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5-Minute Crafts

A Guide to Different Types of Cheese

Cheese may be one of the most versatile ingredients in the world, as it can be found in different maturation times, types of milk, textures, flavors, and even shapes. Because of this, it can be rather difficult to recognize a specific variety when seen or tasted.

5-Minute Crafts has prepared this guide with some of the most popular types of cheese to help you identify their main characteristics and how to enjoy them.

❗Important: Keep in mind that the following classifications are not definite ones. However, they can help you recognize the main aspects of each type of cheese.

A. Fresh cheeses

Feta

This type of cheese was originally made from goat and sheep’s milk. It’s characterized by a creamy and crumbly texture, as well as a sour and salty flavor. It can be paired with fresh tomatoes, olives, and red bell pepper. Moreover, it can be used in different cooked dishes, including pasta and soups.

💡Feta cheese can be a very good topping for salads, as you may find it in fat-free varieties.

Burrata

Burrata cheese resembles a cheesy dumpling, in which the outer layer is made from mozzarella cheese and the inside is a blend of cream and mozzarella. Its rich flavor can be paired with salads, Italian dishes, grilled vegetables, and crusty bread.

Ricotta

This Italian type of fresh cheese has a moist and grainy texture, with a mild and slightly sweet flavor that goes well with dips, salads, cooked dishes, and desserts, including lasagna and cheesecake. Ricotta cheese can be an excellent option for cooking, as it adds creaminess and body to your dishes.

❗ This variety can’t be kept very long, so make sure to eat it the same week after purchase.

B. White mold cheeses

Camembert

This aromatic variety has a soft layer on the outside, a creamy interior, and a sweet flavor. It has also been described as a white mold cheese with notes of mushrooms and butter. It goes very well with fresh figs, cherry jam, and walnuts.

💡Enjoy Camembert cheese at room temperature. If necessary, remove it from the fridge at least 30 minutes before eating it.

Brie

Just like Camembert, Brie cheese has hints of mushroom and butter, along with a mild taste and soft interior that becomes richer in flavor as it ages. It can be paired with crackers, bread, fruit, roasted nuts, and honey.

C. Blue mold cheeses

Gorgonzola

Gorgonzola cheese has a soft but crumbly texture, with a flavor that can go from creamy to intense. This variety has a wide range of uses, as it can be enjoyed in risottos, pizzas, and pasta. Moreover, it can be paired with honey, grapes, and pistachios.

Roquefort

This type of French blue cheese is made with sheep’s milk. It’s rather intense, with a moist body covered in blue pockets that give it quite strong flavor notes. It goes very well with walnuts and apples.

Stilton

This variety is made in certain locations of England only. Stilton cheese has a rich and intense flavor, along with a creamy texture and nutty notes. It’s not as moist as other blue cheeses.

It can be enjoyed with walnuts, honey, and apples. Moreover, it can also be added to salads, risottos, pasta, and desserts.

D. Semi-hard cheeses

Cheddar

Cheddar cheese can be found in many variations, including garlic, sage, and smokey. It can be mild to extra intense in flavor, with colors that range from white to orange.

As it ages, it can become more crumbly and dry. Since cheddar is a very versatile and popular type of cheese, it can be enjoyed in sandwiches, cooked foods, or shredded to top different preparations.

Oaxaca

This Hispanic variety is mild in flavor and, somehow, it can resemble mozzarella. Oaxaca cheese is characterized by its braided, semi-firm look. It can be used in sandwiches or cooked foods, such as nachos and pizza.

Gruyère

Gruyère cheese has a fruity and nutty flavor with a crumbly texture. It can be paired with grapes, pears, and berry jam, and can be added to sandwiches, French onion soup, and other hot dishes.

Enchilado

This Hispanic variety is characterized by its mild red chili crust, which gives it a slightly spicy flavor. It has a white interior and, as it ages, it can become rather hard. When heated, it reaches a softer texture, but it doesn’t melt. It’s often used in Mexican dishes, salads, and soups.

E. Hard cheeses

Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan)

This Italian variety has a strong taste that goes along with a firm and hard body, which becomes granular as time goes by. In order to reach its singular flavor, it requires a maturation time of at least 12 months.

It can be paired with zesty peas and walnuts, as well as grated over pasta dishes, soups, and other preparations.

Grana Padano

Due to its texture, flavor, and appearance, this variety can be confused with Parmesan cheese. However, Grana Padano is slightly milder and less granular, as it requires only 9 months for maturation. It goes very well with apples, honey, and figs.

Manchego

Manchego’s name comes from its hometown La Mancha, Spain. This variety resembles the flavor of nuts and sweet fruit, along with a creamy texture due to its sheep’s milk content. It becomes granular as it ages, and it can be enjoyed with figs, roasted walnuts, and honey.

F. Goat cheeses

Chèvre

This traditional French variety comes in a wide range of types that include different molds, crusts, and maturation times. Fresh variants can be rather earthy and intense, while other aged types can be crumbly and even sharper. Chèvre can be paired with honey, roasted walnuts, and ripe pear.

Garrotxa

This variety is produced in certain regions of Catalonia, Spain. It has a grayish mold crust due to the humid climate of the areas where it’s made. It’s rather creamy in texture with a mild sweet and milky taste. It pairs very well with fresh bread to enjoy as a snack.

5-Minute Crafts/Food/A Guide to Different Types of Cheese
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