36 Different Types Of Cheeses Explained!

The diversity of cheeses worldwide provides endless varieties for cheese lovers to experience. When it comes to cheese, you have a lot of options to choose from. You can enjoy the different flavors and textures of the cheese.

cheese

The different types of cheese can be classified into fresh, soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, complex, and blue categories. Fresh cheeses are unripened, while soothing and blue cheeses are ripened with mold. Semi-soft and semi-hard cheeses are pressed and matured for short periods. Hard cheeses are cooked and aged the longest. 

As a cheese lover, I am sure that almost everyone will enjoy the variation in different cheese types. Many of us don’t know, but there are different cheese categories. Isn’t this interesting? Now, let’s explore each category of cheese in detail. 

1. Fresh Cheese

I don’t know about you, but I love fresh cheese. The shelf life is slightly less, but it is worth the taste. You will love the mild, tangy & creamy taste and texture. Fresh cheese is simply fantastic because of its freshness. The velvety texture and the kicking notes will be in the favor of your tastebuds. 

The fantastic thing about fresh cheese is that they are made with direct acidification. Many times, rennet is used, which helps to thicken the milk. It is also referred to as natural cheese, which is made by direct milk. 

Fresh cheese is not only the cheese name but also the cheese category. We will see the types of cheeses that come under this category. 

1. Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese

I love cottage cheese as it has subtle, flavorful notes and many great nutrients. The soft and fluffy texture of cottage cheese is another thing you will love. 

Cottage cheese is made from fresh cow’s milk, similar to other cheeses. Once the curds and whey are separated, the curd is drained instead of pressing. After draining, the cottage cheese is left to sit. This step only gives the cottage cheese a different texture because some whey starts to collect. 

Cottage cheese is healthy, so people often add it to their dishes. From salads to toast, cottage cheese can fit almost every dish. In India, cottage cheese is one of the most common recipes, adding exotic spices and gravy. 

You can add them to your pasta, vegetables, or pizza. They won’t give a cheesy texture like other cheeses, but you will love the flavors and soft texture. 

2. Cream Cheese

cream cheese

I am sure that many of us have tried cream cheese, and without any doubt, we all love this one. Cream cheese is one of the classic cheeses. It was first made in 1870 when a dairyman combined milk and cream to make cheese. 

This cheese has a little salty flavor with some sweet notes. As we know, this cheese combines milk and cream; it has a super smooth texture. 

Firstly, the PH level of milk and cream is reduced by adding lactic acid. This results in the formation of curds. Then, the curds are heated, and stabilizers are added to them. There is no requirement to age the cream cheese, and that is why cream cheese has a concise shelf life. 

The best thing about cream cheese is that it can be used as a spread or dip. I love the grainy yet smooth texture and how easy it is to apply the cream cheese. Make some cream frosting or add it to your pasta or pizza sauce; cream cheese will add the desired flavor and texture to whatever dish you want. 

3. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta

Ricotta cheese holds a special place in my heart. This creamy fresh cheese has been a staple in Italian cooking for centuries. Ricotta is produced by heating the whey leftover from cheesemaking.

The proteins in the whey coagulate into those little creamy curds we know and love. No bacteria or mold is added, meaning ricotta is about as fresh as it gets. The name translates to “re-cooked” in Italian, referring to this second use of whey. 

Smooth and milky white, ricotta has a mild, slightly sweet taste. The texture is luxuriously rich but still spreadable. Ricotta is used in many Italian dishes like lasagna, cannoli, cheesecake, etc. Its neutral flavor and velvety texture make ricotta endlessly adaptable.

4. Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone

Creamy, dreamy mascarpone – have you tried this decadent Italian cream cheese? It may not be well-known, but once you taste it, you’ll be hooked. Mascarpone is made by curdling cream with an acid like lemon juice or citric acid.

So it’s lighter and sweeter than cheeses made from milk. The curds are drained and packaged fresh without aging or mold development. This gives mascarpone a pure, rich sweetness without added tang.

The texture of mascarpone is genuinely luxurious – smooth, thick, and spreadable but still light on the tongue. It’s snowy white and can be dolloped, piped, or spread. Mascarpone is delightful, swirled into coffee, paired with fruit, or baked into tiramisu and other Italian desserts.

