Nora Singley

Nora Singley used to be a cheesemonger and the director of education at Murray's Cheese Shop. Until recently she was a TV chef on The Martha Stewart Show. She is currently a freelance food stylist and recipe developer in New York.
What Is Queso Fresco?
Queso fresco may rival goat cheese, feta, and ricotta as one of the best cheeses to have on hand during hot summer months, when lighter, fresh cheeses make the best accompaniment to grilled food and summer vegetables. Here’s what you need to know about this versatile cheese.Queso Fresco is a soft, fresh Mexican cheese traditionally made from raw cow milk or a combination of cow and goat milk. In the U.S., pasteurized versions are the most common.
Aug 11, 2022
Neufchâtel & Cream Cheese: What’s the Difference?
They're always right next to each other at the store, in nearly identical packaging. Here's the real difference between these creamy cheeses.
Mar 1, 2021
How To Store Cheese: What to Do When You Get It Home
Because you don't want to ruin a wedge or block with a lack of parenting skills!
Feb 16, 2021
Make Mongers of the Kids: My Picks to Help Introduce Children to Fine Cheese
I don’t have kids. But I’m an aunt. And the other day, I decided to involve my twin niece and nephew in a tasting designed to gauge their openness to so-called grownup cheeses. Because while I can’t blame my busy sister for feeding her kids quesadillas with pre-shredded cheese, I’ve always wondered if she doesn’t give their palates enough credit.Here, the results on how various cheeses fared, plus other ideas for gateway cheeses to feed the kiddies.
Sep 30, 2020
My New Favorite Salad Dressing Recipe: Delicious Ricotta Salata Citronette
I love a simple salad dressing made solely of really high quality olive oil and lemon juice. I always find that it’s those two simple things that dress some of my favorite salads at the restaurants I frequent the most. Good ingredients don’t need much more. Unless, that is, you add some ricotta salata. Other than salt and pepper, this dressing requires only 3 things: olive oil, lemon, and ricotta salata.
Jan 29, 2020
A Cheese-Lover’s Ice Cream Dream: Cheesecake Ice Cream with Graham Cracker Crumble
What’s a cheesemonger to do during ice cream week? Make ice cream, of course… of the cheesecake variety. And for a whimsical and seriously tasty crunch, we’ve whipped up a graham cracker topping, as well.This is a custard-less, egg-free ice cream, and is essentially a dump and stir. Or, more precisely, a dump and blend, as it’s made in either your blender or food processor. An ice cream maker you will need, but a stovetop you will not.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Lemon Cheesecake Cookies
Cream cheese is so often the source of such simple pleasures, and these cookies are no exception. Lemony, fluffy, and festive, with sweet drizzled icing, they’re tasty, sure — but perhaps what these cookies really have going for them is their ease. Ready? Go. This cookie dough is pretty reminiscent of cheesecake batter, but with extra flour, it’s firm enough to stand on its own without a crust (or a water bath!
Jan 21, 2020
A Delicious Twist: Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
These cheese straws are probably one of the more addictive things to come across our Cheesemonger’s desk in awhile. What’s best is that they’re dead simple to make, and with so many possibilities for variation — cheese-wise and toppings-wise — it’s easy to add your own distinctive mark and to make them match your mood. Or food.These are puff pastry cheese straws. And that’s what makes them so easy.A word on puff pastry: FEAR NOT THE PUFF!
Jan 21, 2020
The 10 Best Grocery Store Cheeses for a Quick and Easy Cheese Board
Some of these may be surprising.
Nov 23, 2019
5 Super-Surprising Grocery Store Finds to Elevate Any Cheese Board
Tips from The Kitchn
Nov 22, 2019
The Ultimate Addition to Soup? A Cheesy, Toasty Top
Love French onion soup more for the topping than for the soup itself? Look no further for some inspiration to French onion-ify your other favorite soups.Think of this soup topper as a tasty lid that’ll make any soup beneath even more delicious. With the addition of bread and cheese, any soup transforms into an instant meal, and the process is just about as easy as it gets. The options are endless for which soups make the best candidates, too.
Sep 13, 2019
Just Face It: The 2 Best Ways to Rid Your Cheese of Mold
The cheese questions we field the most mainly pertain to the lifespan of cheese: How long does cheese last? How do I know when a cheese has gone bad?What’s good versus bad mold?Armed with some of our helpful tutorials on how to store cheese best, you may never have to confront the issue of unwanted mold again. But if you do, there’s a new verb to learn: To face.It’s simple. If cheese has mold on it, you can be rid of it in one of two ways.
