Whether you’re a cheese expert, a devoted cheese fan, or just a cheese novice, the majority of us likely believed cheese to be one of the tastiest things in the world when we first tasted its tangy sweetness. It is challenging to list every sort of cheese that exists because there are thousands of them. To offer you a fast overview of the various types of cheese that you might like to try next, we have provided you with this list. So, just relax and keep on reading.
1. Fresh Cheeses
Fresh cheeses are the newest variety and have the most moisture in them. They are therefore young, unripe, and rindless. Both the interior and exterior of these cheeses are white. Depending on how the paste was initially prepared, the texture may change, but the flavor will probably remain mild, mildly acidic, and barely flavorful. Some of the most popular fresh cheeses include:
- Feta – Originally from Greece, where it was traditionally prepared from goat or sheep’s milk, feta is a sort of fresh cheese. The majority of feta cheese produced now in the United States comes from cow’s milk. Feta cheese can have a firm or crumbly texture in addition to a tangy, sharp, and salty flavor. This cheese is the finest to use for preparing salad or pasta tosses.
- Chevre – It is a fresh cheese with a gentle, soft, and tangy flavor that is created from goat’s milk. Chevre is frequently used on top of salads. However, it is also relished as part of a cheese board, which is served with crackers, sweet and savory preserves, and cheese.
- Mascarpone – This fresh cheese has a flavor that is buttery, bright, and soft. It is frequently made using cow’s milk and has Italian origins. The best cheese to use while creating tiramisu is mascarpone.
- Fresh mozzarella – Fresh mozzarella has a creamy, mild flavor and a soft consistency. It is often prepared from cow’s milk. One of the most consumed cheeses worldwide is this one. The ideal accompaniments for fresh mozzarella are fresh basil, tomatoes from your own garden, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Queso Fresco – One of the most popular cheeses in Mexico is queso fresco. It has a moderate flavor, a dry texture, and a somewhat salty aftertaste. Also used as a dipping sauce for tortilla chips in Texas.
- Ricotta – This fresh cheese was made from cow, sheep, goat, and buffalo milk. It tastes gentle, fresh, and just a little bit sweet. Honey, strawberries, bananas, jams, pesto, eggs, and tomatoes are the ideal complements to this.
2. Soft-Ripened Cheeses
These cheeses can be aged for one to thirty days. They have a high fat content and moisture content. Soft-ripened cheeses typically have a pudding-like texture and look because they are best served at room temperature. They all have the same flavor, which is buttery with a touch of sweetness. Some of the most commonly used soft cheeses include:
- Washed-rind Cheeses – Cheeses with a washed rind are those that have been matured to produce a rind. However, the cheese-maker often rubs or washes their peels with a solution like salt and water or wine as the cheese ages. This extra stage enables the cheese to acquire a robust and meaty flavor. Bourgogne, Taleggio, and Limburger are a few examples of wash-rind cheeses.
- Camembert and Brie – Camembert and Brie are two cheeses renowned for their mild, creamy, and rich flavors. They are typically offered at gatherings and are produced from cow’s milk. In addition, they taste fantastic when served warm and covered in pastry crust.
- Soft-ripened Goat Cheese – This is the type of goat cheese that matured to allow the rind to become bloomy and soft. This category of cheese includes a number of different types. They all range in flavor from mild to acidic to robust. If you enjoy goat cheese, we advise you to visit a specialty cheese shop and consult with an expert on soft-ripened goat cheese.
3. Semi-Soft and Semi-Hard Cheeses
The inside of semisoft cheeses frequently has a smooth texture and a high moisture level. They usually get stronger and more firm as they age. This is the reason the semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses were combined. This is due to the fact that depending on how long they’ve been aged, some cheeses that fall under this category can either be semisoft or semi-hard. These include:
- American process cheese – This is a form of cheese that is also known as processed cheese since it is manufactured with ingredients that are uncommon in other types of cheese. The texture of American process cheese is mild, smooth, and semi-soft, and it melts easily. This is why it’s frequently used to make burgers, sandwiches, and macaroni and cheese.
- Asiago cheese – Asiago cheese is an Italian-born type. However, it is now widely produced in America. The texture of Asiago cheese, which is created from cow’s milk cheese, can range from semi-firm to hard, depending on how long it has been aged. Try including Asiago cheese in your dish if you’re looking for cheeses to put on your cheese platter.
- Cheddar cheese – The stiffness of a cheddar cheese is based on its age. Cheddar cheese typically has a moderate or sharp flavor and is frequently created with cow’s milk cheese. When preparing macaroni and cheese, cheddar cheese is one of the best cheeses to use. Additionally, it is the ideal accent to cheese platters.
- Cheshire cheese – Cheshire cheese is a crumbly cow’s milk cheese that ranges in color from white to pale orange and has an acidic, somewhat salty flavor. Cheshire cheese is an eye-catching addition to any cheeseboard because it was first produced in England and is also available as a blue cheese.
- Colby cheese – Colby cheese has a mild flavor and a texture that might be described as semi-soft. It is one of the greatest cheeses for youngsters and people who appreciate mild-flavored cheeses because it is created from cow’s milk.
