Slideshow: Ask A Cheesemonger: What Are the Best Fancy Pants Cheeses for Pizza?

Reading Raclette
Reading Raclette

The Cheese

"An alpine style farmstead cheese from Spring Brook Farms in Vermont, it has flavors of sweet milk, sour cream, and a deep nuttiness that linger wonderfully on the palate. It melts beautifully."

Pairings

Combine shaved apples, crushed hazelnuts, and balsamic glaze, or try portabello mushrooms instead.

Substitutions

Any French or Swiss raclette.

$9.99 / 8oz. at Di Bruno Bros.

Crottin de Chavignol
Crottin de Chavignol

The Cheese

"When young, crottin are tiny little rounds of moist, smooth goat's-milk; as they age they become a bit firmer and develop a delightful creamy rind...at their oldest they are a delightful disk of hard, nutty goat cheese. Choose your favorite!"

Pairings

Pickled raisins, caper berries, rosemary olive oil, and a few drops of ricotta.

Substitutions

Bûcheron de Chèvre

$6.99 each, at Di Bruno Bros.

Ossau Iraty Brebis
Ossau Iraty Brebis

The Cheese

"This is a mild but wonderfully full-flavored cheese from the Basque region of France. Notes of almonds, hazelnuts, and olives give this classic cheese its delicate complexity."

Pairings

Highlight its sweet and savory notes with chopped black olives, red pepper and arugula.

$13.99 / 8oz. at Di Bruno Bros.

Adelegger
Adelegger

The Cheese

"This Alpine-style cheese is nutty, buttery, and slightly sweet, with a hefty, meaty bite. Its texture is dense and fudgy, though older wheels can be quite crystalized. Cheesemaker Evelyn Wild sources the cheese from a cooperative of local farmers and washes it repeatedly with herb-infused white wine. It's then aged for 14-18 months.

Pairings

Caramelized onions, Brussels sprouts (leaves roughly separated to allow for crisping), balsamic vinegar reduction.

Substitutions

Cave-aged Swiss Gruyere or French Comté.

Roughly $29.99 / lb

Piacentinu with Saffron
Piacentinu with Saffron

The Cheese "For saffron lovers! The salty bite of this beautiful golden sheep's milk cheese is smoothed with the rich, warm, sweet taste of saffron. Black peppercorns kick it up a notch. Fun fact from the Di Bruno bros blog: 'The 12th-century Sicilians who invented this cheese revered saffron as an antidepressant and viewed peppercorns as wildly exotic. In fact, this cheese was special-ordered by Ruggero the Norman who wanted to cheer up his wife. After that, it became a courtly cheese that was thought to have restorative powers.'"

Pairings Shelled shrimp or clams, chopped spring onion, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley and cilantro.

Substitutions Aged pecorino; try Crotonese or Moliterno for a shave-able kick, or Foja de Noce for something a tad sweeter and crumbly.

Read more on the Di Bruno Bros. blog

Evalon Select Goat
Evalon Select Goat

The Cheese

"This smooth, sliceable aged goat cheese is made by Katie Hedrich, a young cheese maker working on her family’s goat farm in Wisconsin. Evalon doesn’t have that bold tartness of many goat cheeses; it’s gentle, with a gouda-like sweetness and a nutty tang reminiscent of parmigiano reggiano."

Pairings

Sage oil, honey

Substitutions

Goat: Midnight Moon (California), Montealva (Spain) Cow: Piave Vecchio (Italy)

$12.99 / 8oz. at Di Bruno Bros.

Taleggio
Taleggio

The Cheese

"Taleggio is an ancient cheese with a pungent aroma. Don’t be scared! The taste is much more tame; slightly salty with notes of white wine and spring onion. The paste is soft and velvety; spoonable and spreadable at room temperature and an awesome melter."

Pairings

Sopressata and sliced fresh figs.

Substitutions

StraCapra (Italy) is a goat's milk cheese similar to Taleggio, but a bit more delicate. Or, to go the stinkier route and try Brescianella Stagionata (Italy), another brine-washed cow milk cheese with a bit more heft.

$7.99 / 8oz. at Di Bruno Bros.