Sep 12, 2019
The Cheesemonger: Our Top Ten Cheeses for Cheap(er)
Have you been seeing cheese prices climbing upwards of $30 or even $40 per pound? If cheese is on your list of staples, we know what you’re thinking: Stop the insanity!There’s so much potential for economic change to take place in today’s election, but until our economy shakes off the brutality of the past few months (or years, depending on how you’re looking at things), we’ll continue to monitor our budgets.
Jul 12, 2019
The Cheesemonger: Stichelton
For those of you who have never understood the intrigue of Stilton, or especially if you’re among the many who support its well-known title as “The King of Cheese,” a new cheese beckons, and is in actuality a closer embodiment of that moniker than anything being marketed as Stilton today. It also happens to be a cheese that made me stop entirely in my tracks from pure gustatory satisfaction.By unfortunate law, all Stilton must be made from pasteurized milk.
Jul 12, 2019
A Twist and a Surprise: Armenian String Cheese
The obvious choice cheese-wise for lunch is a piece of shrink-wrapped string cheese. Pretty mundane. In the spirit of keeping with our week’s theme of great contenders for lunch boxes, we’re profiling something far more compelling, but along the same vein: Armenian string cheese, speckled with black caraway seeds, infused with one of the most obscure spices around, and with strings so long they put those stubby cheese sticks to shame.
Jun 5, 2019
Food-Lover’s Guide to Brooklyn The best markets, artisans, and shops for cooks
City:Population:Local specialties:Brooklyn rivals Manhattan as one of the most diverse food scenes around. With each neighborhood featuring a unique food culture, there’s certainly not a lack for markets and shops to explore. And exploring by foot is the best way to go, which makes it all the more easy to work off what you’ve eaten along the way.
Jun 5, 2019
Snack Recipe: Cheesy Spicy Popcorn
This is one of the quickest snacks around. And with such a high tastiness to ease ratio, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t give this recipe a shot. In a pinch — albeit a desperate one — I’ve even called this dinner. You make this popcorn almost as you would kettle corn. Throwing cheese (instead of sugar) into the pot as the popcorn is popping coats the kernels with cheese as they open. And that’s the trick.
Jun 5, 2019
The New Black: Beekman 1802 Blaak
It’s one that’ll make a statement, if it lasts long enough to stick around. Check out this new cheese from upstate New York, coated in a dusty coat of black ash. And in addition to looking just plain cool, it tastes pretty good, too.But what is it that makes it black?Ash! Vegetable ash, more specifically.Typically, you’ll see ash-rinded goat cheeses in younger, fresher styles. Some of the most celebrated cheeses in the world are of this variety.
Jun 4, 2019
Quick Tip: Make Cheese Rind Stock! The Cheesemonger
We’ve known for a long time that adding cheese rinds to soups and stews adds depth to your dish. But have you thought of making a stock with your rinds? You can use it in place of chicken or vegetable stock or broth and we guarantee you’ll love the results.
Jun 4, 2019
Hot Tips: How To Travel With Cheese
Sometimes, if you’re traveling, and always, if you’re a cheese fiend, bringing your own cheese is the way to go. Whether you’re going to the beach or the woods where cheese selection might be spotty or you’re visiting your hometown with nary a cheese shop in sight, you might want to take note of these notes on how best to transport your little gems. You might be surprised at just how far you can bring your cheese. Think about it: Refrigeration is a modern invention.
May 24, 2019
My Favorite Cheese Board… And a Mystery
It’s no wonder that my favorite things to buy when I’m traveling are cheese-related. This cheese board from a small town in Puglia, called Ostuni, and I have yet to see another one that resembles it. I purchased something else while there, too, and its use is far less obvious than the cheese board’s. The board is made of olive wood, or so I think. (Any insight is welcome in the comments!
May 24, 2019
Not Your Local Goat: Capricho De Cabra
Typically, when it comes to fresh cheeses, I advocate buying as locally as possible. It only makes sense, since something that’s as perishable as a young cheese will only benefit from being eaten quickly. A cheese that comes from far away is wrought with potential disruption of this timeline.
May 24, 2019
Store Review: Campbell Cheese & Grocery in Brooklyn
It’s rare for a specialty food shop to really blow you away—especially in Brooklyn. We’re (blissfully) saturated with fine food stores here. It’s not tricky to find a spot with a well-curated selection of well-crafted cheeses, cured meats, honeys, chocolate, and the like. And so when one shop stands out from the rest, it’s all the more special. I did some perusing the other day at Campbell Cheese & Grocery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
May 24, 2019
How Fresh Ricotta Cheese Is Made: A Visit to Salvatore Ricotta in Brooklyn
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Salvatore Ricotta. I love their cheese. And I’m not the only one. Lucky me, I paid the facility a visit the other week, and witnessed (and even helped in) the making of a batch of ricotta. Herein, all the details, plus information on what makes their cheese so crave- and praise-worthy. Salvatore’s office-slash-cheesemaking room is located near the Brooklyn Navy yards.