5. Fromage Blanc

Fromage

Fromage blanc means “white cheese, ” which lives up to its name. This unripened cheese is snowy white with a creamy, spreadable texture. It coagulates cow’s milk with rennet and lactic acid bacteria.

The curds are gently strained but not pressed, leaving the cheese soft and creamy. No salt or mold cultures are added during production. This gives it a pure, clean flavor – mild, milky, and slightly tangy.

The smooth and spreadable texture of fromage blanc makes it very versatile. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, a snack, and fruit or jam. In cooking, it shines in dips, sauces, tarts, and other baked goods. Fromage blanc provides a subtle tang and luxurious mouthfeel without overpowering.

6. Queso Fresco

types of cheese

Queso fresco means “fresh cheese” and certainly lives up to its name. This crumbly, mild cheese is a Tex-Mex and Latin American cuisine staple. The process is similar to ricotta – queso fresco is made by coagulating milk with an acid like lemon juice or vinegar.

The curds are lightly pressed or molded, then salted and packaged—no aging or bacteria cultures are used, allowing its fresh flavor to shine. Regarding taste and texture, queso fresco is drier and more crumbly than other fresh cheeses.

It doesn’t melt well, either. But don’t let that fool you – it packs a delicious punch of flavor! Queso fresco is salty, creamy, and just slightly tangy. It browns and crisps beautifully when fried or grilled, too. 

2. Soft Cheese

Soft cheese is made for a short period only. So, obviously, their shelf life could be better. As the name already suggests, this category’s cheese types are super soft and creamy. Soft-type cheeses mature for not more than a month. These types of cheese have a unique tangy creaminess that many would enjoy. 

Soft cheese is made without pressing the curd to squeeze out the whey or milk liquids. This is the main reason it has a higher moisture content, which gives a very soft texture. The amazing fact about soft cheese is that it has a slightly lower fat content than traditional hard cheeses. In these soft cheeses, we will explore their types and see each in detail. 

1. Brie Cheese

Brie

The most commonly used cheese is brie, which is soft cheese. I love the way the brie cheese is packed. They are stored in a wooden box or often come in a wheel shape. Brie cheese is perfect for dessert because it has a mild and creamy taste. The texture of brie cheese is also super smooth and soft. 

Brie cheese is made with cow’s milk with white mold spores. Afterward, they are deposited on open-ended molds with holes on the sides to facilitate whey drainage. When it starts forming like cheese disks, they are ripened at 15 °C and 85% humidity.

The rind of the cheese is edible, and you can use this cheese for snacking or dessert purposes. You can use brie cheese with nuts, honey, or any pickle. Enjoy brie cheese at room temperature or melt in the oven to spread on delicious food items as per your wish. 

2. Camembert Cheese

Camembert

It is one of the soft cheeses that is usually hard and crumbly initially but gets soft and buttery as it ages. Camembert is another type of cheese that is very distinct and unique. If I talk about the flavor, you will find subtle notes of mushrooms with an earthy and milky taste. 

The process of making Camembert is a little different, too. Camembert cheese is made by culturing pasteurized milk. Rennet is added to the cultured milk, giving soft yet solid curds to the milk. The curd can be cut or sliced into cubes and then consumed. 

As camembert cheese is soft and has an earthy flavor, it is best for baking goods. It gives the dishes a smooth and gooey texture; you can even use them in deep-fried snacks and appetizers. You can enjoy this cheese at room temperature as well. 

3. Chèvre

Chèvre

Chèvre means “goat” in French, and this cheese is made from 100% goat’s milk. It contains more medium-chain fatty acids than cow’s milk, giving chèvre its signature smooth, spreadable texture. Chèvre is unripened and unaged, remaining soft, mild, and tangy.

The process starts by coagulating the milk with rennet or yogurt. The curds are drained but not cooked or pressed. This retains all that lovely moisture, fat, and fluffy texture. Plain chèvre is snowy white, while flavors like herbs, pepper, and honey are easily mixed. 

I adore chèvre because it strikes the perfect balance – rich yet light, with a tangy kick. That distinctive goaty flavor isn’t overpowering, either. It works in savory and sweet dishes, shines when drizzled with olive oil or honey, and elevates any cheese board.

