There are many types of cheese, depending on the place of origin, the ingredient, and texture. From the famous mozzarella to the infamous Casu Marzu, we got you covered. The different types of cheese help you add flavor and taste to your food and drinks and make something as simple as wine or beer sophisticated in a way that you will like. Here is all you got to know about the different cheeses and how to use them.
If you didn’t know it, cheese is one of the commonest ingredients in baked products, pastas, and pizzas. Besides, cheese is ideal for adding class to your favorite beer or wine, and many people consider it an additive when preparing salads. It is no wonder that cheese has become part of the mainstream since traditional times. Interestingly, we don’t expect things to change, but we can look forward to cheese becoming more and more popular. There are more than 20 types of cheese featuring the different regions of the world. Besides, cheese is also grouped based on the ingredients it features, its color and texture, and whether it has molds or not. This article exhaustively looks at the commonest and infamous cheese and has all you need to know about them. But first, let’s see why cheese forms a major part of many people’s dishes and the major factors in grouping cheese.
Topics Covered in this Guide
- 1 Why Is Cheese a Compound of Interest?
- 2 Choosing Cheese / Factors for Cheese Classification
- 3 The Different Types of Cheese – All You Need to Know
- 3.1 1. Mozzarella Cheese
- 3.2 2. Parmesan Cheese
- 3.3 3. Cheddar Cheese
- 3.4 4. Gouda Cheese
- 3.5 5. Swiss Cheese
- 3.6 6. Emmental Cheese
- 3.7 7. Brie Cheese
- 3.8 8. Camembert Cheese
- 3.9 9. Gruyere Cheese
- 3.10 10. Monterey Jack
- 3.11 11. Feta Cheese
- 3.12 12. Provolone Cheese
- 3.13 13. Goat Cheese
- 3.14 14. Casu Marzu
- 3.15 15. Edam Cheese
- 3.16 16. Blue Cheese
- 3.17 17. Roquefort Cheese
- 3.18 18. Gorgonzola Cheese
- 3.19 19. Ricotta Cheese
- 3.20 20. Cotta Cheese
- 3.21 21. Halloumi Cheese
- 3.22 22. Washed Rind Cheese
- 3.23 23. Pecorino Romano or Pecorino
- 3.24 24. Burrata Cheese
- 4 Conclusion
Why Is Cheese a Compound of Interest?
We all agree that cheese has been part of the culinary environment since time immemorial. Countries like Greece and Italy have been known for cheesemaking for the longest time, and when we talk about mozzarella or feta cheese, the names ring different bells. Why is that the case? What’s so special about cheese? It is simple; cheese is versatile and comes in different tastes, flavors, and textures, making it ideal for different dishes. Whether all you want is a simple wine or beer, you can add class to it using cheese. Besides, if you like baking, cheese could be one of the greatest ingredients that make things complete, provided you do your selection well. Besides, if you want to enjoy your meal at home, cheese could make things a little sophisticated in a way you like it. As the hype around cheese increases, we expect more people to embrace it and those who already have it as part of their culinary environment to keep it there.
Choosing Cheese / Factors for Cheese Classification
With the many types of cheese in the picture, you might feel lost and confused about which cheese to go for. Is there one type of cheese that’s better than the other? Some cheese types like cheddar, feta, and mozzarella have extended beyond regional boundaries and have become global. Still, many types of cheese remain relevant to a given country but infamous to the world. Cheese is also grouped based on mold content; blue cheese has the characteristic blue color because of the added molds.
Meanwhile, we have cheese classification based on texture. Some types are hard, others semi-hard, with a good number being medium-hard or soft. Depending on the intended use, you can choose the ideal cheese and melt, grate, or grill it. Cheese classes also look at taste and flavor tenets, where some are tangy while others are sweet, nutty, grassy, or something else. Still, the intensity of the flavor also differs, where some cheese types are deep while others are intense or mild. Ultimately, there is no better cheese than the other, and the decision depends on the intended use, preferences, needs, and what you want in the cheese.
