. And with viral recipe videos like crispy potatoes, panko chicken with peanut sauce and cheesecake bites, you won’t be able to resist incorporating her approachable dishes into your weekly meal plan. Follow @nutrientmatters.   

@nutrientmatters

The way I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life 🤤

♬ Skate – Trees and Lucy

Related: Use Leftover Potatoes to Make This Internet-Famous Crispy Potatoes Recipe

@everything_delish

Just like her name suggests, everything Jamie makes looks delicious. Jamie’s super-simple recipes will inspire chefs of all skill levels to head into the kitchen ASAP. From Caprese sandwiches to cauliflower nachos, you’ll be sure to find a new dish you’ll love. Follow @everything_delish

 

@everything_delish

MOZZARELLA & CREAMY MUSHROOM CROSTINI made with Tre Stelle Cheese! *ad #holidayrecipe #crostini

♬ Wings – BLVKSHP

@sonia.saltnpepperhere

We can’t get enough of mouthwatering recipe content with an aesthetically pleasing feel, which is one of the many reasons why we follow @sonia.saltnpepperhere. Sonia also happens to be a Food Network Canada recipe developer and is best known for creating fan-favourite recipes that the whole family will enjoy.  Follow @sonia.saltnpepperhere and sure to try her sweet corn mochi cake and crispy ‘Vietnamese pizza’. 

@sonia.saltnpepperhere

SWEET CORN MOCHI CAKE 🌽 #mochicake #buttermochi #foodie #imobsessed #iykyk #foryou #homebaking #dessert #baking #corn

♬ Smiling All Day Long – Upbeat Happy Music

@edenthefoodie

As the founder of Black Foodie, a site dedicated to highlighting Black restaurants and recipes, it’s no surprise that Eden’s TikTok features her collection of mouthwatering dishes. From epic homemade meals to bucket-list-worthy restaurant entrees, you’ll certainly leave Eden’s page feeling hungry.  Additionally, Eden is also a Food Network Canada contributor. Her healthy Ethiopian vegan potato stew is the perfect fall comfort food. Follow @edenthefoodie.

Related: This Easy Ethiopian Mushroom Stir-Fry Will Be Your New Fave Weeknight Meal

@edenthefoodie

Banana fritters 🇯🇲😋#blackfoodie #jamaicanfood #bananafritters

♬ COOL AS THE BREEZE/FRIDAY – Chronixx

 

@sopheats

Vancouver is a city known for its unique culinary scene. As a passionate Vancouver foodie, Sopheats makes viral videos of some of the city’s most amazing places to eat, from a local noteworthy boba and cake mashup to underrated Korean BBQ and hot pot restaurants. Follow @sopheats

@sopheats

ARE YOU GONNA TRY IT??✨ #cake#boba#bubbletea#vancouverfood#vancouverfoodie#vancouverbc#dessert#bubbleteasquad#cakes

♬ Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride (From “Lilo & Stitch”) – Karaoke Version – Urock Karaoke

@w2sixpackchef

If you have ever experienced the tingles that run through the back of your head and spine when hearing something particularly soothing, ASMR videos are all about recreating that funny albeit relaxing feeling. In addition to sharing healthy recipes, Wallace makes TikTok videos specializing in cooking ASMR with viral videos of chopping a block of chocolate and rolling crispy leaves of lettuce. Follow @w2sixpackchef

Related: Try Molly Yeh’s Healthy Twist on TikTok’s Latest Pesto and Eggs Breakfast Hack

@w2sixpackchef

Reply to @lilchef111 #tiktokcooks #tiktokchef #foodtiktok #foodchallenge #knife #oddlysatisfying #chef #cooking #satisfying #react #reaction #asmr #fy

♬ original sound – Wallace W

@tiffycooks 

Tiffany’s TikTok account shines a spotlight on easy and approachable authentic Asian recipes. With multiple viral videos with millions of likes, some of our favourite videos include her honey walnut shrimp, orange chicken, and Din Tai Fun egg fried rice recipes. Follow @tiffycooks

@tiffycooks

The famous Din tai Fun Egg Fried Rice #friedrice #egg #dintaifung

♬ original sound – TIFFY COOKS 🥟

@sydneymelhoff

Chances are you already know (and love) Sydney’s work. As the creator of pancake cereal, one of the biggest viral TikTok food trends of 2020, Sydney is one of the leading mini-scale food content creators that looks (almost) too good to eat. Follow @sydneymelhoff. 