4. Vacherin Mont d’Or

Vacherin Mont d'Or

Let me tell you about Vacherin Mont d’Or, a seriously indulgent seasonal cheese from Switzerland and France. Vacherin Mont d’Or is a soft, smear-ripened cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s produced in the colder months when the cows graze on rich pastures. This gives the milk a more complex flavor that shines through in the cheese. 

The cheese is made by pressing soft curds in a round mold lined with spruce bark. As it ripens over 6-8 weeks, the rind is frequently brushed and washed to encourage mold growth. This creates the signature orange, velvety rind, and soft, oozy interior.

Vacherin Mont d’Or is only available from around September to March. This seasonal limitation makes it extra unique! When you crack open that funky, pungent rind, you’re rewarded with the most decadent, creamy interior pooling with nutty, earthly juices. The lush texture and woodsy aromas are addictive – a cheese lover’s delight. 

5. Burrata

Burrata

Burrata originates from southern Italy, and it begins just like mozzarella. The outer shell is created by stretching and kneading the curd into that familiar elastic texture. Here’s where it gets fancy – the inside is filled with mozzarella and fresh cream strands. 

Slicing into a ball of burrata oozes an indulgent, velvety interior that contrasts the former exterior. It’s truly an experience for the senses! The cream has a rich sweetness that balances the tanginess of the mozzarella. The textures play off each other perfectly.

Fresh, high-quality milk is critical to getting that signature creaminess. Buffalo milk from water buffalos yields an exceptionally decadent burrata. I love how it elevates simple dishes like Caprese salad or fresh pasta. The cream takes the flavor experience over the top! Burrata may seem humble, but it delivers luxuriously complex tastes and textures.

6. Mozzarella

Mozzarella

Mozzarella holds a special place as one of the most popular and versatile cheeses worldwide. Let me tell you a bit more about this Italian delicacy. Fresh mozzarella is made by curdling milk with rennet and lactic acid bacteria.

The curds are stretched and kneaded in hot water, then molded into those lovely softballs we know so well. The stretching process aligns the proteins into long chains, creating that irresistibly smooth, chewy texture.

True mozzarella di bufala is made from the milk of water buffalos in Italy. This milk has more fat and protein, yielding exceptionally creamy mozzarella. Fresh mozz has a subtle milky flavor and acidity that pairs perfectly with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic. Melt it on pizza or in lasagna, and you have cheese perfection. 

3. Hard Cheese

The interesting thing about hard cheese is that it is aged for months or years and has little or no water/moisture content. With a strong taste and aroma, hard cheese has a crumbly texture. So you can grate the hard cheese and enjoy the goodness of the same. 

You will be surprised that hard cheese is made by finely cutting the curds and then cooking at a very high temperature. This is why hard cheese is usually dry, as the process includes removing all the moisture content. Many hard cheeses are also left to age for up to 36 years. We will see the types of hard cheeses in the following conversation. 

1. Cheddar

Cheddar

We all love cheddar cheese, the most overused cheese in many households. The reason behind loving cheddar cheese is simple – the flavors and texture are unique. Cheddar cheese is a hard cheese, and as it is aged for a good time, the texture gets crumbly and dry. 

The best thing about cheddar cheese is that there are so many variations that you can try. The different types of cheddar cheese have additional flavorful notes. 

The making of cheddar cheese is simple and the same as the other cheeses. First, bacteria are added to the cow’s milk, then rennet is added. Thai acidifies the milk and then turns it into curdles. After this, the whey is strained and heated to release more liquid whey. 

Cheddar cheese is perfect to add to macaroni and pasta. You can even add them to sandwiches and soups. Slice them and enjoy the goodness of cheddar cheese.

2. Parmesan

Parmesan

One of the most loved types of cheese is, for sure, parmesan cheese. We all know that Parmesan has a hard texture and is also gritty. You will love the nutty notes with the hint of some fruity flavors in parmesan cheese. 

You will be amazed that cow’s milk is aged for at least 12 months or more to make parmesan cheese. The types of milk used to make Parmesan are whole and skimmed milk. After this, the milk is distributed into copper vats for heating. Milk is heated in a two-step process, and during the process, rennet and whey are added to form the curds. 

Parmesan can be grated or shaved as per your wish. Add them to the pasta or place them on pizza to bake. From soups to salads, Parmesan goes well with anything and everything. 