The Different Types of Cheese – All You Need to Know
Based on the factors discussed above, there are more than 20 types of cheese. It is worth noting that the list is extensive and elaborate, but some types might not be captured, specifically because they are infamous. That said, here are the main types of cheese and the suggested uses;
1. Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is probably the most popular type of cheese you want to explore and which most cheese connoisseurs are familiar with. It is prepared from buffalo milk and is of Italian origin. When fresh, mozzarella cheese is white and creamy, but it becomes buttery and hard as it ages. It features different sizes, ranging from the ball-like 1 g to the 4 gram balls. Still, there are larger balls and logs of the cheese. With the tangy taste of citric or tartaric acid, it is best added to pizza and pastas. Still, it blends well with cheese, and you can also feature it on your favorite Caprese salad.
2. Parmesan Cheese
If you are a cheese fan, you likely know that parmesan cheese is one of the most popular cheese types globally. It is hard in texture and features granules and also has a tint of bitter and nutty flavor. Because of the slight bitterness, you only need to add small portions to your dish. Like many other types of cheese, it goes well with cheese crackers. Still, you may want to coat your chicken with it or grate it over your salad because of the hard texture.
3. Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar is the other type of cheese you may want to explore in your dishes. This varies in color and can be anything from straw to pale yellow. It is crumbly in texture and dry, making it great for grating in different dishes. For instance, you may want to add class to your casseroles by grating the tangy and nutty cheddar cheese and adding it on. Besides, the deep nutty flavor is a great additive to your hamburgers and sandwiches.
4. Gouda Cheese
The Netherlands is not to be left behind when exploring the different types of cheese in the market. Gouda cheese is a famous cheese from the Netherlands known for its semi-hard to hard texture. As it ages, it features changes in texture and flavor, and you expect it to become sweeter. When young, the gouda cheese can easily melt so that you can use it as a topping or ingredient in baked goods. As it ages, the Gouda cheese is best grated and added to salads and veggies. You can also serve it as a snack with your beer or wine, white or red.
5. Swiss Cheese
You may link Swiss cheese to Switzerland, but that’s not it. It is American and one of the most popular cheese types for the natives. Its texture varies from medium-hard to hard, and it is pale yellow. It is almost similar to Emmental cheese but with subtle differences, as covered in the next section. When riddled with holes, the cheese is said to have eyes; otherwise, it is called blind. Swiss cheese is sweet and nutty, making it great for sandwiches, but you may also want to add it to souffles, frittatas, and veggies. Besides, it blends well with cheese sauce, so you can think about making it part of the key ingredients in the sauce.
6. Emmental Cheese
The other popular cheese you want to know about is Emmental cheese. It resembles Swiss cheese in color and taste, but there are slight differences. Like Swiss cheese, you expect the Emmental cheese to have ‘eyes’ or round holes driven in it. Still, the flavor varies from sweet and mild to more intense nutty and spicy tints. If you like grilled foods, the Emmental cheese may make a great additive because it has a good melting point. Besides, you may want to add cheese to your favorite casserole or cordon bleu if you like exploring such dishes.
7. Brie Cheese
Another famous French cheese you want to try in your dishes is the brie cheese. Although it is washed in a rind of white mold, it boasts a tint of grayish zone under the white mold. It features many flavors, from tangy to nutty and grassy to mushrooms flavors as in Camembert cheese. Still, it is different from it. You can make a great combo with brie and cheese, although adding it as a spreading to baguette is also a great idea. People view it differently, where some like it while others do not love it because of its characteristic acidic nature.
