Can you imagine your pizza or burger without cheese? Noways! We can’t even imagine many foods items without cheese. Cheese is no doubt one of the tastiest dairy food items in the world and is used in thousands of dishes across the world. There are so many types of cheese in the world. Cheese is categorised based on some factors like the type of milk is used, ageing duration, moisture content, its origin, texture, the method of making and the fat content. Some types of cheese are popular worldwide and some are locally famous. There are almost 500 varieties of cheese in the world which are recognised by Internation Dairy Federation and almost 1000 by other entities. It’s not possible to learn about every cheese type in detail so we have brought you this brief information which is full of knowledge and is short to read. So let’s start.
Types of Cheese Based on Moisture
Cheese can be classified based on the level of moisture or firmness it has. The moisture determines whether the cheese is soft, semi-soft, medium hard, semi-hard or hard.
Soft cheese has the highest level of moisture and its the softest cheese. These types of cheese are not matured and are meant to be consumed fresh. The moisture content in soft cheese is not more than 55%. Example: Cream cheese(not matured), Brie and Neufchâtel(matured for more than a month.)
Semi-soft cheese has high moisture level and they usually are mild-tasting. The ageing time of this type of cheese is approximately 3 months and the fat content ranges from 38% to 45%. Popular semi-soft cheese example: Havarti, Munster and Port Salut.
Medium hard Cheese
This type of cheese is usually aromatic and sharp in taste. The Swiss-style cheeses like Emmental and Gruyère belong to this category. These types of cheese are used for snacks and breakfasts as they are ideal for melting such as serving on toasts. Popular semi-hard cheese example: Gouda, Edam, Jarlsberg, Cantal, and Cașcaval.
Semi Hard or Hard Cheese
Hard cheese has a very low moisture content. The popular Cheddar cheese belongs to this type. These types of cheese are pressed in moulds and are matured for a longer period. Hard cheeses are matured for several months and even years. Hard cheese is also called as Grating cheese as this type of cheese is grated before using it. Some example of hard cheese: Parmesan and Pecorino Romano
Types of Cheese Based on Freshness
Fresh cheese is meant to consumed fresh within few days after that it will be a waste. Fresh cheese is made simply by curdling and draining. Fresh cheese has a mild flavour and they are spreadable. The famous Mozzarella cheese belongs to this type and is used in making pizzas. Examples of fresh cheese are cottage cheese, cream cheese, curd cheese, farmer cheese, caș, Chhena, Fromage blanc, queso fresco, paneer.
Whey Cheese is made by Whey which is the byproduct of cheesemaking. Examples of whey cheese are Corsican brocciu, Italian ricotta, Romanian urda, Greek mizithra, Cypriot anari cheese and Norwegian Brunost.
Types of Cheese Based on the Milk Used
The milk which is used to make the cheese play a vital role in the quality of the cheese. Cow’s milk is used worldwide to make the cheese. In many parts of the world milk of goats and sheep is used to make the cheese. Roquefort (France) and Pecorino (Italy) from ewe’s milk.
Types of Cheese Based on Mold
Mold cheese is made by letting the mold grow on them for few days or weeks. There is three types mold cheese:
Soft-ripened Mold Cheese
These type of cheese are firm and chalky at the beginning and they grow soft and gooey when are aged by exposing them to the molds. Examples: Brie and Camembert
Washed-rind Mold Cheese
Washed-rind cheeses are periodically cured in a solution of saltwater brine or mold-bearing agents like beer, wine, brandy and spices, which make their surfaces amenable to the mold. Example: Limburger, Appenzeller.
Smear-ripened Mold Cheese
Some washed-rind cheeses are smear-ripened. In smear ripening, the older cheeses are smeared on young cheeses to transfer the microorganisms(molds) to the younger cheese. These type of cheeses have a distinctive pinkish or orange coloured tints on the outside. Example: Munster and Port Salut.
Blue Cheese is made by inoculating cheese by the special type of fungi like Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum. The mold grows as the cheese ages. Blue cheese have blue veins of molds hence the name. Examples: Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton.
Brined Types of Cheese
Brined cheese is matured in the solution brine(salt water) in an airtight or semi-permeable container. This gives the cheese good stability, inhibiting bacterial growth even in hot countries. Brined cheeses can be soft or hard. The moisture content, colour and flavour can vary according to the type of milk used. Example: Bryndza, Feta, Halloumi, and Sirene.
Processed Types of Cheese
Processed cheese is enhanced by adding some ingredients like preservatives, emulsifying salts, and food colours. Processed food melts easily and they are sold in the packaging in form or slices or sausage like logs. Processed cheese comes in many forms.
Long live the Cheese! 😀
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Reference: Wiki Cheese