Cheese by Type

Fresh Cheese (No Aging)

  • Characteristics: Moist, soft, and creamy with a mild taste. These cheeses are not aged and are meant to be consumed soon after production.
  • Examples: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Feta, Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Mascarpone, Burrata.

Soft-Ripened (Bloomy Rind)

  • Characteristics: Characterized by a white, edible mold rind; these cheeses are aged from the outside in. They have a creamy interior with a more complex flavor than fresh cheeses.
  • Examples: Brie, Camembert, Triple Crèmes, Chaource, Brillat-Savarin.

Semi-Soft

  • Characteristics: These cheeses have a higher moisture content than hard cheeses, making them soft and sliceable, often with a buttery texture.
  • Examples: Havarti, Munster, Port Salut, Gouda (young), Fontina, Taleggio.

Washed Rind (Smear-Ripened)

  • Characteristics: These cheeses are bathed in a solution (like brine, beer, or wine) during aging, promoting bacteria growth that gives them a distinctive strong aroma and flavor.
  • Examples: Limburger, Époisses, Taleggio, Red Hawk, Munster, Reblochon.

Hard (Firm)

  • Characteristics: Lower moisture content, aged longer, resulting in a dense texture, and often a more intense flavor. Great for grating or long-term storage.
  • Examples: Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Manchego, Gruyère, Emmental, Asiago.

Blue Cheese (Blue Veined)

  • Characteristics: These cheeses have had cultures added that produce a distinctive blue, blue-grey, or blue-green veining throughout. They are known for their pungent aroma and strong flavor.
  • Examples: Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Danish Blue, Bleu d’Auvergne.

Flavored Cheeses

Goat Cheese (Chèvre)

  • Characteristics: Cheeses made from goat’s milk. They can range from soft and spreadable fresh cheeses to firmer, aged varieties but are often tangy and slightly tart.
  • Examples: Fresh Chèvre, Aged Chèvre, Crottin de Chavignol, Valençay.

Sheep Cheese

  • Characteristics: Made from sheep’s milk, these cheeses can vary widely in texture and flavor but often have a nutty, rich taste.
  • Examples: Pecorino Romano, Manchego, Roquefort (also falls under Blue Cheese), Ossau-Iraty.

Special Categories:

  • Hispanic Cheeses: Encompasses a variety of cheeses from Hispanic cultures, often used in cooking.
  • Pasta Filata: A family of cheeses that are stretched and kneaded in hot water, creating a stringy, fibrous texture. Examples include Mozzarella and Provolone.
  • Smoked Cheeses: Varieties infused with smoky flavors through exposure to wood smoke or liquid smoke, adding a rich, aromatic depth to their taste.