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 2, 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
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
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
Nora Singley’s Favorite Posts of 2010
Another great year! And not just for cheese. For as much as I value my role as The Kitchn’s Cheesemonger, I get so much non-cheese-related inspiration from my fellow contributors, and from other sites, too, for that matter. So I’m happy to share five of the sites that I love best other than The Kitchn in this year’s roundup of my favorite posts. Because as anyone who loves to make food knows, cooking is as much about borrowing from others as it is about sharing.
Jun 5, 2019
The Cheesemonger: Vermont Butter and Cheese Company
Last weekend, our resident cheesemonger journeyed North, in search of cheese. What the Green Mountain State lacked in sunshine it made up for with roadside farmstands galore, support of local food producers (even at a Mobil station, where they were selling muffins from a nearby bakery), and most of all, numerous cheesemakers with innovation on the brain.
Jun 4, 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 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: 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: 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: Forsterkase
It’s hard to believe we’ve never spoken — not even once — of this cheese, with an appearance almost as arresting as its flavor. It carries a hefty stink and an equally substantial creaminess, an ideal pick for the fall and winter. But what’s that name all about, and why does it have a brown band around its middle?
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
Stinky! A Profile of Washed Rind Cheeses The Cheesemonger
They’re the stinkiest of any cheese you’ll find behind the counter. They’re the ones that make you search your refrigerator for something that’s gone bad. In this week’s Cheesemonger column, a profile on the washed rind family of cheeses: how to pick them out, some of the best even for the non-converts, and understanding the difference between a bad stink and a good one.
May 3, 2019
For The Love of Brie: A Profile of Bloomy Rinded Cheeses The Cheesemonger
It snowed all day yesterday, and now New York is peppered with a downy white coating of fresh snow. So it seems only appropriate to talk about the family of cheese that is most apropos — aesthetically speaking — for the weather: bloomy rinded cheeses. These are the most popular cheeses of all: the bries, the camemberts, and the triple cremes. And after last week’s complete primer on one entire category of cheese, we thought we’d stick to that theme, too.
May 3, 2019
The Squeakier the Better: Cheese Curds The Cheesemonger
What’s been largely a dairy belt phenomenon is now steadily making its way to a wider audience of eager eaters. The humble cheese curd is gaining in popularity, with culinary applications that go way beyond the deep fryer.Never had them? Now’s a good a time as any, especially considering their price…Maybe you’ve seen them around, looking much like the picture above, perhaps at street fairs or amusement parks.
May 2, 2019
Cheese: On Melting The Cheesemonger
When cooking with cheese, there’s nothing much worse than choosing the wrong cheese for the wrong application. Mozzarella’s not great as a finisher atop pasta in the same way that parmesan is, for example, because it becomes clumpy and stringy, while a harder cheese like parmesan can become a more cohesive element of the dish. Understanding why cheeses melt in different manners can help keep your fontina on your paninis and your fetas in your salads.
May 2, 2019
Have Cheese, Will Fly: What Cheeses Travel Well The Cheesemonger
I remember my years behind the cheese counter distinctly. But around the holidays, my days would blur together, with endless hours and perpetual lines of people needing cheese. One question was consistent, anxiety-ridden and almost deja vu-like in its repetitiveness: “I’m flying. I want to bring cheese. But can I?” The simple answer is yes.
May 2, 2019
A Welcome Resurgence: Clothbound Cheddar
Look at legendary English cheddars and they all have at least one thing in common: a cloth rind. In recent years, the technique has caught on among a creative handful of domestic cheesemakers, and we couldn’t be more supportive.Why make a particular point of highlighting these types of cheddars in particular? Binding a wheel in cloth makes for a cheese that’s decidedly more rustic, with an almost dusty, pleasantly cellar-like aroma and more pronounced cooked milk flavors.
May 2, 2019
A Cheese Worth Finding: Jura Erguel
We took a trip to one of our most trusted sources for cheese in Manhattan the other day, looking for a great cheese for beer. What we found did the trick, but it could just as easily stand all by its lonesome, without the aid of any pairing beverage. It’s now officially this cheesemonger’s new favorite cheese. And the story behind it ain’t bad, either.
May 2, 2019
Take Your Cheddar One Step Further: Cheddar and Green Chile Waffles with Thyme Maple Syrup
Put this recipe at the head of your “To Make” list immediately. It’s ideal for brunch, but if you like breakfast for dinner, then this savory waffle recipe will be seriously soul-satisfying. And the best part? Obviously, it’s the cheese.
