Types Of Cheese

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There are over 1500 types of cheeses globally and the methods used to classify these cheeses are countless. Cheese can transform any food into a delicious treat that everyone will love.

The versatility of cheese makes it easy for you to incorporate it into many food recipes. Dishes like pizzas and pasta to a whole new level so whether eaten raw or used in dishes it always is a delight that you never stop enjoying.

Everyone has their favorite cheese type. However, some people like to try new stuff, and they would gladly use different and new cheese varieties in the market. Due to technology and demand for different styles of cheese, the cheese-making process has been evolving.

There are so many different kinds of cheese worldwide, and each of them is made in its unique way. The difference is brought by the fact that these cheeses are made from different regions globally.

Cheese-making in different parts of the world has also influenced the characteristics and features of kinds of cheese made in specific regions. Some of the changes brought by the regional differences consist of aroma, color, flavor, shelf-life, and texture.

Here are some of the wide cheese variety that you should know if you are a cheese lover.

Fresh cheese varieties

These cheese types are sometimes referred to as unripened cheese because they are usually not aged.

Burrata

This cheese is usually made from a combination of mozzarella and cheese. Sometimes this cheese is made using the Italian domesticated buffalo’s milk, but the cow’s milk is usually the predominant milk used.

The burrata cheese exterior is usually slightly hard or solid, whereas the inside is very soft due to cream’s addition when the cheese is being made. It is a south Italian cheese, but nowadays, it is made in different parts of the world with different ingredients.

This cheese should be eaten as fresh as possible. It should be eaten within 24 hours of making because it loses its flavor and freshness after that. The different textures of this cheese and by that, I mean the interior and exterior, makes it a perfect additive for dishes like salads.

Feta cheese

Of all the Greek cheese known globally, feta cheese is the one mostly used. It is made either from sheep or goat’s milk. As opposed to the wide varieties of cheese globally, feta cheese does not get the name from the region it is produced. Generally, the name feta means ‘slice.’

This cheese has been under the protected designation of origin from the European legislation. Therefore, only cheeses of this type manufactured in particular areas can be referred to as feta. These regions include Macedonia, Greece, Lesvos.

Feta cheese usually has a distinctive flavor, which is often tangy and salty. The salty flavor can be reduced or eliminated through washing. The flavor of this cheese is often influenced by various factors like the preparation method of the cheese.

The versatility of this cheese means you can prepare it in different techniques, either through grilling, cooking them, or by eating them raw. It goes well when paired with beers and with pizzas and pasta.

Cream cheese

This cheese is made from both cream and milk. It usually has a buttery flavor but with a mild taste. According to several people, cream cheese is not a type of cheese, but this cream makes a perfect cheese on the brighter side.

It is a versatile cheese, which means you can use it in savory and sweet dishes. Cream cheese is most commonly used in slices of bread and crackers as a spread. There are several varieties of this cheese, and they all come with unique flavors.

This cheese falls in the fresh categories of cheese means that it has a short lifespan immediately after it is opened. So, to prevent this cheese from going bad after opening it, you should refrigerate it.

Nutrition-wise, this cheese has more benefits than most of the hard cheese varieties. It usually has a lower protein content at the same time, high-fat content.

Mozzarella cheese  

High consumption of pizza in the US has made mozzarella cheese the highest selling in the country. This cheese has its origin in southern Italy, and it is usually consumed fresh. It has a semi-soft texture with a stringy and stretchy texture that most people love.

Traditionally, this cheese was made from the domesticated reared buffalo’s milk. However, over time cow’s milk has also been used to make this lustrous cheese design. This cheese comes in two forms, and that is the dried form and the fresh one.

The fresh variety of the mozzarella cheese is often used in salads, and sometimes the olives and different herbs are always added into this fresh version. The fried version of this cheese is mostly preferred with dishes like lasagnas and pizzas.