May 24, 2019
What I Learned About Buffalo Mozzarella in Italy
I’ve eaten my share of mozzarella di bufala. We get pretty great imports now, all DOC name protected versions, but there’s something different about eating the stuff in the place where it’s actually made. Last month, when in Italy, the buffalo mozzarella I ate was like a totally different animal. One quality set it apart from any I’d had in the States.
May 24, 2019
The Story of One-Pan Pasta (and 5 Wintry Recipe Ideas)
Type “one-pan pasta” into your search engine and you’ll unearth a bounty of recipes and blogs touting the merits of a now well-recognized method for cooking pasta: Cook dry pasta start to finish with its sauce and aromatics, water and all, in the same, single skillet.
May 24, 2019
The Cheesemonger: A Bit of Crunch in Your Cheese?
Ever wonder about the whitish spots of crunch in your cheese? People have a wide variety of theories on those little crystalline bits. No, it’s not salt, it’s not something deliberately added during cheesemaking, it’s not that the cheese is old and it’s starting to dry out, and it’s not a cheese mite.Today we’re setting the record straight in a big reveal of the little known component in some of your favorite cheeses.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: All About Feta
Stop right there. Before you skip over this post because you (like many others, we’re afraid) have minimal interest in feta, think again. Ubiquitous, yes, but don’t let that tamper with your impression of feta’s gustatory potential. If you think about it, you’ll realize that feta embodies some truly intriguing dualities: it’s briny yet milky, aged yet young, mild yet lingering.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: The Dessert Course
Many times, the best way to end a meal is not with something sweet. And luckily, the European trend to serve cheese as dessert is catching on more and more everyday in this country. We see it in restaurants everywhere, but how can you create your own dessert course at home?Read on for some of our favorite after dinner cheeses and the accompaniments we love to serve alongside.The best part about serving cheese for dessert is that it’s fast and easy.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger meets The Winemonger: A Cheese and Wine Pairing Primer
When it comes to pairing wine and cheese together, there are so few go-to matches. So how do you know when you’ve happened upon a perfect pair? Take a look at our bullet-pointed guidelines, your new, indispensable crib notes to wine and cheese nirvana.First of all, you have to know what to look for. Or rather, what to taste.In a great pairing, you’ll find that the cheese elevates the wine, and vice versa. Their collision should bring out new intricacies and nuances in each other.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: To Rind or Not to Rind?
When it comes to cheese, one of the most oft-asked and misunderstood queries is in regards to rind.There are two basic schools of thought when it comes to the question of The Rind. The first argues that the true essence of a cheese lives within the bounty of its rind, and that it’s therefore not to be skipped. The second supports the act of delving solely into the interior paste, and doing away with the disruptive complexity of its crust.Neither theory is exclusively correct, really.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: Cottage Cheese
Sure, we may never go as far as describing cottage cheese as refined, or elegant, or even complex, but deserving of some air time it is. We hereby extoll its simplicity and versatility and deride its mistaken identity solely as a dieter’s delight.Just what is it, though, how is it made, and what are the best ways to enjoy it?Just the visual sight of cottage cheese is actually a good way to understand the cheesemaking process.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: How to Eat Cheese
The other week we asked our readers to pose any and all questions on cheese to our cheesemonger. (Lines are still open if you have a query of your own.) Herein lies the answer to reader jeffzelli’s question:“It’s a bit embarrassing, but I have to ask: what is the etiquette for eating a cheese flight? My friend and I had a cheese and wine flight at Bin 36 in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: Why Is My Cheese Orange?
Milk is white, so why is some cheese orange? What is the culprit responsible for this color change in cheese and why would some cheesemakers choose to rob their cheese of its natural tint in the first place? (It’s not as devious as it sounds.)Cheese can be colored with a coloring agent called annatto. It’s a natural food coloring that comes from the Annatto (also known as Achiote) tree, grown in the tropical regions of Central and South America.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: Why is Blue Cheese Blue?
Cheese nerds, come hither. Have you ever really thought about why blue cheese is the color that gives it its name? And what’s the key element necessary to activate that blueness?Blue cheeses are unique for many reasons, but most significantly, they stand out from the other families of cheese because of the way they ripen. While most other cheeses are bacteria-ripened, like washed-rind cheeses, blue cheeses ripen from mold activity.
May 3, 2019
The Cheesemonger: All About Manchego
It’s one of the most widely recognized names in the gourmet cheese marketplace. And for good reason. Here, all you’ve ever wanted to know about this Spanish cheese warrior, which has dominated the modern day cheese frontier for a much shorter period of time than it’s actually been around.Characterized by a mildly gamy (think lamb choppy) flavor and a hazelnutty sweetness, Manchego is everywhere.
May 3, 2019