Related: Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta

@sydneymelhoff

Cookies & Cream Pancake Cereal🥞🍫Recipe in comments! Duet the video so I can see your creations! #pancakes #cereal #breakfast #minitutorials #oreo

♬ DEZ2FLY THE CHOSEN ONE – @Dez2fly

@foodtoronto_ 

As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, the sheer amount of options in Toronto’s diverse food scene can feel quite overwhelming. With a mission to try food from all over the world in one city, this account will keep you in the loop of the city’s must-visit restaurants and eateries.  Looking for more Toronto food recommendations? If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, be sure to visit Viaggio in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood.  Follow @foodtoronto_. 

@foodtoronto_

Egyptian street food in Toronto #toronto #foodie #food #foodtiktok #foodtiktokfood #egyptian #arab #halal #yum #viral #foodlover #fyp #foryoupage #ff

♬ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco

 

@MorgannBook

If you’ve ever celebrated a birthday with a Dairy Queen cake, you’re going to love Morgann’s TikTok account. The Ontario teen films herself making cakes and other Dairy Queen treats at her parent’s Ancaster-based franchise, giving her 2.8 million followers a behind-the-scenes look into one of everyone’s favourite dessert brands.  Follow @morgannbook

@morgannbook

new favourite cake I’ve done?! Happy birthday Olivia ❤️ #dq #dairyqueen #icecreamcake #icingonthecake #sweets #dessert

♬ More Than Friends – Aidan Bissett

Related: This Dream No-Churn Ice Cream Cake Requires Less Than 10 Ingredients 

@foodnetworkca 

Yes, we’re on TikTok! Be sure to follow us for even more delectable recipes; food hauls, restaurant reviews, clever cooking hacks you wish you knew sooner, and so much more.  Follow @foodnetworkca

@foodnetworkca

Imagine a pb cookie but spongy like a cake!! The verdict: just make cookies 😌 #peanutbutteraddict #peanutbuttermugcake #cakerecipe #mugcakerecipe

♬ original sound – Food Network Canada

Multi-coloured cake on a cake round with a piece missing from it displayed from the side.

Ron Ben-Israel and Harry Eastwood’s Top Cake Trends for 2021

There’s a famous saying that goes, “a party without cake is just a meeting” – and we couldn’t agree more! After all, it’s no coincidence almost every big event includes cake. From birthdays to weddings, baby showers to graduations, cakes symbolize celebration.

“Special occasion cakes have always reflected the changing times just like fashion!” celebrity chef, leading cake designer and The Big Bake judge, Ron Ben-Israel says. Before your next big bash, catch up on the latest cake trends taking over bakeries around all over the world.

Related: How to Make a Dreamy Mirror Glaze Cake

Lemon cupcake on a white cake stand with lemon wedges around it as a decoration

Petite Designer Cakes 

Over the past year, pandemic health regulations have required events to become more intimate, limiting guest lists to strict guidelines. And as parties and weddings have become smaller, so have the cakes,  says Ron. 

“This season, we’re concentrating on cakes that are more like jewel-like confections,” he says. Since grand cakes typically aren’t needed anymore, cakes with enticing colours and textures compensate for the diminished size. “These aren’t cupcakes; these are full-blown, intricate cakes that are made in a tiny size.” 

Close-up of rainbow coloured cake with a slice missing from it looking into the cake.

Rainbow Cakes

Once again, celebrations are starting to feel like the rainbow after the storm and this is literally translating to cake trends. Rainbows are going to continue to be huge, imparting bright and colourful messages of hope inside and outside of cakes,”  Ron says. 

