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Cheese Classifications

by GourmetFoodStore.com

By Manufacture

  • Pressed Cheeses (uncooked): Curd that has been pressed in molds to expel the whey (Mimolette).
  • Semi-Pressed/Semi-Firm Cheeses: Cooked and pressed cheeses that have been aged for a medium amount of time, so that they are firm but not dry and brittle (Cheddar, Gouda).
  • Pressed and Cooked Cheeses: Curd that has been heated, then pressed (Gruyère).
  • Processed Cheeses: Sold in either thin slices or in foil, processed cheeses are basically melted with many ingredients mixed together. It has dry matter of 50%, and has 40% fat content.
  • Artisanal Cheese: This is basically cheese that is produced in a farmhouse by traditional methods. It is made with unpasteurized milk, and is crafted in meticulous detail by cheese mongers. It is often a long process. Many prefer this than Industrial produced dairy products.
  • Industrial or industriel Cheese: The opposite of artisanal produced cheese, this method is done in factories, pasteurizing the milk, and selling them to the mass market. Since the 19th century, this has been a dominating producer of the dairy product. Ann Pickett opened the first U.S industry cheese factory in 1841.
  • Monastery Cheese: This is cheese that is produced in monasteries. Monks farm and gather the milk of cows, goats, or ewes. They continue to use the methods passed down by generations of monks whose innovative methods during the Middle Ages has a tremendous impact on the world of cheese.

By Milk Type

  • Goat’s Milk/Chèvre: Many people prefer goat's milk due to the low fat content and nutritious ingredients. It also has less lactose.
  • Ewe’s/Sheep’s Milk Cheeses: Since sheep will typically give out less milk than cows or goats, this cheese is harder to find, as well as more expensive.
  • Mixed Milk Cheese: Cheese that has been made from a combination with two or more different types of milk.
  • Raw Milk Cheeses: Most connoisseurs assure that pasteurization, a process of heat-treating food at temperatures above 63 Fahrenheit to kill disease-causing organisms, kills the flavor of the fromage. Untreated raw milk is not subjected to cooking at high temperatures (nothing over 38C). Must be processed very quickly and very carefully to avoid contamination and should be aged for a minimum of sixty days.

By Country

  • French Cheese: There are almost 400 different types of French cheeses. It is one of the most sought after cheeses in the world. What makes French cheese such a prized item is the variety of different tastes, textures and aromas. The most popular cheeses are Brie, Brillat-Savarin, and Beaumont.
  • German Cheese: Most German cheese is made from cow milk. They popular cheeses, such as Cambazola Triple Cream and Champignon German Brie with Mushrooms, usually have a creamy texture and are noted for their subtle flavor.
  • Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese is famous for its holes. Known as the eyes of the cheese, these holes are caused by bacteria known as Propionibacter Shermani, which helps the production of lactic acid, a vital substance in the making of cheese. The most popular Swiss cheeses are Tete De Moines and Swiss Emmentaler, which are made out of cow milk.
  • Dutch Cheese: Few can deny the importance of Dutch cheese. It transformed the making of cheese into an art form. One of the reasons why cheese from the Netherlands is loved by so many is because of the environment the cows graze on. The rich soils of the grass affect the milk the cows produce, giving Dutch cheese a unique flavor that is unforgettable. Its cheeses, such as Gouda, are cherished throughout the world.
  • American Cheese: This is one of the worlds most sought after cheeses. Its delicious taste has made it a major supplier in the cheese market. One of the most popular American cheese is Vermont cheddar cheese, which is hard and made from cow milk.
  • Danish Cheese: This cheese is often characterized by its creamy texture that makes it a treasured item. Its smooth surface is also its trademark. For centuries, cheese lovers all over Europe have loved Danish cheese. The most loved cheeses from Denmark are Danish Fontina, Havarti, and Saga blue cheese.
  • English Cheese: Considered an item of royalty, English cheese has been called "Kings of Cheese". England is the birthplace of the famous Stilton blue. Many English cheeses are made from cow's milk. Among other famous cheeses are Clotted cream, and Double Devon.
  • Finnish Cheese: Cheese from Finland is famous for being healthy. Lapp cheese is a perfect addition to anyone's diet, due to its healthy ingredients. Made from skimmed cow milk, Lapp cheese is somewhat similar to Emmental, with the exception of having the former having pasteurized milk.
  • Italian Cheese: There is a wide range of delicious cheeses produced in Italy. They are near the same level of France when it comes to quality. The most popular cheeses are Mozzarella Di Bufala, Caprino, and Caciocavallo Silana DOP. The DOP is a certified label applied to the cheese, guaranteeing that the cheese originated at a certain region in Italy, it was produced through traditional means and it has the highest quality.
  • Portuguese Cheese: Portugal's land is filled with green pastures and rich soil that is perfect for farming cattle. Many of its most famous cheeses, such as Toleda, have a mixture of cow, goat and sheep milk. Portugal is also innovative for mixing dried fruits into the production of its cheeses. A perfect example of this is the delicious Rabafia.
  • Spanish Cheese: Spain has about a hundred different types of cheeses. More than 50% of Spanish cheese is made from a mixture of cow, goat and sheep milk. Many of the country's cheeses are characterized as being creamy and having an unforgettable flavor. Iberico is one of the most popular and produced of all Spanish cheeses.
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