8. Camembert Cheese
Most people fast think about brie cheese at the slightest Camembert cheese. Well, that’s right, because the two are alike in taste and looks. In fact, they are also served the same way. Still, there are a few differences between the two, specifically because Camembert cheese is deeper in flavor. As such, you may opt for it if you are looking for something that adds deep flavor to your garlic bread or anything of the same kind. Besides, you can mix Camembert with brie cheese, and the two make a great combo as they are. Still, you may want to bake the Camembert cheese and serve it with slices of ciabatta or cheese crackers.
9. Gruyere Cheese
If you want an ideal cheese to add to the table, you may want to try gruyere cheese. The hard, pale-yellow cheese has a great taste that varies with age, which you might want to explore from when it is young to when it advances in age. Because of its great melting, you may want it for baking purposes. Traditionally, gruyere cheese makes good cheese sauce, and you can use it for the same purposes today. Still, you may want to put it on the table for sprinkling to various dishes as additives or in onion soups. Others add it to salads and paste and like the taste.
10. Monterey Jack
There are several all-American cheese types, and Monterey Jack tops the list. Irrespective of where in America you go, it forms a major ingredient in dishes prepared by natives and newcomers alike. You may want to add it to cheese dips or grill it alongside other grilled foods like meat, in which it forms a great part of the combo. Alternatively, the cheese is best added to casseroles.
11. Feta Cheese
Most cheese connoisseurs agree that feta cheese is one of the many people’s all-time favorite cheese types. It is prepared from goat and or sheep milk, making it versatile and compatible with different dishes. It is bred in brine; hence the tangy and salty taste it boasts. As such, you may want to mix it with a dish that masks the salty taste away. Because of its unique crumbly nature, you certainly want to try it on tacos and other Mexican dishes. Still, it goes well with sandwiches or roasted vegetables. Moreover, its dishes are easy to prepare, explaining the primary reason behind its hype.
12. Provolone Cheese
Provolone cheese is another Italian cheese you want to try before you can join the wine and cheese connoisseurs. It varies in taste and can be anything from sharp and spicy to sweet and mild. Because of the different tastes, it blends well with different dishes, allowing for versatility for cheese lovers. For instance, you can smoke the Italian cheese and eat it raw as it is. Besides, you may want to take it with your favorite pizza, and many pizza outlets already feature it as a major ingredient. As though that’s not enough, provolone cheese goes well with sandwiches, and you may want to try it the next time you are preparing the sandwiches.
13. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese, commonly called chevre, is another type of cheese you certainly want to explore. It is French, hence the alternative name, i.e., chevre, basically meaning goat. Like other cheese and products from goat milk, goat cheese is quite versatile. This basically means that it can blend well with different dishes, so you may want to explore it. The versatility means that it may make a great additive to salads and pastas, and you can also feature it in sandwiches if you are a fan. Notice that as it ages, the texture and taste change as so does uses.
14. Casu Marzu
Casu marzu is an infamous cheese type, and you may or may not know it. It is typically served after it ages and is full of thousands of maggots. Like feta cheese, casu marzu is salty, and it is best served with dishes that mask the saltiness. Because of the many maggots, casu marzu has safety issues, explaining why most countries have banned it. Still, many people in the countries that have not banned it enjoy it with salads, pastas, and sandwiches.
15. Edam Cheese
Edam is a Dutch cheese with a red paraffin coating and a yellow interior. It is semi-hard, hence why it is coated with wax to preserve it. It is mild in flavor and can also be categorically nutty and grassy. Like other types of cheese herein discussed, Edam cheese changes in flavor as it ages and becomes sharper, spicier, and more intensive in taste. As it ages, it becomes more appropriate for potato, chicken, soup, fritter, and soufflé dishes since it makes a great combo with them.
16. Blue Cheese
As the name suggests, blue cheese is blue, but the intensity varies from blue-gray, blue-green, to blue-brown. The color originates from the penicillium molds that have become part of the cheese. They taste like yeast because of the mold content and are a little buttery. You can top your simple salad with blue cheese to add class to it, and the cheese still makes a great comb with roasted vegetables. If you like fruit cheese, you can feature blue cheese in it as a major ingredient.
