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Hoop Cheese Toast and Toasted Recipe

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make this old Southern favorite of Hoop Cheese Toast. And, learn how old timers liked to melt or toast the same cheese in a skillet. Printable recipe included.

Hoop Cheese, either toasted or as toast, was a real treat in my younger years at home. You can do the same with cheddar cheese, but old fashioned Hoop Cheese makes it the best.

I created this post on Hoop Cheese Toast more as a way to share my memories of it than to actually share a recipe. It’ so simple, it really doesn’t need a recipe as we know them.

Hoop Cheese was a great treat for us in my younger years. I have no idea what it might have cost back then, but we didn’t have it very often as I recall. But, it sure was tasty when we did get the chance to enjoy it.

Mostly we had it at breakfast time. Mama would make either Hoop Cheese toast for us, or she would just cut it into cubes and melt it in her cast iron skillet. Then, we either ate it straight off the plate with a fork, or sometimes, we’d slip it into one of her hot Buttermilk Biscuits and enjoy it that way.

Of course, it was also just a treat for Daddy to slice off a bit of the cheese from the section he bought and hand it to you to enjoy plain. It was all good. Smile.

I’ve used Hoop Cheese several times here on Taste of Southern. You can check out my recipes for Pimento Cheese made with Hoop Cheese or my recipe where I made Homemade Macaroni and Cheese which also used hoop cheese.

I’ll share more about Hoop Cheese with you below. It’s getting harder to find, even here in the South. I can’t resist picking up a pound or so whenever I come across it. And, my brother buys a whole 40lb block of it at Christmas time and has it cut and wrapped to share with his friends and members of his Sunday School class.

Thankfully,  there are still a few places close by that carry it. I know it may not be available in  your area, but you could also use a mild cheddar cheese that would give similar results.

As I stated, I just wanted to share one of my early childhood food memories with you. I’m sure many folks may have also had it in their growing up, so I’ll be happy to read your Comments on it in the section at the end of the recipe below. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your memories.

Okay, get the fried eggs and grits ready. Maybe even some Buttermilk Biscuits.

Ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!

Hoop Cheese Toast & Toasted – You’ll need these ingredients.

I really like this Natures Own Butterbread. It makes great sandwiches in my opinion. They don’t even know me, but you can certainly use the white bread of your choice. You’ll also need a pound of Hoop Cheese.

The red rind comes off easily. Remove and discard the rind from your block of cheese.

Hoop Cheese is getting harder to find even here in the Southern states. But, any General Store or old time grocery store is bound to have a round of it near the meat department or just sitting on the counter next to the cash register.

Hoop Cheese is made from cow’s milk. It’s made by separating the whey from the cottage cheese curds. The cheese is pressed out into rounds, and is wrapped in cheesecloth. This is sealed with the red wax which usually indicates a mild flavor, but sometimes you’ll find a black rind which indicates a sharp cheddar type of cheese.

The cheese is firm but not hard. Biggest problem is that it doesn’t keep well. Even wrapped in clear plastic wrap and refrigerated, it will develop a mold in about a week. You can cut any small spots of mold off but if it gets really covered, it’s best to discard the cheese.

It’s usually made in 40 pound rounds or “blocks” as it’s sometimes called. Then, it’s placed inside a round wooden box and shipped and sold to farmers markets, general stores and in some cases in the south, gas stations will also have it on the counter. You order it by the pound for the most part, and the store keeper cuts it from the hoop right there in front of you.

The cheese was so popular in the early 1900’s that a special cheese cutter was invented to help cut the cheese more accurately. You’ll find a used one of those on Ebay ever so often, but they generally sell for around 500.00 as a collectible.

One brand was actually called a Computing Cheese Cutter. Rumor has it that the company that made it later became known as IBM. Ever heard of them? Smile

I’ve cut a couple of slices off the larger end to make my toast. These pieces are just over 1/4th of an inch thick. Use your own judgement.

Mama would always place about three or four of the squares on each slice of bread. I’m making just two slices of toast and I’m using one of her old pans to make it on. Old pans are the best. Smile.

Place the cheese toast in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350F degrees. You’ll just have to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Let it stay in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt to your liking. Mine took about 5 minutes or a little longer.

Hoop Cheese – Toasted or “Melted”

Another way we enjoyed the Hoop Cheese was to melt it in the cast iron skillet. Mama or Daddy would cut the hunk of cheese into smaller pieces and place it in the cast iron skillet. This would then be placed over Medium-Low heat to let the cheese melt.

As the cheese begins to melt, use a spatula to push it all towards the center of the pan. You do not add any oil as it will produce plenty of that on it’s own. Just keep stirring it around until it melts.

This is fully melted. You can see the oil around the outer edges. Sometimes, some of the cheese would stick to the bottom of the pan and slightly burn. I always found this hard crusty bit of the cheese was my favorite.

Enjoy!

This is an entire pound of Hoop Cheese. One slice of toast was very filling, even for an adult. Of course, it was usually served along side your eggs and grits as part of your breakfast.

As for the melted cheese, yes, we did eat it right off the plate like this at times. It was also often placed in one of Mama’s hot Buttermilk Biscuits and enjoyed that way.

It cools pretty quickly, so you had to eat it pretty much as soon as it came off the stove or out of the oven, but it sure was a treat back in my early days. I really enjoyed getting to enjoy this again and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share those memories with you.

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