It is a versatile cheese that can be used in making a wide range of foods apart from salads, pizzas, and lasagne. It should be consumed within 24 hours of opening and any remainder stored in the fridge to prevent it from going bad. You should try making a homemade mozzarella cheese; it is not a hard recipe.

Ricotta cheese

It is one of the most popular cheeses globally, and it is usually made from whey. This cheese’s composition is usually made of leftover cheese from sheep, goat, or buffalo milk.

This cheese is usually recooked or refined, and the production procedures involve the coagulation of the leftover proteins after making the other kinds of cheese with the milk. The whey is often left for between 12 and 24 hours for fermentation to occur and make the whey acidic.

Ricotta cheese usually has a buttery texture, with a sweet and mild flavor, and usually very soft. This cheese can be used for savory dishes like pasta and lasagne as it balances these dishes’ savory flavor.

This cheese’s nutritional benefits are also excellent as it possesses low calories than many of the other cheeses with high protein amounts.

Cotija

Cotija cheese is named after the town cotija Michoacán which is its place of origin. This cheese is often made from cow’s milk and usually is very dry with a firm texture and too salty.

Traditionally, this cheese is made loaded with heavy amounts of salt, and this is to prolong its shelf-life. It has a similar flavor and tastes like parmesan cheese, and the texture is often crumby and usually very easy to make.

Cotija is a seasonal cheese; this means apart from July and October, there is a limited production of this cheese. This cheese’s unique flavor is brought by the fact that the cows are fed on natural grass found in the mountains, which gives it a distinctive color.

This cheese does not quickly melt, which means you can easily use it the same way you get to use feta cheese. It goes well with grilled chicken or pasta, or corn.

Cottage cheese

It is a fresh cheese that is sometimes referred to as curds or whey, and this cheese is not aged. Cottage cheese is made by draining the cheese or through the curds’ acidification, leading to the curds being loose.

This cheese usually has a mild flavor, soft texture, and very rich in cream. The only distinguishing factor that makes this cheese different from other cheeses is that the cottage cheese is usually dressed in cream.

The different procedures involved in the manufacture of this cheese also add significant effects to this cheese’s nutrition. It usually has low calories and also low-fat content. The protein content in this cheese is usually very high, which makes it a healthy cheese.

However, apart from the fact that it is a healthy cheese, some people do not like the cheese’s appearance due to its lumpy texture, which is not appealing. It goes well with a wide variety of foods such as yogurt, salads, fruits.

Chevre or goat cheese milk

As the name suggests, this cheese variety is made from goat’s milk. This cheese is made in many different designs and usually ranges from soft to hard cheese. It is one of the oldest varieties of cheese, and it is made by draining and pressing the curds after the milk has naturally curdled.

As the cheese ages, the flavor deepens and becomes milder with pronounced spice. When exposed to high temperatures, this cheese tends to soften, but it does not melt well compared to cow’s milk.

Chevre cheese has its origin in France, and it’s earthy flavor makes it a very popular cheese all over the world. It goes well with crackers and soft bagels or chicken and sweetcorn, making a perfect meal for dinner.

Mascarpone

This cheese is made from either cream or cow’s milk. It has a soft texture and usually has the same similarities as cheese that has been solidified with different ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice.

Coagulating the mascarpone cheese with lemon juice or vinegar gives this cheese a buttery flavor that many people tend to love. Mascarpone cheese is often used in several cheese varieties, such as the tiramisu, cheesecakes, and to thicken some creamy recipes.

This cheese does not undergo any form of fermentation. It usually has high amounts of fat; therefore, it is supposed to be used immediately it has been opened because it will go bad almost immediately it is opened and unused.

When it comes to this cheese’s appearance, it has a creamy color, almost the same as yogurt. It usually has a mild taste, and this is because of the sour cream used when making the cheese.

Queso fresco   

This cheese variety is one of the easiest you can ever make, and this is because it does not require you to be careful when handling it. The process of making this cheese usually involves the boiling of fresh milk then adding acidifying ingredients.

