Choosing Cheeses for These “Harry Potter” Characters
The wizarding world is full of weird and wonderful foods, from sweets to beverages. But as an avid cheese lover, I’m celebrating National Cheese Day by combining two of my favorite things – Harry Potter and cheese. Here’s my take on how the world of cheese fits into both the Hogwarts Houses and characters across the series.
1. Gryffindor: Aged Cheeses
Gryffindors are known for their nerve, daring, and chivalry, which makes the aged cheese range a perfect fit. These strong but refined cheeses such as cheddar, gruyere, and gouda are bold and unmistakable, but they’re generally well-liked and popular in the cheese world.
Ginny Weasley: Red Leicester
This bold red cheese matches Ginny’s personality perfectly – and her Weasley hair as well! Similar to cheddar, this variety can be mild but also rather tangy depending on its age, speaking to Ginny’s feisty, can-do attitude.
Remus Lupin: Pecorino
Pecorino is a hardened Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk. Having been made since the time of Ancient Rome, this cheese fits with the time period that has influenced Remus’s character – from the origins of his name to the origins of lycanthropy. As a cheese, however, pecorino is a delightful addition to many dishes such as salads and pasta, which follows Remus’s pivotal role in groups such as the Marauders and the Order of the Phoenix.
2. Hufflepuff: Fresh Cheeses
Hufflepuff fits with cheeses of the fresh, unripened variety. Cheeses such as feta and goat’s cheese (chèvre) are incredibly versatile – and great at teamwork in the context of a dish. Don’t let their soft texture or creamy palate fool you – there’s quite a lot of hard work that goes into the making of these cheeses!
Cedric Diggory: Mozzarella
Like Cedric, mozzarella possesses an easy charm and wide popularity – just think of all those pizza lovers! It’s a good all-around cheese and a great addition to a wide variety of dishes, which speaks to Cedric’s skill, as we see in his performance during the Triwizard Tournament.
Newt Scamander: Smoked Buffalo Mozzarella
This lesser-known variety is wildly different from traditional mozzarellas, just as Newt is often seen as an outsider. Given his love of fantastic creatures, it was important to give Newt a cheese that utilizes a more obscure variety of milk, in order to highlight the variety and diversity of different cheeses.
3. Ravenclaw: Mold-Ripened Cheeses
Ravenclaw values knowledge and wisdom, so what better category than one that requires skills and techniques centuries in the making to pull off? I’m of course talking about mold-ripened cheeses, ranging from the likes of camembert to washed-rind. These cheeses have a complex palate but often are creamy and provide an element of innovation when used in dishes.
Luna Lovegood: Brie
This classic French favorite can often appear rather dubious from the outside and tends to turn cheese novices away before trying. However, if given a try, Brie is a variety that is sure to delight with its soft and creamy texture – it’s a (cheese) fan favorite for a reason!
Garrick Ollivander: Washed-Rind
Although mostly harmless enough to eat, washed-rind has a scary-looking exterior and a rather pungent smell. While on the whole, this cheese is not as scary as it may look, any encounter will be quite the flavor adventure! This cheese suits the wandmaker Ollivander with his slightly scary appearance and penchant for rather controversial opinions.
4. Slytherin: Blue Cheeses
When it comes to Slytherin, there is only one range of cheese that fits hand in hand with this house. I’m of course talking about blue cheeses – those blue-veined varieties that cause controversy everywhere they go. While blue cheeses such as Roquefort and gorgonzola can dominate with their unmistakable flavor profiles, they can pair quite nicely with sweeter components such as honey, pear, and jams.
Narcissa Malfoy: Danish Blue
This distinguished cheese is considered to be a milder variety. While still comprised of a strong flavor profile, it has a more creamy and soft texture that balances out the character of this cheese to something a bit more complex and dimensional.
Stilton is a very firm and strong cheese with a rather unyielding character – just like Voldemort. Stilton is also a cheese that has a strict PDO (protected designation of origin), which means that only varieties made in the three counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, or Derbyshire in England can be considered Stilton. That’s a fixation with blood purity if I ever saw one. And of course, Voldemort can handle one of the stinkiest cheeses out there – after all, he’s got no nose!
Two honorable mentions have made it known that they would like to be included but do not have one specific cheese that they affiliate with. Peter Pettigrew, true to his rat Animagus form, has a soft spot for all cheeses. Dudley Dursley also enjoys cheese, preferably various forms of processed cheese, which he likes to eat as light snacks taken between his official snacks of the day.
There are endless varieties and types of cheeses, not to mention many more characters waiting for their own choice of cheese. Which one will you choose for your favorite character?