Cheese- the most desirable dairy produce. Be it nachos, pizza or even dosas, cheese has won over the world by a storm (sorry to any lactose intolerant readers). But aside from the mainstream Cheddar, Parmesan and Mozzarella we don’t comprehend or understand the universe of cheese.

Fresh Cheese

This is the most common one of all cheeses. Made out of mostly naturally curdled milk, some say it is the most purified form of cheese. Unaged, these cheeses generally hold mild, sometimes sour or tangy, taste. This is simple but pleasant cheese has no skin and has a high moisture content. This results in a moist, delicate cheese that one has to eat instantly or in some days.

Examples– cottage cheese, feta cheese, Mascarpone cheese, ricotta cheese, fresh goat cheese (chevre).

Semi-Soft and Soft Cheese

Semi-soft cheeses are more solid and more compressed. These are lightly pressed rubbery, stretchy milk curds. They aren’t ripened for long and are normally joined with bread. These cheeses hold 45-60% of moisture content. This cheese draws moulds which form a coriaceous rind around the cheese. Sometimes the inside is heated. The size of the skin relates to the flavour of the cheese. Those with thin rinds are more buttery while thicker surface tend to be compacter in taste

Examples– Munster cheese, Camembert, Brie.

Aged Fresh Cheese

These are fresh cheese which has been matured only slightly, enough for them to grow a crystalline sort of surface. This type of cheese is frequently made from goat’s milk and the rind can be of grey-blue to wrinkled white.  

Examples– ricotta, cottage cheese, mozzarella.

Firm and Semi-Firm Cheese

This is the biggest category of cheese with some of the most well-liked kinds. The semi-firm cheeses are weighted, solid and uncooked. Their colour is usually light yellow. Firm cheeses are also pressed and dense but they are cooked and have a dark yellow colour. Some hard cheeses might also have a grainy character. These cheeses are used to combine sharpness in dishes like omelettes, quiches, pizzas, etc.

Examples– Parmesan, Cantal, Reblochon, Edam, Gouda, Cheddar, Emmenthal, Jarlsberg, Raclette Monterey Jack Gruyère and Beaufort.

White fuzzy rind cheese

These cheeses develop a smooth white rind which helps them age and matures the cheese. It also helps in keeping the soft, moistened interior intact throughout this process. These cheeses are rich and can be consumed at any point, either aged or unaged.

Examples– Brillat Savarin, Explorateur, Pierre Robert.

Hard Cheese

Hard cheeses are the most hardened cheeses, which are pressed for a long time to remove the whey and compact the curd. They have a really low moisture content and are the most flavourful ones. The cheeses have a variation of yellow, pink, white, blue mould which changes into a hard gleaming surface over the ages. 

Examples– Asiago D’allevo, Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Blue Veined Cheese

The name of this cheese is pretty obvious. This cheese is characterised by having blue-green streaks. These veins appear because the uncooked, unpressed cheese is infused with blue-green mold via huge needles. Then the cheese is stored in a humid place and left to mature for a couple of months. This variety of cheese has a very intense smell and taste.

Examples– Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Bleu de Bresse and Danish Blue.

Lite Cheese

This cheese is made of low-fat milk and is generally favoured by many fitness buffs out there. This is produced by reducing the butterfat in milk. Then it ends up in the cheese being somewhat rubbery and not as flavourful or sharp as full-fat cheeses. 

Examples– Light Havarti, Lite Cheddar.

Added Flavour cheese

These are the most exceptional cheeses. These have either soaked flavours or combined herbs. It’s evermore better and more flavourful to add the added flavours from scratch rather than add it to a formed raw cheese.

Examples– Gouda and rosemary, Spiced cheddar.

Processed Cheese

This type of cheese is easily available in the market. At least in the Indian supermarkets, these are accessible and inexpensive. These might be cooked or uncooked, pressed or unpressed. A lot of stabilizers, synthetic flavourings, herbs and colours are added to these to give them a lasting shelf time. 

Examples– cheese spread, cheese cubes, cheese slices, cheese spray, cheese dip.