Fried cheese is a dish prepared using cheese that is fried in oil. Fried cheese can be dipped in a batter before frying, and can be pan-fried or deep fried. It can be served as an appetizer or a snack. Fried cheese is a common food in Brazil and the Dominican Republic, and is typically served as a breakfast dish in Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. Fried cheese is served as a tapas dish in Spain, and in Spain fried cheese balls is referred to as delicias de queso (English: "Cheese delights"). It is also a dish in Italian cuisine. Fried cheese is typically served hot, right after being cooked. It may be accompanied with a dipping sauce or coated with a dressing.
Fried cheese has been documented as being a popular dish in Cairo, Egypt, during the Middle Ages, and remained a part of the cuisine through the time of the Ottoman occupation. After this period, its popularity markedly decreased with time.
Queso Frito (English: "fried cheese") is a fried cheese dish with several variations around the world. Spanish versions sometimes use paprika to spice the dish. It is also a dish in Central American cuisine.[a]
Malakoff is a Swiss fried cheese dish.
Smažený sýr (Czech) or Vyprážaný syr (Slovak) is a cheese that is prepared by being dredged in flour, placed in an egg wash and then coated with bread crumbs, after which it is deep fried. It is a common street food in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Kaassoufflé is a deep-fried Dutch fast food snack of cheese inside a breaded wrap.
In Hungary fried cheese is a common cheap dish, served in restaurants or at home, usually made from the locally popular trappista cheese which accounts for 70% of the country's cheese consumption. It is a "poor man's" item of vegetarian food in restaurants which don't offer more usual vegetarian dishes and so prepare fried cheese and deep fried vegetables as a main course option for any customer who doesn't want meat. The common name, "rántott sajt", simply means "fried cheese" or "deep fried cheese". It is generally served in a square or in a triangular shape.
Mozzarella cheese is often used by fried cheese food manufacturers, because it has a desirable gooeyness when melted and because it has a neutral flavor that is "widely acceptable".
A significant amount of oil is absorbed into cheese when it is fried, and the frying of cheeses adds advanced lipid end products and dicarbonyls to advanced glycation end-products that are already present in cheeses. The advanced lipid end products are generated in a chemical reaction that occurs when the oil is intermingled with the proteins in cheeses. Furthermore, most cheeses are salty. As such, fried cheese has been described as an unhealthy dish.
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- Media related to Fried cheese at Wikimedia Commons