May 2, 2019
(Four) Variations on a Theme: Ploughman’s Lunch
Without knowing it, we all probably have a ploughman’s lunch pretty regularly. It’s basically a deconstructed cheese sandwich: a hunk of cheese, a knob of rustic bread, sometimes some greens, sometimes some meat, a tangy pickle of sorts or some kind chutney-like condiment, and an apple. And a beer on the side. Imagine a kid’s lunchbox, and it’d probably contain a lot of the same components. Well, except for the beverage.
May 2, 2019
Why Does My Cheese Look Wet?
Does your cheese do this? If you’re a big cheese eater, tear-like dew drops on the surface of your cheese probably look pretty familiar, especially if your cheese has been sitting out for awhile. What exactly is happening and is there some way to make your cheese behave? Cheese is made up primarily of coagulated milk solids, or curd.
May 2, 2019
The Ultimate: Giant Cheese Popovers
We’ve written about popovers before. But have you ever had cheesy popovers? So easy, we promise. And even more impressive.Popover batter is essentially the same as crepe batter. But while the crepe is by nature totally flat, a popover is anything but.The pop-ability of a popover relies on high heat and a tall, narrow cooking vessel. A popover pan encourages steam, as does the wet batter.
May 2, 2019
Cheese Review: Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Cheese
I don’t need much convincing to try a new cheese. When someone suggests something I’ve never heard of I generally add it to my “to try” list. But more often than not, I’m plagued by the same kind of forgetfulness that accompanies trips to the video store, when you can’t seem to remember the dozens of must-see titles that you swore you wouldn’t forget.
May 2, 2019
How Much Milk Makes One Pound of Cheese?
You may be surprised. And the answer might even help justify your spending a lot on really nice cheese; more raw material goes into making cheese than you think. Here’s betting that you’ll start appreciating each morsel just a little bit more. Get the answer, plus other cow, sheep, and goat milk musings, after the jump. 1 pound of cheese requires 10 pounds (or about 5 quarts) of cow or goat milk and about 6 pounds of sheep milk.
May 2, 2019
A Worthy Replacement for Parm: Sartori SarVecchio
When it comes to cooking, it’s not unusual for Parmigiano Reggiano to factor disproportionately into your arsenal of recipes. Especially now, when everything seems to be gratin-ed, casserole-ed, or pudding-ed, anything that can act as a sub is more than welcome, especially if it comes with not only a lower price tag, but also an equally amazing taste.
May 2, 2019
For the Haters, Fourme D’Ambert: A Blue to Love
After last week’s post on cheeses that make you cringe, it was clear from some comments that one style of cheese has particular ability to inspire the heeby jeebies: blue cheese.And so, I thought a recommendation was necessary for a starter blue of sorts, one that’s very available and pretty reliable, if you can find it from a good producer. If you’re willing to take on the challenge to leave your old taste buds in the dust, the rewards have huge potential.
May 2, 2019
Overlooked, but Not Forgotten: In Praise of Fontina
I often look through my cheese drawer for cheese column inspiration. If it’s full, I’ve got a lot to draw on. But it’s often the same couple of cheeses that I’ve already written about, my absolute favorites or my personal staples.Last night, I scrounged around, and quickly overlooked a certain cheese that falls into both of those categories, convinced that I’d written about it before.
May 2, 2019
Stand Corrected: Gorgonzola, So Good!
For all of my talk — and sometimes preaching — about blue cheese, there’s one specific kind that I tend not to mention. I never buy or recommend this particular cheese, and I’ve thought for years that fact supported my bias against it.Needless to say, it never ceases to amaze me just how frequently a cheese epiphany crosses my path.The other day, a coworker bought a wedge of gorgonzola for a recipe she was testing.
May 2, 2019
The Closest Cheese to Fudge: Gjetost
Say it: “Yay-toast.” Have you tried this cheese?It’s Norwegian, and although the name translates directly to “goat cheese,” chances are that this cheese tastes just about as far from any you’ve had before. Gjetost is as sweet as caramel, with the texture of a dense, buttery fudge. Until this week, I’d really only thought to use Gjetost as part of a dessert course.
May 2, 2019
The Uncanny Tastiness of Burrata: It’s That Good
Burrata means “buttered” in Italian. It’s that rich. What it really is, though, is fresh cheese at its best. At first glance, burrata resembles a ball of mozzarella. But upon further scrutiny, it’s clear that this round of cheese is softer, and indeed, when cut, has an interior that spills out, revealing soft, stringy curd and fresh cream. If you’re a lover of mozzarella, ricotta, or really anything that’s straight-up creamy, this cheese is so what you want.
May 2, 2019