- Gouda cheese – Made from cow’s milk, Gouda cheese has a creamy, semi-soft texture and a flavor that leans slightly nutty. If you want a fantastic melting cheese, use this cheese. Aged Gouda cheese that is semi-firm is perfect for a cheese board.
- Monterey Jack – This cheese variety has a creamy-white color and a smooth, semisoft to semi hard texture. It’s a well-known cheese to utilize when assembling sandwiches. When a Monterey Jack is matured, it is referred to as Dry Jack, and its flavor becomes strong and nutty.
- Edam – Made from cow or goat milk, Edam has a creamy, nutty, slightly salty flavor. The ideal fruit accompaniments for this cheese are cherries, apricots, peaches, and melons.
- Emmental – Emmental is a dairy product derived from cow’s milk that tastes buttery, slightly nutty, and sharp. Apples, peaches, pears, and grapes are acceptable accompaniments for this cheese.
- Gruyere – The ideal accompaniments for Gruyere include sliced pears, figs, rosemary, and grilled soup toppings. It is prepared from cow’s milk and has a flavor that is rich, sweet, and just a little salty.
4. Hard Cheeses
The most matured cheeses are those that are hard. These cheeses have a dry texture and intense, savory flavors. They can even be described as crispy because they have the least moisture. Hard cheeses are best shredded or sliced extremely thinly because they have a strong flavor and a little goes a long way. Among the most well-liked hard cheeses are:
- Parmigiano-Reggiano – Parmigiano-Reggiano is a firm cheese with a strong and rich flavor that is created in Italy from cow’s milk cheese. One of the greatest cheeses to use when preparing risotto, they are also excellent for adding a final garnish of grated cheese to various pasta dishes.
- Aged Manchego – Aged Manchego is a type of hard cheese manufactured from sheep’s milk cheese that has its roots in Spain. It tastes smooth and nutty. This particular cheese kind can be enjoyed with bread and cherry preserves as a dessert or on a cheese board.
- Asiago D’Allevo – Cow’s milk is used to make Asiago D’Allevo, which has a milky, savory flavor. The greatest accompaniments for this are rustic bread, grapes, candied pecans, and figs.
- Grana Padano – The flavor of Grana Padano is robust and delicious. This is also prepared from cow’s milk, and it tastes great when combined with figs, dried fruit, honey, apples, and arugula.
- Pecorino – Sheep’s milk is used to make Pecorino. It tastes softly spiced with a fragrant, spicy flavor. This kind goes well with sausage, walnuts, winter vegetables, and dry-cured meats.
Best Cheese to Use for Different Cooking Methods
Understanding which cheeses are appropriate for various cooking techniques is another crucial component of this guide to cheese kinds. Knowing which cheese to choose for your plate is important for everything from sandwiches to spaghetti to the toppings of soups and salads. The best cheese for various cooking techniques has been broken down below into the many cheese types that work well. As you continue to choose how to use the cheese, keep the flavor in mind.
Grating – You should use these cheeses to garnish your spaghetti, salad, or soup. They complement any meal well and are simple to finely grate so you can use it as a finishing touch. This includes Asiago, Pecorino, Manchego, and Parmesan.
Slicing – If you enjoy sandwiches or hamburgers, you’ll want cheese that slices easily and, if necessary, melts as well. These cheeses are the greatest choices to finish your dinner, whether it is cold or toasted. This includes American, Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, Mozzarella, Muenster, and Provolone.
Shredding and Melting – You want a cheese that shreds and melts quickly if you’re planning to prepare a dish like macaroni and cheese, cheesy casserole, or pizza. These cheeses will guarantee that your recipe will be simple to prepare and delicious. This includes American, Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyère, Mozzarella, Muenster, and Provolone.
Cheese Pairing Guidelines
Although we’ve already discussed some tasty cheese pairings, we still want to provide you with some general recommendations in case you run into trouble. These guidelines aren’t set in stone, but they can be useful if you have questions about a particular pairing.
1. Go with where it grows
The wisest course of action is to return to the place where it all began if you find yourself at a crossroads and unsure about which cheese to serve with something. This suggests that you should try utilizing Italian cheese if you have Italian wine. Heritage pairings almost never go wrong. It’s safe to presume they’ll get along well together if they hail from the same geographical area.
2. Match the strengths
Always be constant in your taste selections when choosing the appropriate cheese to go with a specific dish or beverage. In other words, avoid serving something that would dominate a lighter, gentler cheese if you choose to use one. Remember that your pairing may be heavier or more flavorful the older and denser the cheese.
3. Start small
Start with smaller amounts of cheese no matter what you plan to use it for, especially if you’re assembling a charcuterie or cheese board. Avoid using too many different types of cheese at once because cheese can be a very satisfying and rich food. Make your meals, snacks, or appetizers as simple as possible by starting with 1-3 types of cheese and gradually adding more complexity.
Cheese is undoubtedly one of the most well-liked and delectable foods in the globe, according to a lot of people. There are numerous kinds of cheese that can be utilized in a wide variety of cuisines and meals. You can prepare meals and follow recipes much more easily if you know the ins and outs of every type of cheese.
We hope that by reading this comprehensive reference to cheese varieties, you were able to learn about the variations in the tastes, textures, and colors of many cheeses, enabling you to always select the ideal cheese to go with whatever you’re giving your friends, family, or guests.