3. Romano

Romano

Let’s talk about Romano, the hard Italian cheese with a severe kick. Romano comes from the Rome and Lombardy regions of Italy. It’s made from cow’s milk and has a grainy texture with a super salty, tangy bite.

The cheesemaking process is similar to Parmesan – the curds are cooked, pressed, brined, and then aged for over a year. This lengthy aging is where Romano gets its rugged texture and intensely flavored punch.

Authentic Romano has a protected designation of origin, so the best cheeses are imported from Italy. Domestic Romano needs more complexity than real Italian Riserva. But all Romano packs that assertive, concentrated taste that can stand up to bold dishes.

4. Swiss

Swiss

Authentic Emmental Swiss cheese hails from Switzerland. It’s made from raw cow’s milk and aged for several months to develop that distinctive flavor and springy texture. As the cheese ripens, tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide form within, creating the “eyes” or holes we expect in Swiss.

The large wheels of Swiss are coated to encourage good bacteria growth. This helps form the pliable yet firm texture and signature sweet, nutty taste. The longer it ages, the more intense and complex the flavor becomes. Young Swiss are milder with smaller eyes, while aged Swiss have larger holes and sharper taste.

Beyond sandwiches, Swiss shines in fondues, raclettes, gratins, and salads. Its ability to melt smoothly makes it perfect for any dish needing delicious gooey, ooey, alpine cheese. Grate some aged Swiss on a salad or pasta to add nutty, salty depth. Pop Swiss cubes in a fondue pot for an instant party. However you slice it, Swiss cheese is a perfect time.

5. Gruyere

Gruyere

Gruyère hails from the Gruyères region of Switzerland and is made from raw cow’s milk. Large wheels are aged at least ten months up to a year or more. This extended aging gives it that hard, dense texture perfect for grating and melting.

The time spent developing allows complex savory flavors to emerge. Notes of brown butter and caramel mingle with brothy, beefy undertones. A prominent saltiness, too, gives each bite a flavor pop without being overpowering. 

The natural rind is washed during aging to promote good bacteria growth. This helps form Gruyère’s signature crystalline texture that fractures into flaky, crunchy bits. Ooey, gooey and nutty – it’s the total Swiss cheese package.

6. Emmental

Emmentaler

Emmental comes from the Emme Valley of Switzerland and has a centuries-long history. It’s made from raw cow’s milk and aged for at least four months to develop that distinctive flavor and texture Swiss cheese is known for.

As Emmental ripens, natural carbon dioxide pockets form to create the signature holes or “eyes” we expect. The larger the eyes, the more aged the cheese! A young Emmental has small holes and a milder taste, while an old version has more enormous eyes and sharper flavor. 

The springy, pliable texture comes from carefully controlling the bacterial cultures during aging. Emmental has a natural rind that’s washed to encourage good bacteria. This helps form its sweet, nutty taste that finishes with hints of brown butter.

4. Semi-Soft Cheese

Semi-soft cheese, with a significant moisture content, is another excellent type of cheese. They are ripened for 30 to 90 days and have a very little smooth texture. Made with whole milk, sometimes cheesemakers add cream for extra flavor and texture. They can be shredded, sliced, and cubed as per your preferences. 

Only a few of us know, but there are two different types of semi-soft cheese – dry rind and washed rind. They have a very smooth and elastic texture, so people love to eat semi-soft cheese regularly. We will see the most important types of cheeses that fall in this domain. 

1. Bocconcini

bocconcini cheese

You may be familiar with mozzarella cheese, and bocconcini is similar but looks like egg-sized mozzarella. You will love the sweet and buttery taste of the bocconcini. 

Bocconcini is a semi-soft cheese so that you will love its smooth and creamy texture. 

The unique thing about this cheese is that it has no rind and is unripened. So you get excellent elasticity, and it is perfect when melted.

Bocconcini can be made with both – cow and buffalo milk. Nowadays, cheesemakers use a combination of milk that gives this cheese a milder flavor than mozzarella. They also use whey or water to make bocconcini, which gives this cheese a spongy texture. 

You can use bocconcini in almost every type of appetizer, from lasagna to bruschetta. They go best with Italian dishes due to their elasticity. I recommend adding this cheese to pizza, and you will love the cheese pulls. 