This cheese may either be eaten fresh or cooked to several dishes. It also makes a perfect topping for Mexican dishes such as enchiladas and empanadas or sometimes used in making salads and pasta.

This cheese is made from a combination of both goat and cow’s milk. It does not melt well as many other cheese varieties and tends to soften when exposed to high temperatures. It usually has a crumbly texture with a mild flavor, usually salty.

Semi-soft cheese varieties

Havarti cheese

This cheese originates from Denmark. It is also made either from a cream or cow’s milk with a soft texture. Its versatility means that you can prepare this cheese in several styles, through grilling, slicing, or cooking.

Just like all cheese varieties, Havarti tends to develop pronounced flavors when aging. Young Havarti cheese usually has a tangy taste, mild with a buttery flavor. The aged Havarti cheese has a robust flavor that is often very intense.

A fully matured Havarti cheese goes up to three months, and at this age, this cheese does taste like hazelnuts. Grilled Havarti cheese usually has a robust and pronounced flavor, and it goes well with cured meat and wine.

Jarlsberg

Jarlsberg cheese is one of the most tasting cheeses you can ever find. It also has a good-looking appearance, especially with the large holes or eyes found on the cheese’s exterior.

This cheese’s flavor has always been referred to as ‘clean and rich,’ which is due to the sweet, nutty taste that comes from the cheese. Jarlsberg cheese is also aged for three months. The best thing about this cheese is the fact that it is an all-purpose cheese.

Another significant benefit of this cheese is its ability to melt faster, making it a perfect ingredient for fondue design dishes.

Pepper jack

This cheese has some similarities with cheddar cheese, and it is made from cow’s milk. One of the critical features of this cheese is that it melts pretty well in the mouth, and it also has high moisture content.

The high moisture content makes it a perfect alternative and ingredient for foods such as salads and sauces. It usually has a mild flavor with some sweetness. Chilli peppers are always added to this cheese to add the peppery flavor.

The semi-hard version of this cheese is usually the tastier of all the versions. The dry jack version of this cheese is usually the most aged.

Muenster cheese

This cheese is made from pasteurized milk and usually has a smooth texture and pale color. It is made by adding the annatto seasoning that gives it the yellow color and a nutty or buttery taste.

Muenster cheese is often used as an appetizer and goes well with dishes like macaroni, cheeseburgers, and grilled sandwiches. The old version of this cheese usually has a strong aroma with an intense flavor. There are regional variations of this cheese globally, but the original version of this cheese comes from the US.

Hard cheeses

Parmiggiano

This is one of the hardest cheeses ever known. It has a yellow appearance with a crumbly texture and has its origin in Italy. Parmesan cheese is usually made from cow’s milk, and it is often aged between 9-12 months.

Parmesan cheese, like many other cheese varieties, is named after the place it is manufactured. This cheese has the protection of origin status, which means it is only produced in some restricted regions in northern Italy.

This cheese is often shredded over a wide range of foods due to its hard nature. It can either be eaten raw or grated.

Romano cheese

This cheese can either be made using goat, sheep, or cow’s milk. It has a robust flavor, mostly when aged, but the taste is often not that sharp.

Romano should be aged for at least five months, and it usually is grated over dishes. The best way to use this cheese is by combining it with parmesan cheese. When buying this cheese, select Romano cheese that does not have any cracks but with a granular texture.

Pepato cheese

This cheese variety originates from Sicily in Italy, and it is usually made from sheep’s milk and peppercorns added as additives.

This cheese is usually used between 2 and 4 months, but you can find young versions of this cheese that are ten years old. It is important to note that the peppercorn additive is added after the whey has been removed.

A perfect pepato cheese should be free from cracks with a granular texture.

Soft cheese varieties

Camembert

This is another French cheese that is very popular and usually has a soft texture made in France’s northern regions. Camembert cheese is made from cow’s milk, and the milk is usually unpasteurized.

