Cheese is a tasty and popular food all around the world. It’s not known exactly where cheese first originated, but today we have a variety of different cheese types to enjoy. Many are made from different kinds of milks, and the techniques used to make them are different, depending on the kind of cheese being made. Cheeses are currently grouped by the production methods used to create them, and from there a great number of cheese sub-groups. In this post, I’ll tell you more about different cheeses, and what makes them unique.
Fresh cheese is simply cheese that has not been fermented. These cheeses are generally made without preservatives. This category includes cottage cheese, mozzarella, cheeses made from whey, and other varieties. Fresh cheeses are usually soft and mild, and can be characterized by their spread-ability. Often, age is a factor in how they taste.
Next, we have a group of semi-hard cheeses, which includes Cheddar, Colby, Monterrey Jack, Gouda and others. While fresh cheeses are often curdled and drained only, semi-hard cheeses are aged and often created with the use of molds.
Moisture content usually determines how hard or soft a cheese will be. Even in categories such as ‘semi-hard’ there are varying consistencies. Hard cheeses, such as Parmesan, are typically aged for a relatively long time. These cheeses are usually used for grating onto prepared dishes like pasta and salads.
Then we have cheeses created by utilizing mold or yeast. These include washed-rind cheeses such as Limburger, or Muenster among others. They are often cured in a saltwater brine, but can also be cured using other things like brandy, beer, wine, or spices. The cheeses are repeatedly washed, especially in the initial stages of creation, to prevent undesirable molds from forming on the final product.
Mold ripened cheeses are aged from the exterior to the interior using specific types of mold, usually formulate into a white crust around the cheese. Washed-rind cheeses are a good example of cheese processed with mold. There are virtually endless ways these cheeses are used in cooking and eating.
Ready to begin your adventure into making delicious cheeses? A great way to start is with one of our cheesemaking kits. You’ll find several choices of cheeses to make, and at varying price points. If you are still a bit uncertain about which kit to start with, contact us. We are ready to help and would love to work with you!