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Types of Cheese For Flavorful Dishes

When it comes to cheese, some of us may only know the classics… like string cheese. But did you know that there is actually a huge variety of cheeses on the market with different flavors, textures, and culinary uses? In this food guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most flavorful and famous types of cheese to help you shake up your recipes!

Without further ado, let’s jump into the different types of cheese!

1. Mozzarella

  • Classification: Fresh, stretched-curd (pasta filata), brined
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Italy
  • Texture: Semi-soft

The first on our list of types of cheese, Mozzarella is one of the most famous cheeses out there that happens to be an essential ingredient in pizza recipes and pasta dishes. What makes Mozzarella so likable by different tastes is its fresh, salty flavor.

It has a stretchy texture that makes it perfect for melting and blending into various dishes. It’s often shredded, grated, or cut into large, thick slices to melt onto bruschetta, flatbreads, and other dishes.

2. Cheddar

  • Classification: Cooked pressed/Swiss (Alpine)
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: England
  • Texture: Hard

Cheddar cheese is globally recorded as the second most sold cheese, following Mozzarella. One of the reasons it’s used all over the world is that the cheddaring process isn’t restricted to a particular region. It’s made anywhere in the world.

You can find it in different yellow to orange shades and varied tastes, from milky to bitter. It pairs exceptionally well with fruits and nuts and is used in a variety of cuisines including American.

3. Parmesan

  • Classification: Cooked pressed
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Italy
  • Texture: Hard

Parmesan is considered one of the highest quality cheeses, making it a culinary essential in Italian cuisine. This goes to the fact that it can age over long periods, sometimes up to several years.

Before it’s sold, it first has to be approved by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium. Amazing, right? It has a rich flavor between nuttiness and fruitiness. It can be snacked on alone or grated over almost anything!

4. Gouda

  • Classification: Cooked pressed/Swiss (Alpine)
  • Milk Type: Cow, goat, sheep
  • Origin: Netherlands
  • Texture: Semi-hard

Gouda is a type of cheese that must be seen on any hearty cheese platter. You can find it in a complex array of flavors, determined by its maturation period. Young Gouda is mostly enjoyed in savory bakes, while aged Gouda is best eaten with fruits, like grapes.

5. Emmental

  • Classification: Cooked pressed/Swiss (Alpine)
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Switzerland
  • Texture: Hard

You probably saw a block of this holey cheese in a Tom & Jerry episode. It’s a sweetly aromatic and fruity-flavored cheese with a slight tang.

The distinct holes in Emmental cheese are a result of a lengthy fermentation process. Emmental is best used in drool-worthy grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese fondues.

6. Brie

  • Classification: Soft-ripened
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: France
  • Texture: Soft

Brie smoothly earned the title “Queen of Cheeses” for its buttery taste and texture, making it one of the best dessert cheeses. It’s a type of cheese that forms an external layer of mold that further softens the cheese as it matures with time. This molding process defies the moisture loss that happens as the cheese ages.

The velvety nature of Brie makes it dissolve in your mouth right away. Try eating crunchy goodies with it, like nuts or crackers. Go for tangy fruits to bring out its flavor, or better yet, melt this cheese, and your heart will happily melt, too.

7. Camembert

  • Classification: Soft-ripened
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: France
  • Texture: Soft

Camembert cheese is often confused with Brie due to how similar they look and feel. To differentiate Camembert, look for a runnier core, which is why the cheese is packaged in cardboard or wooden boxes to avoid spillage.

The mold on the cheese gives off an earthy smell, and its flavor intensity compared to Brie is unmistakable. It pairs well with a side of apples and is great when baked with a side of crunchy snacks.

8. Feta

  • Classification: Fresh, brined
  • Milk type: Goat, sheep, cow
  • Origin: Greece
  • Texture: Soft

Feta is a widely known table cheese made from sheep’s milk that first originated in Greece. It eventually started being made across the world and with different milk types. It’s favored by many for its fresh, salty, and slightly acidic taste.

Its creamy texture makes it easy to spread on all types of bread. Try eating Feta with watermelon slices for a unique combination of flavors. It’s a hydrating and refreshing snack during summer.