2. Havarti

Havarti

Havarti is a washed-rind cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a buttery, smooth texture and mild, tangy taste. The rind is typically edible and ripened to add complexity, though many havartis are now rindless. 

To make havarti, the curds are pressed into blocks or rounds and then brined to impart a subtle saltiness. Lower heat is used compared to other semi-soft cheeses, giving Havarti a softer, creamier body. It is then ripened for just a few weeks.

The result is an easygoing cheese with a springy bite. I love Havarti’s mellow, milky flavor and ribbon-like texture when melted. It pairs wonderfully with fruits, nuts, and wines. Havarti also melts smoothly as mozzarella does.

3. Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack was first made by Mexican Franciscan friars in California in the 1700s. It’s an easygoing semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Curds are pressed into wheels, then lightly brined to impart a subtle salty tang.

Aging time is short – just 1-3 months. This keeps Monterey Jack fresh, moist, and mild-tasting. It develops a supple, wax-like sheen as it ripens. Flavors like pepper, herbs, or chili are often used for an added kick.

Melting is where Monterey Jack shines. Its high moisture content makes it silky and stretchy when melted. I love it on burgers, grilled cheese, tacos, pizza, and more for its reliability. Shredded Jack also gives great texture and cheesy satisfaction to casseroles and bakes.

4. Muenster

Muenster

Muenster hails from the French-German border region of Alsace. It’s a washed rind cheese made from cow’s milk. Producing Muenster starts like most semi-soft cheeses – the curds are pressed, passed, and ripened for 2-3 months.

The ripening stage gives Muenster its signature sticky, orange rind and potent aroma. Regular washing encourages flavorful bacteria growth that imparts complex flavors. The rind is entirely edible and adds a punch of stinky goodness. 

Underneath that pungent exterior lies an ivory interior with a smooth, creamy texture and rich, meaty taste. Hints of nuts and spices come through as well. Muenster melts incredibly, too, becoming velvety and gooey.

5. Fontina

fontina cheese

Fontina is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that originated in the Aosta Valley region of Italy. It has a rich, nutty flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. Making Fontina begins by curdling raw cow’s milk with rennet to separate the curds from the whey.

The curd is then cooked and pressed into wheels, bound with cloth, and cured in cool, humid cellars for at least three months. As it ages, Fontina forms a hard rind that ranges from yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, depending on the length of aging time. Inside, the paste takes on a pale yellow hue.

Fontina undergoes several enzymatic and biochemical changes during aging that contribute to its characteristic flavor and texture. The curing conditions allow small holes to develop throughout the paste, giving it a semi-soft, slightly springy texture when sliced. The taste is rich, aromatic, and nutty, with fruity and honey-like notes.

6. Toma

Toma

Toma is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese originating in the Alps mountain regions of France, Italy, and Switzerland. It comes in various styles depending on the area where it was made. Toma generally has a smooth, supple texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.

Crafting Toma begins by curdling cow’s milk and separating the curds from the whey. The curds are then pressed into wheels or blocks, salted, and transferred to aging cellars. As Toma ages, its rind hardens slightly while the interior paste remains smooth and flexible.

During the aging process, Toma develops tangy and nutty flavor compounds through processes like lipolysis and proteolysis. Its semi-soft texture is the result of the breakdown of fat and proteins. Depending on regional styles, Toma’s flavor profile can include notes of fruits, herbs, nuts, caramel, and alpine pastures.

5. Semi-Hard Cheese

Semi-hard cheese has very little moisture, is often packed with molds, and ages long. The process of making semi-hard cheese is similar to hard cheese, but the only difference is that the cheesemakers retain some moisture to get the desired texture. 

Semi-hard cheese has a firm texture but is less dry and crumbly than hard cheese, so those who cannot stand the texture of hard cheese prefer semi-hard cheese. The curds are pressed to remove the moisture from the whey, rendering them solid. Let us see the types of cheeses that fall into this category. 

1. Asiago

Asiago

Asiago is a semi-hard cheese that has a nutty flavor. You will find that the taste of asiago is similar to Parmesan but creamier and milder. This cheese has an off-white color and crumbly texture, which looks pleasing to the eyes. 

As this is a semi-hard cheese, it has less moisture than other types of cheese. You can grate or even slice them and sprinkle them over the dish. 