Read More: Make Your Own Candy-Filled Piñata Cake

French croquembouche tower glazed and stacked like a Christmas tree

French Croquembouche Tower Cakes 

Do you want to add a show stopping focal point to your dessert table? Look no further than the French croquembouche tower cake. “Choux is back!” Harry Eastwood says. Choux pastries AKA pâte à choux or pastry cream puffs are a unique way to present single-serving desserts that look almost too pretty to eat. And did we mention just how delicious these cakes are?

Chocolate cake decorated with fresh flowers and pomegranate.

Fresh Flower Cakes 

Fresh flowers have become a popular way to elevate and add a pop of colour to any cake. “I’ve always been a big fan of using natural flowers to decorate celebration cakes,” Harry says. “Fresh flowers are low maintenance and will immediately turn your cake into a glamorous thing of beauty.”  

Before you pick flowers from your garden, be sure to only use flowers that are edible (such as roses, calendula, borage, lavender, fennel, violas, nasturtiums, pansies, cornflowers and dahlias), as well as herbs you already use in cooking. 

Related: Metis Herbalist Shares 20 Edible Plants and Weeds Found in Canada 

Brush Stroke Cakes

Single layer cakes don’t need to be boring – add a hint of drama to any sized cake with the brush stroke technique. Brush stroke cakes are decorated with feather-like, multi-coloured brushed chocolate, Ron says. “It creates a really dramatic and graphic effect.”

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Watch The Big Bake: Halloween on Mondays at 8 PM ET to see new episodes. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Smiling Chef Nazaree in an orange apron and floral blouse

5 Steps to a Better School Lunch With Junior Chef Showdown Winner Nazaree

Kids will be back in school  before you know it, so now would be  a good time to start brainstorming about your family’s September routine. Why not make this the year that you start incorporating kids into the lunch planning process? After all, learning how to make school lunches is a great way to encourage kids of all ages to become more comfortable and confident in the kitchen.

With this in mind, we turned to one of Canada’s most talented young chefs and this season’s Junior Chef Showdown winner, Nazaree, to give us some of her tips and tricks for packing better school lunches. 

Related: The Winning Dish From Junior Chef Showdown Will Become a Family-Favourite Meal in No Time

A boy eating lunch while watching his mom slice a cantaloupe

1. Get Kids Involved

Inspire kids to get excited about eating lunch at school by offering them a variety of options, making different recipes or taking them grocery shopping. As most parents can agree, just because their child likes a particular type of food or recipe at home does not always mean they’ll enjoy eating it at school. 

“I love eating pizza, but not if it’s cold,” Nazaree says, explaining that her microwave in the cafeteria isn’t always the best. “Instead, I like to bring a pizza-inspired sandwich to school,” to which she adds marinara sauce, shredded cheese and her favourite pizza toppings.

A sandwich in a child's bento box with cherries and carrots and celery

Related: Kitchen Skills Parents Should Teach Their Kids By Age 10

2. Pack Better Sandwiches 

There are many reasons why people love packing sandwiches for lunch: they’re portable, budget-friendly and the variety of ingredients that you can pack inside are endless. But there’s one aspect about sandwiches in your lunch box that’s hard to love they can get soggy quickly.

“Soggy sandwiches are worse than soggy pizzas,” Nazaree says with a laugh. Keep lunch box sandwiches from getting too soggy by packing the ingredients in individual containers and assembling the sandwich once it’s time to eat, she says. 

Another way to keep lunchbox sandwiches interesting is by rotating from your go-to sliced bread to bagels, pitas or baguettes. Kids with a more adventurous palate can taste test different cheeses or experiment with various sandwich toppings like mustards and dressings. If you or your little one isn’t a fan of sandwiches, check out these portable lunch ideas.Mango salad with tomatoes and onions

3. Switch Things Up

Busy families know that it’s all too easy to get into a rut when packing lunches for school. Add more excitement to your lunchbox by thinking how different ingredients can be incorporated into multiple meals and snacks. “I love bringing sliced mangoes to school,” Nazaree says. But to add more variety to her lunchbox, she eats them plain some days and uses them in her fruit salad on others. 