9. Roquefort

  • Classification: Blue cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow, goat, sheep
  • Origin: France
  • Texture: Soft

This blue-veined cheese is titled “King of Cheeses” in France, and it’s the most preferred blue cheese variety worldwide. Roquefort is a product of curing the whole cheese by directly adding moldy bacteria to the milk. The outer layer of the cheese is then poked with holes to let air in, and when the air comes in contact with the bacteria, it forms blue veins.

You’ll find that this cheese has a pungent odor and a sharp taste. Creaming Roquefort and dipping celery sticks and carrots in it is a popular indulgence.

10. Gorgonzola

  • Classification: Blue Cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Italy
  • Texture: Soft

Gorgonzola is also a well-known type of blue cheese that’s slightly milder in taste than Roquefort. They also differ in appearance, as the mold in Gorgonzola forms thread-like blue coloring.

You can find some spiced varieties of this cheese that go well with honey, jams, and fruits. Try a delicious pasta dish made primarily using melted Gorgonzola, or go for the famous classic pairing of walnuts, Gorgonzola, and Mascarpone.

11. Ricotta

  • Classification: Fresh
  • Milk Type: Cow, sheep, goat
  • Origin: Italy
  • Texture: Soft

Ricotta cheese is a whey cheese that can be used as both a savory and sweet addition due to its tame flavor, with a hint of sweetness. It’s congealed and soft. Feel free to experiment with Ricotta by spreading it on garlic bread or drizzling it with honey, for example.

12. Cottage Cheese

  • Classification: Fresh
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: United States
  • Texture: Soft

It’s believed that Cottage cheese was discovered in cottages as a byproduct of butter-making. It’s often confused with Ricotta for its similar appearance, but Cottage cheese has a lumpier texture. It also has a milkier taste.

Thanks to its low fat and high protein content, you can snack on cottage cheese with no guilt!

13. Mascarpone

  • Classification: Fresh
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Italy
  • Texture: Soft

This cheese gained its global reputation from the famous Italian dessert, Tiramisu. It’s a fluffy, smooth cheese that has a short shelf-life for its freshness. Its buttery, slightly tangy taste makes it a great addition to all sorts of creamy dishes and desserts.

Try making the unconventional Mascarpone ice cream – you won’t be disappointed!

14. Halloumi

  • Classification: Fresh, stretched-curd, brined
  • Milk Type: Cow, sheep, goat
  • Origin: Middle East
  • Texture: Semi-soft

Halloumi cheese is known for its sliceable nature and is easily incorporated into any savory dish because of its saltiness. It can be seared, fried, or grilled, as it doesn’t easily melt. Try toasting Halloumi with some olive oil, fresh mint leaves, and tomatoes.

15. Gruyère

  • Classification: Cooked pressed/Swiss (Alpine)
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Switzerland
  • Texture: Hard

Out of all the types of cheese, Gruyère is the second-best cheese when it comes to melting, following Emmental. It’s salty but has a hint of sweetness to it. You can slice it and eat it straight away, or make a yummy cheesy dip with it.

French onion soup can’t go without Gruyère toast, a delicious combo to keep you warm on cold days.

16. Provolone

  • Classification: Stretched-curd (pasta filata)
  • Milk Type: Cow
  • Origin: Italy
  • Texture: Semi-soft

Provolone is a cheese resembling Mozzarella that can even be used as its replacement. It’s slightly harder and is aged, unlike Mozzarella. Its light taste works great with seasoning and condiments.

17. Edam

  • Classification: Cooked pressed/Swiss (Alpine)
  • Milk Type: Cow, goat
  • Origin: Netherlands
  • Texture: Semi-hard

Edam cheese is covered with a wax coating that serves as an aesthetic to distinguish it and prevent the surface from forming mold. The wax further increases the cheese’s shelf-life unrefrigerated. The wax is edible but offers no nutritional value.

Edam closely resembles Gouda cheese but has a hint of tartness. Choose juicy fruits to eat with Edam, like peaches and cherries, or try a delicious Potato Gratin bake with it.

Final Thoughts

The cheese-making industry remains ever-evolving, and different types of cheese are loved by many due to their versatility and their ability to satisfy different tastes.

Cheese classification is generally based on its fat content, texture, the type of milk used, and the period cheese is allowed to ripen. That’s what produces an estimate of nearly two thousand kinds.

The world of cheese is delicious and inviting. Look for the nearest Cheesemonger and satiate the cheese lover in you!

We hope this guide to types of cheese has helped you cultivate your recipes and spice up your snacktime!

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