17. Roquefort Cheese
If you are a fan of blue cheese, you may want to try Roquefort cheese. It is one of the most popular types of blue cheese and stands out for its sharp, nutty, sweet flavor. It is moist, making it a critical ingredient in baked products. Besides, because it easily melts, you can add it to crackers, honey, and herbs. While people have different opinions about blue cheese, Roquefort happens to be many people’s favorite, and don’t fall victim to haters; explore this cheese type to see how great it is.
18. Gorgonzola Cheese
Other than the common blue cheese, you may see nature’s wonders in gorgonzola cheese, a type of blue cheese. It is known for the strip of blue color on its center, which you can see by cutting it across. You can take it sliced with wine, red, or wine, although it also makes a great combo with beer. Besides, you can slice it and incorporate it into risotto, although it is great for Quattro formaggi pizzas. Besides, if you fancy salads, soups, and pastas, you can use gorgonzola cheese as a topping for a good experience.
19. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is Italian and one of the many famous cheese types you can enjoy in Italy. It is smooth, and the texture is a plus, making it great for multiple dishes. As though that’s not enough, ricotta cheese has low salt content, hence why it blends well with savory and sweet dishes. The smoothness results from many factors, including its primary source, i.e., whey. From lasagna to pasta, bread slice toppings, ricotta cheese makes a great ingredient you certainly want to feature in your dishes.
20. Cotta Cheese
Many people confuse ricotta cheese for cotta cheese, and for obvious reasons, the two come from the same source, i.e., milk, only that cotta comes from whey. Even so, you can easily tell that cotta cheese is milder and sweeter and has a chunky texture because of the curds that form the major ingredient in them. It is versatile and blends well with many dishes. For instance, you may want to try it with your favorite casserole or add it as a topping to salads and simple pastas. Besides, cotta cheese also goes well with smoothies, and you can add it to the end or with other ingredients.
21. Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi cheese is a semi-hard cheese made from goat, sheep, or cow’s milk. Since it is bred in brine, it is quite salty; hence you need to serve it with dishes that can mask the strong taste away. It has a high melting point, so you may want to explore or try it with grilled foods. Besides, it blends well with simple salads, pastas, and sandwiches, all of which you can mix with it. Some people feature it in seafood and omelets and still make great combos.
22. Washed Rind Cheese
Looking at the classification of cheese types based on the absence or presence of molds, we would never fail to feature washed rind in the list. Still, the name creates a paradox since the cheese is washed, suggesting it is clean, but the characteristic pungent smell linked to it contrasts the name. It features white mold, and while many abhor it for the pungent smell, it is many people’s all-time favorite.
23. Pecorino Romano or Pecorino
Italy seems like the home of cheese, considering the many types of cheese it boasts. Pecorino is a famous Italian cheese that remains viable for consumption for 5- 8 months, after which it is not fit. Made with sheep milk, pecorino cheese is versatile and features in many dishes, including salads and sandwiches. It was first made in Sardinia but is now found in the rest of Italy.
24. Burrata Cheese
Many people do not like burrata cheese, but you don’t have to fall victim to hate. Burrata cheese is named among the best cheese types by cheese connoisseurs, and you may want to explore it by cutting it and revealing its creamy center. You can mix it with tomato juice and olive oil to make out a dip. Still, you might enjoy it with slices of honeydew, as many people have found the two make a great combo.
There are many types of cheese based on the place of origin, the ingredients they feature, the presence or absence of molds, how long they take to mature, and how long they remain viable. The tastes of different types of cheese also vary, with some having mild sweet, sharp spicy, or tangy tastes. Some of the commonest types of cheese include mozzarella, feta, cheddar, and Gouda. Casu marsu is a less famous type of cheese many people enjoy, but most countries have banned it because of safety concerns. Peer into this article to see the various types of cheese and how best to serve them.