This cheese is famous, but most people do not know how to make it. Therefore, there are limited manufacturers of this cheese. The interior parts of this cheese are what make it stand out because of its softness.

The flavor of this cheese gets better when aging. It usually has a buttery flavor with high moisture content. Traditionally, this cheese is paired with red wine or cider.

brie cheese

Brie cheese has its origin in France and usually has a pale orange color. The center of this cheese is the most delicious part; the rind is also eaten and usually chewy.

The flavor of this cheese is primarily influenced by the ingredients used during its making process and the environment in which the cheese is manufactured. When this cheese is manufactured, the producers add brie for fermentation to occur, which is why the brie cheese’s high-fat content.

Brie cheese goes well with cured ham and chardonnay wine. The key to getting the best of this cheese is by serving it at room temperature.

Semi-hard cheese

Cheddar cheese

This cheese variety originates from England, and it usually has a semi-hard texture. Cheddar is made from a pasteurized cow’s milk. This cheese comes in different variations and different strengths in their flavor.

It usually has a pale yellow color with a crumbly texture. The flavor of this cheese becomes more robust and intense as its ages. Often, you will find this cheese in the shape of a drum. It is one of the most popular cheeses globally.

Gouda cheese

Gouda cheese is classified as one of the oldest cheeses, so it is prevalent. It originates from the Netherlands, and it is made from cow’s milk and usually has a mild flavor. This cheese is named after the city in which it is produced.

Some cheesemakers have been using goat and sheep’s milk to make this cheese, which is why there are so many variants of this cheese. Classification of the gouda cheese is based on their age.

The younger the cheese, the milder the flavor, and when aged, the cheese flavor becomes sharper and harder. It goes well with wines, and they are mostly served sliced or melted.

Emmental cheese

Emmental cheese is another medium-hard cheese that originates from Switzerland. Like most other cheeses, this one is made from cow’s milk, but the milk used is usually unpasteurized.

Most people eat this cheese while cold, or sometimes it is usually grated and used over a wide variety of dishes. Some varieties of this cheese are protected, but most versions are sold globally.

This cheese does have holes on its surface, which, according to ancient times, was a symbol of imperfection. It goes well when paired with fruits and wine because of its aroma and fruity flavor.

Gruyere

Gruyere cheese possesses both a sweet and savory flavor. The age of the cheese primarily influences the salty flavor of this cheese. It is usually aged between 6 and 12 months, and this age influences the savory flavor.

Its versatility means you can use it in a wide range of dishes, primarily when grated and used topping for the dishes.

Blue cheese varieties

Gorgonzola

This Italian cheese is usually loaded with flavors and often made from unskimmed cow’s milk. This cheese comes in two main varieties, and that is the gorgonzola dolce and gorgonzola Picante.

Dolce gorgonzola is usually aged for three months, and it can easily be used as a spread for slices of bread and sandwiches. The Picante version is usually the most aged, and usually, it has a more pronounced flavor.

Due to the robust and intense flavor, pairing this food will be a good idea rather than eating it alone.

Roquefort

Talk about one of the best blue cheese, and Roquefort cannot miss the list. There are many variants of this cheese though they are not referred to as Roquefort unless manufactured in the Roquefort-Sur-soulzon caves.

This cheese is typically white with unique blue veins, mold and these veins are what makes it stand out. It has a distinctive flavor and aroma. The flavor of this cheese is usually tangy and sharp.

Stilton cheese

This cheese is produced in England and usually has two varieties: the white and blue varieties. For the blue stilton cheese, Penicillium roqueforti is always used, and that is to add a pleasing aroma and taste. This additive is not added to the white variety.

The blue cheese is mostly used when eating pears, and sometimes it is usually added to vegetable soups.

What variety of cheese is the best?

When it comes to cheese varieties and the best cheeses, it all comes down to you to decide on your favorite cheese. Nevertheless, if you are on the lookout for cheese that is healthy and beneficial to your body, you should go for the aged cheese.

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