Yes, most cheese is gluten free. Cheese made out of milk, rennet and bacteria, none of which contains gluten. Sometimes however, producers add other ingredients to cheese, so you should always read the ingredients on the label or consult with the manufacturer if you’re following a gluten-free diet.
What is gluten and what foods contain gluten?
Barley, Wheat, Triticale and rye. These are not common ingredients in cheese, however, there are a few exceptions, like cheese washed with beer, like some Trappist cheese or Baladin Beer Cheese. Beer is made with malted barley, and therefore beer-washed cheeses will contain gluten.
Blue cheese is made with a bacterial culture called Penicillium roqueforti. The tricky issue with this culture is that it’s grown on rye grains, which are definitely gluten-free. However, the amount of gluten that actually gets transferred into the blue cheese is very minimal, sometimes at a concentration of less than 1 part per million. Although the quantity is almost undetectable, if you’re very sensitive to gluten, you should avoid blue cheese. And it’s a cheese to avoid on the cheese if you’re having friends or families with celiac disease over for a dinner party – or if you just plain want to play it safe.
Gluten cross contamination
There’s always the risk of cross contamination with gluten in the processing plant (in the case of processed cheese) or the packaging process. Cheeses are almost always made in big wheels or blocks, which are then portioned and repackaged for sale. During that process, there is a small risk that gluten will come into contact with that portion. If you’re particularly sensitive to gluten, avoid repackaged cheeses or buy the whole wheel (sometimes small wheels are available for the more popular cheeses).
Gluten free cheese recipes
There are many naturally gluten-free cheese recipes, but there are also several beloved recipes that can be adapted for a gluten-free lifestyle. Like Truffled Gluten Free Mac and Cheese! With several gluten-free pasta options available in the market, today you can enjoy your favorite pasta dish. Below are some great options of cheese recipes that are apt for gluten free diets.