You will be amazed that Asiago cheese is made with whole and skim milk. Both types of milk are heated, and then rennet is added. Another great thing about this cheese is that Asiago cheese does not have lipase (an enzyme to make cheese). 

You can use Asiago cheese in pasta, soups, and sauces. You can easily slice asiago cheese and add it to sandwiches, and you will love the taste and texture.

2. Gouda

Gouda

Gouda is a medium-hard cheese with a very smooth texture and flavor. Many may not know, but Gouda is considered an everyday cheese. You can enjoy this cheese in any form – grated, sliced, melted, or cubed. 

Many of us like the crunchy and crumbly texture with the rich, nutty, and caramel flavor of Gouda cheese. There are different types of gouda cheese depending on their age. 

I love using Gouda cheese from Gayo Azul as they have the best quality. Try them because they have a premium selection of traditional cheeses. 

Making Gouda is similar to making cheese, but some extra steps make Gouda cheese stand apart from the crowd. Water is added once the milk is curdled and the whey is removed, reducing lactose content. After this, it is pressed into circular molds for several hours and soaked in a brine, giving Gouda cheese a unique, flavorful note. 

Gouda cheese is perfect to add to your macaroni and pasta. You can even place them on the chessboard. From mashed potatoes to sandwiches, gouda cheese complements such dishes well. 

3. Colby 

Colby

Another semi-hard cheese that you will love is Colby. Please don’t mistake the Colby cheese with cheddar; they might look very similar but not the same. Colby cheese has a much softer texture and is less tangy than cheddar. 

The milk curds or whey do not wash Colby cheese; instead, they are washed with water. This is what gives the Colby less acidic and tangy notes. Due to this, the cheese has more moisture content, making it a little crumbly yet soft in texture. 

When it comes to this Colby, you can pair it with so many dishes and recipes. From pasta to soup, add them to enjoy the smooth and less tangy notes. You can combine them with fruits and enjoy a great fruit and cheese platter. 

4. Edam

Edam

Edam is another medium-hard cheese with no acid, so it has a little sweet flavor you will love. The best thing about Edam cheese is that the rind of the cheese is covered in red wax, which is smooth with nutty, flavourful notes. 

For Edam cheese, skimmed milk or part of skimmed milk is curdled with calf rennet. After this, the whey is drained, and the curds are washed. They are given some specific shape and then immersed in the brine. Edam cheese is left to age 21 days, and your sweet yet nutty cheese is ready to enjoy.

Edam cheese goes perfectly well with any dish based on potatoes. They are also perfect baking foods, and you can always add them to your pasta and enjoy the smooth texture.

5. Comté

comte cheese

Comté is a semi-hard, pressed cow’s milk cheese made in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France. It has a rich, complex flavor and smooth, supple texture with tiny holes scattered throughout.  

Making Comté begins by skimming the cream from raw milk and heating the remaining milk. It is then curdled with rennet and carefully stirred before the curds are pressed into large wheels for aging. Comté is aged for at least four months but often over 12 months in the region’s natural limestone cellars. 

As Comté ages, flavors become more complex through lipolysis and proteolysis. The breakdown of fats and proteins generates savory flavor compounds. In addition, the rich milk from the Montbéliarde and French Simmental cattle breeds lend flavor notes. Well-aged Comté has robust, beefy, brown butter flavors with toasty, woodsy notes and a hint of sweetness on the finish. 

6. Manchego

Manchego

Manchego is a semi-hard cheese made from the whole milk of Manchega sheep in the La Mancha region of Spain. It has a compact texture, distinctive sweet, nutty flavor, and tangy finish. 

Creating Manchego begins by curdling whole sheep’s milk with rennet to form curds, which are cut, heated, and molded into circular wheels. The wheels are pressed to remove excess moisture, and the rind is salted and aged for a minimum of 60 days up to 2 years.

As it ages, the compact paste ranges from a buttery ivory to straw yellow color, depending on age. Manchego undergoes complex biochemical processes during its aging that develop its signature flavor profile. Its versatile semi-hard texture makes it ideal for grating over dishes or serving with olives, almonds, and Spanish wine.

6. Blue Cheese

Now, let’s look at Blue cheese. Not many of us are fans of blue cheese, and that is simply because the smell is too strong. However, blue cheese is one of the most fabulous cheeses you will ever have. 