School age girl filling up reuseable water bottle

4. Buy Proper Supplies  

Stocking up on proper lunch supplies like reusable snack containers, thermal food jars and reusable water bottles makes packing lunches for school much easier. 

For many students, bento boxes are the must-have accessory in the cafeteria table. “Bento boxes are really popular for kids in the first or second grade,” she explains. For middle school students like herself, Nazaree recommends using bento boxes for more exciting lunches like build-your-own tacos. 

Apple Pie granola bars

5. Bring Shareable Snacks 

After many students experienced virtual learning during the past year or so, eating lunch together in person will feel even more special for kids that are returning to in-person learning. Nazaree says that nut-free desserts like donuts or ice cream sandwiches are always a big hit, if parents want to bring in treats for special occasions such as birthdays.

“My friends and I like to swap juice boxes, and we always like to share cookies and chips,” she adds.  So the next time you’re packing a special snack like homemade granola bars, ask kids if they want to pack a few extras to share with their friends at the lunch table. 

Watch Junior Chef Showdown and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Cheese Shopping Mistakes

Advice From a Cheese Master: How to Buy, Store and Eat Cheese

Weekly trips to the grocery store just aren’t complete without a stop at the cheese counter. Whether feta for your Greek salad, sharp cheddar cheese for a vegetarian quiche, smoked gouda for homemade pizza night, there’s a cheese that will improve your dish in a way that your taste buds will thank you.  We sat down with a maître fromager (AKA cheese master) and Cheese: A Love Story host, Afrim Pristine for his dos and don’ts for buying cheese. 

Don’t Forget to Plan Ahead

Overbuying cheese is one of the most common rookie mistakes people make, Afrim says. First of all, cheese needs about two to four hours to breathe before being enjoyed. “If you overbuy, store it in your fridge, and take it back out again, the integrity of the cheese isn’t quite the same.”

Related:  The Facts You Never Knew About Cheese

Do Buy in Smaller Quantities

With this in mind, Pristine recommends buying four or five different cheeses but purchasing them in smaller amounts.  When you purchase the right amount of cheese that you need, you don’t need to worry about unintentional food waste.

Four different cheeses on a white countertop with garnishes

Don’t Store Cheese in Plastic Bags

Afrim recommends wrapping cheese in a layer of wax or parchment paper with another layer of tinfoil. This technique will help cheese have the proper amount of moisture it needs, he explains.

“Creamy cheeses can stay in the fridge for a maximum of 7 to 10 days.  Hard cheeses have a longer shelf life, but won’t be as enjoyable after more than a few weeks,” he says.

Do Seek Out Local Canadian Cheese

Did you know that provinces like Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and even Nova Scotia make world-class cheese? Make the most out of living in Canada’s unique cheese culture by trying out different local cheeses.

As a proud Torontonian, one of Afrim’s favourite Canadian cheese is a Mountainoak gouda from Ontario. “Mountainoak gouda is a pretty complex cheese. It’s very salty and nutty, kind of like butterscotch or a bar of very dark chocolate.”

Related: Meet a Toronto Chef Making His Own Cheeses

Three pieces of parmigiano reggiano

Don’t Stick to the Same Cheese Every Time

It can be all too easy to get into a cheese rut. You already know that grated Parmigiano-Reggiano will taste phenomenal over your legendary risotto or go-to Caesar salad, but why not mix it up and try new recipes centered around your favourite cheeses?

Curb any chance of cheese boredom by experimenting with new unique pairings regularly.  For example, if you like Parmigiano-Reggiano, try it how Afrim’s family recipe: a salad with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged balsamic vinegar, strawberries and basil.

