Hmmm……. that’s what cheese does to people. Except for a few people who are health conscious (only on the face of it, you bet!!), most people love cheese in all forms. Whether they are available in chunks or strips or used as slices on bread, different types of cheese are certainly a craving for many. Cheese is an ancient food that originated several centuries ago and is one of the few dishes that has survived over the years. Cheese has such an intrinsic quality to them that they add flavor and taste to any kind of food. It is just the perfect garnish for any kind of food and can also cover up a few gaffes in cooking. There are basically four types of cheese, which are available according to the moisture content. Each type of cheese has its own varieties. You can find more information related to the different types of cheese in this article. Check out the various kinds of cheese found in the world.
Different Types Of Cheese
Soft cheese is the one with very high moisture content. Soft cheese works well with fruits and cuts of meats. This type of cheese can be spread on crackers or bread slices and can be served as a dip for snacks. They can also be used as breakfast cheese for omelets or pasta fillings. Mildly flavored soft cheese includes cottage cheese, cream cheese, Ricotta, Brie, Bleu, Roquefort, Mozzarella, Meunster and similar cheese. The problem with this type of cheese is that, the shelf life is very less and it has to be consumed almost immediately.
Semi-soft cheese is slightly robust in flavor. This type of cheese is moist and creamy and carries a strong aroma too. Semi-soft cheese is a favorite among cheese lovers. They cover a wide range of uses. American, Colby, Co-jack and similar cheese are in the semi-soft category. Co-jack cheese is a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack and is believed to be one of the most popular types of semi-soft cheese. This allows for a perfect blend of the sharper flavor of Colby with the milder Monterey Jack cheese, which also makes the cheese melt better than the plain Colby. Grilled cheese sandwiches often use American cheese and Mexican cheese that are semi-soft.
Semi-hard cheese possesses a stronger flavor than semi-soft ones. These cheese varieties are generally paired with fruit used on cheese trays and can be consumed with crackers. Some of the cheese in this group includes Cheddar, Provolone, Gouda, Jarlsberg and others. However, there are certain cheese varieties, which have a smoky flavor. The most common in this variety include smoked Cheddar and Gouda. Semi-hard cheese melts well and is used in casseroles or as stuffing for chicken breasts or pork chops. This type of cheese has a certain earthiness, sweetness, nuttiness and meaty flavor to it and is buttery to an extent. Semi-hard cheese can last up to one to two months if kept in the fridge. As this cheese ages, its pungent cheese smell increases and they get flakier, although young semi-hard cheese is more flavorsome.
These types of cheese are the aged variety and are popular accompaniments with heavy meals. Hard cheese varieties comprise of Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Swiss, Gruyere and others. These types of cheese contain a concentrated flavor, dry texture and contain less moisture. Parmesan and Romano are the most familiar grated cheese varieties, which are used as toppings for foods like spaghetti and lasagna. Hard cheese is also served as crumbs on hot dishes. They also complement fruit, wine, nuts and other appetizer items. Swiss cheese is a popular sandwich cheese and melts well, unlike some other hard cheese. Hard cheese has a long shelf life and its taste improves as the cheese ages. The aging process of hard cheese involves the evaporation of moisture and the crystallization of salt in the cheese. This type of cheese is aged under the right conditions and takes a period of six months to over seven years to acquire that perfect taste and texture. Hard cheese is wrapped in waxed paper and is stored in the dark, usually in cellars where there are no changes in temperature.
Other Types Of Cheese
Fondue is nothing but creamy, melted, cheese dipping sauce, consumed with breadsticks and other appetizers. The different types of fondue cheese are Beufort, Comte, Fontal, Imperial Appenzeller, Swiss emmental, Swiss gruyere and Comte St. Antoine.
This type of cheese contains blue, bluish-gray or green spots. Blue cheese is prepared in temperature controlled environments with the addition of the genus Penicillium or other bacteria types, to develop spots or veins. Blue cheese has a unique salty flavor and can be consumed raw or added in dishes such as salads, sandwiches and nachos. The different varieties of blue cheese include Gorgonzola, Stilton, French Bleu de Gex and Roquefort.
This type of cheese is not pure cheese and is a combination of two or more types of cheese. Usually this type of cheese is prepared from milk, cream, whey, butter, various emulsifiers, colors and salt. Processed cheese can be used for cooking or directly consumed. Apart from its rich flavor, this type of cheese is popular owing to its long shelf life.
Cheese is indeed one of the most sought-after foods all over the world. The rich creaminess and taste, adds to the flavor of any dish. Over 700 varieties of cheese are available all over the world. Hope this article has familiarized you with a few of them.