Types of Cheese
- Pressed Cheeses (uncooked): Curd that has been pressed in molds to expel the whey (Mimolette).
- 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 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.
- Goat’s Milk Cheese or Chevre cheese: Many people prefer goat's milk due to the low fat content and nutritious ingredients. It also has less lactose.
- 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.
- Bloomy or Flowery Rind: Soft-ripened cheese that have not been cooked or pressed that are exposed, sprayed, or injected with mold, ripen from the rind outward (Camembert). The outside forms a chalky, snowy white rind, which peaks out. The pate (interior of the cheese) is typically soft but firm, and varies from creamy white to yellow. Although flavors vary, bloomy rind cheeses tend to be quickly aged, which gives them a mild tangy flavor, thus rendering it a popular cheese for all tastes.
- Washed Rind: Very similar to bloomy rind cheeses, they are made much in the same way, but the rind that develops is washed or rubbed off, and is a typically orangey crust (Reblochon).
- Natural Rind Cheeses: Not exposed to mold nor washed (Morbier). This cheese uses its own coating to cover itself.
- Fresh Cheeses: The milk is allowed to thicken, until it separates into whey and curd. The whey is drained, and curd is drained or shaped. Uncooked and unaged curd molded into shapes (fresh goat cheese) or left loose (cottage cheese, cream cheese, and ricotta). It is not matured, and is extremely mild, almost bland in flavor (although flavors vary). Usually unsalted.
- Fresh Soft Cheeses: Unripened cheeses that have water content of 60-82%. Known as fromage blanc in France, these cheeses are made by lactic fermentation and are slowly drained. They normally have a low fat content, usually below 20%. Boursin, and Cervelle de Canut are examples of fresh soft cheeses.
- Blue-Veined or Blue Cheeses: Injected with blue or green mold (Roquefort), this category of cheese is easily recognizable, both visually, and also due to the intense pungency of its aroma. The three most recognizable blues are by far Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola, which all vary in texture, from highly crumbly, to almost spreadable and smooth.
- Hard Paste Cheeses: Ripened cheeses that have been cooked, pressed and aged for long periods of time (around 2 years or so) until they become very hard and dry (Parmesan, Pecorino Romano).
- Double and Triple Cream Cheeses: Extra cream is added to the soft-ripened cheese. Triple crèmes must have a fat content of at least 75%, double crèmes 60%. Very creamy and rich, and smooth. Some triple cream and double cream cheeses undergo a ripening process, while others do not, but are cured for a few weeks and allowed to develop a bloomy or snowy rind. Examples: Brillat Savarin, Boursault. Occasionally, a blue cheese will fall under this classification if it is enriched with cream as well, such as Bacarian Blue.