Related: This Jalapeno Appenzeller Bread is a Cheese Lover’s Dream

Cheese counter with several wheels of cheese

Do Be Adventurous

“The best thing about cheese is that it’s personal,” Afrim explains, adding that’s what makes cheese so unique. “There’s so much variety, but I think it’s really up to you on the individual on what you like.”

In other words, don’t be afraid to get out of your element at your local cheese counter and test out a few unique combos in the kitchen. Or you can just try new options for beloved recipes, like these  perfect cheeses for grilled cheese sandwiches. Trust us: the flavour payoff of going out of your comfort zone will be so worth it.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Watch Cheese: A Love Story with Afrim Pristine and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Afrim Pristine smiling and holding a plate of grilled cheese

4 Cheeses You Need at All Times, According to a Maitre Fromager

It doesn’t matter if you’re at home making your family a spaghetti and meatball dinner or are sharing a pot of traditional fondue in Switzerland— cheese makes almost any meal so much better. As a staple in nearly every culinary culture globally, it’s also the versatility of cheese that makes it so unique. “There’s a lot of hard work that goes into making cheese,” says maître fromager (AKA cheese master) and Cheese: A Love Story host, Afrim Pristine.

For this reason, no matter what type of cheese you’re working with, it’s important to respect the ingredient, he explains. And with more than 25 years of experience, Afrim still thinks that the art of cheese making is all pretty magical. “We sell a ten-year-old cheddar in our store (Cheese Boutique),” he says. “What other foods can you see that are ten years old, and still unbelievably tasty?”

Whether you’re grating a sharp cheddar or are baking a block of feta for an oh-so-trendy pasta dish, cheese has the transformative power to elevate a recipe from simply memorable to unforgettably delicious. Pristine shares how home chefs can set themselves up for culinary success by incorporating these cheeses into everyday meals.

See More: This Jalapeno Appenzeller Bread is a Cheese Lover’s Dream

French hard comte cheese on a black plate with a knife

French Comte

French Comte is a big, bold, nutty sharp cheese. It can be purchased in most grocery stores, but that wasn’t always the case 20 years ago. Now it’s everywhere, Afrim says, which makes it easier for any cheese enthusiast to enjoy. For a beautiful pairing, serve a French Comte with slices of prosciutto and a glass of red wine.

Related: 10 Facts You Never Knew About Cheese 

Parmigiano-Reggiano wedge on a wooden cutting board with a grey background

 Parmigiano-Reggiano

A cheese that needs no introduction, Afrim says that even just the tiniest bite of Parmigiano Reggiano is something that he can’t help but savour. “A good, aged Parmigiano Reggiano that’s three or four years old is possibly one of the best cheeses ever made,” he says. In fact, he believes it’s one of the most important cheeses that’s ever been made. “It’s just so complex and versatile. And I love that. It’s something that’s always so easy to snack on.”

Manchego cheese wedge and slices on a wooden cutting board with grapes and a knife

Manchego

If you’re looking for a cheese that can elevate almost any meal, turn to manchego. This salty and tangy Spanish cheese is made from sheep’s milk, and Afrim says it’s the best bang for your buck. Manchego goes well with so many different types of food, he explains, adding that it can be served in a cheese wedge as a separate side dish that guests can munch on throughout the meal.

See More: The Perfect Swiss Cheese Board 

Blue cheese wedge on a white cutting board with jam and crackers

Blue Cheese

Aside from cilantro, few foods are quite as divisive as blue cheese: you either love it or hate it. For Afrim, blue cheese is his absolute favourite. “I love blue cheese because it grabs my taste buds and takes me for a ride,” he says, adding that the saltiness and creaminess are what makes it so great. If you’re hesitant about blue cheese, his advice is simple: keep experimenting.

Since there’s so much variety within mild and strong blue cheeses, it can take some time to experiment and find which type of blue you prefer. For a crowd-pleasing blue cheese dish, try these caramelized onion & blue cheese crostinis.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Watch Cheese: A Love Story with Afrim Pristine and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.