Whether for a get-together over the holidays, an award show celebration, or a viewing party for a sporting event, cheese balls are the perfect appetizer for any entertaining occasion. A good cheese ball is only as good as its ingredients, however, so it is important to pick the right ones — from selecting a high-quality cheese to opting for the best type of pecans. When it comes to the latter of these tasks, we have a tip: For a cheese ball that wows your guests, always use chopped stuart pecans.
It may come as a surprise to learn that there are over one thousand varieties of pecans grown in North America. Stuart pecans are one of the more popular varieties and are the type most often farmed in Georgia. They are highly valued for their sweet, rich pecan flavor as well as their hardy texture, which holds up well to cooking. Their buttery decadence makes them a great choice for many dishes, but especially as a complement to the soft interior of a delectable cheese ball — adding crunch and an indulgent taste that contrasts the salty cheese well.
Where To Find The Best Stuart Pecans
Pre-packaged pecans sold at the grocery store do not typically specify which variety of pecan they are, and it can be difficult to tell visually. If you want to be sure you are getting stuart pecans, it is best to go to a specialty store or bulk store or to order them from an online vendor. We also recommend opting for stuart pecans that are already shelled, as their shells tend to be pretty thick and hard to crack.
Once you get your hands on some of these tasty nuts, you will want to toast them in order to amp up their crunch and intensify their flavor and aroma. If you need help doing so, check out our guide on how to toast nuts. Once the pecans are golden and fragrant, let them cool and chop them up before rolling your cheese ball in the pieces to give it that crunchy, delicious finish we all know and love.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.