Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origin of the word alludes to the use of brine (aqua marina) in the pickling process, which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid. The liquid in question, the ‘marinade’, can be either acidic (made with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or wine) or enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple, papaya or ginger). In addition to these ingredients, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items. – Wikipedia
According to culinary lore the first liquid use to make a marinade was salt water which helped to preserve the protein and impart flavor though the salt. Sometimes, sea water (aqua marina) was used and it was the sea water that led to the word marinade, from the Latin word mare (sea). The Italian marinare means “to marinate.”
If you believe Pinterest, the famous and ubiquitous “Italian “marinade of olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic and Mediterranean herbs has been a flavor enhancer for 1000+ different foods from meat to olives, octopus to romaine lettuce on the grill. The combination of an oil and an acid is the basis for many marinades and Italy has the best ingredients (extra virgin olive oil, wine, vinegars and lemons ) for marinating. Pungent garlic, fresh juice from the lemons of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast or regional wine from the cask – add a fragrant extra virgin olive oil and a classic Italian marinade can instantly transport you to the Mediterranean even when it comes in contact with such un-Italian ingredients like Colby, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
You Don’t Have to Be Italian Marinated Cheese
1-8-oz package of Colby and Monterey Jack cheese cubes (about 2 cups)
1-8-oz package of Cheddar Cheese cubes (about 2 cups)
½ c. extra olive oil
½ c. white wine vinegar
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
3 T. minced green onions
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup minced red pepper
2 tsp. turbinado sugar
½ tsp. coarse salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Combine all marinade ingredients and whisk until the mixture is emulsified, set aside.
Arrange cheese cubes in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Pour marinade over cheese cubes. Cover and refrigerate at least eight hours. Transfer cheese to a serving dish, spoon marinade over the cheese. Serve.