It is made by inoculating cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk with mold spores during cheesemaking. Penicillium is the central mold that creates the distinctive blue-green veining and spicy flavor. It can be used in savory dishes, desserts, salads, and cheese boards, often paired with sweet ingredients to contrast the sharpness. Now, We will discover some of its types. 

1. Roquefort

Roquefort

Roquefort’s most famous and revered blue cheese is crafted from the milk of Lacaune sheep in a small region of France; every step of its production abides by strict standards that have preserved Roquefort’s quality for centuries. 

The rich, creamy sheep’s milk is first curdled with rennet before being skillfully molded and pierced. It is then left to grow the magical Penicillium roqueforti mold spores that give this legendary cheese its distinctive veining and potent flavor. 

When fully ripened, I find Roquefort delivers an unparalleled creaminess; its crumbles are both rich and moist with a subtle graininess. Pungent yet never overpowering, notes of wet earth, cured meat, caramel, and nuts mingle with touches of grass and fruit. A delightful saltiness gives way to a peppery spike and lingering tang on the tongue. 

2. Gorgonzola Dolce

Gorgonzola Dolce

Gorgonzola has been one of my favorite Italian cheeses ever since I tasted it during a trip to Tuscany. This renowned blue made from cow’s milk comes in two varieties: Gorgonzola Piccante, a crumbly aged style, and Gorgonzola Dolce, a creamier, milder form I’ve come to cherish. 

Crafting the sweet Gorgonzola Dolce begins as the more assertive Piccante version does by curdling morning and evening milk. Once the curds form, they are cut and left to rest before being drained and molded into wheels. 

Those lovely blue-green veins multiply over 2-3 months of careful aging as enzymes transform the curd, producing Gorgonzola’s characteristic flavor. The paste takes on a pale yellow hue while the blue mold delivers piquant earth and fruit notes. For me, Gorgonzola Dolce strikes a perfect balance – it has a punchy yet smooth blue cheese bite rounded out by milk fat’s sweet creaminess. 

3. Stilton Blue

Stilton Blue

Stilton has long been considered the “king” of British cheese, and one bite of its rich creaminess tells you why. This celebrated blue cheese hails from three counties in England where dairies craft it to stringent standards. No cheeseboard is complete without a crumble of good Stilton with its complex sweet-savory bite. 

Whole cream cow’s milk is carefully curdled to make this famous cheese before being drained and put into cylindrical molds. Here is where the Stilton magic happens. The cheese is pierced many times with stainless steel needles, allowing oxygen, which is a key for blue mold.

Particular Penicillium roqueforti spores are then introduced. Those blue-green veins multiply over several weeks in climate-controlled rooms as the Stiltons are turned and rubbed with salt. This meticulous process results in a moist, crumbly cheese studded with pockets of tangy blue flavors. 

4. Danish Blue

Danish Blue

Danish Blue cheese has constantly reminded me of a spunky little rebel with its bold, mottled blue veins running throughout an off-white paste. This semi-soft cow’s milk cheese stands out thanks to an innovative Danish method for mechanical curd stirring. The result is both visual appeal and a rich, tangy flavor.

Crafting Danish Blue, or Danablu as it’s known locally, involves curdling full-fat cow’s milk before draining the whey. Here’s where that mechanical agitation happens to disperse those blue pockets of goodness evenly. The curds are salted, packed into cylindrical molds, and then pierced with long needles, allowing air circulation for mold development.

For the next eight weeks, wheels of Danish Blue Age in climate-controlled rooms encourage our hungry friend Penicillium to bloom through the ivory paste as fat blue marbling. Constant monitoring ensures just the proper moisture and equal bluing. The bold streaks of blue give Danish Blue its cool visual cache.

5. Cabrales

Cabrales

Hailing from the verdant mountains of Asturias, Spain, is the bold blue legend Cabrales. Made for centuries by village farmers, this powerful raw cow’s milk cheese is unlike any other I’ve tried. Rustic, crumbly, and complex, Cabrales packs a serious punch!

In those tiny Asturian villages like Las Arenas, cheesemaking happens in small batches using old traditions passed down for generations. Fresh raw cow’s milk curdles before being scooped into perforated forms that allow excess liquid to drain as wheels take shape. After a light salting, the wheels are transported to the region’s naturally humid caves for aging magic to occur.

Mottled blue-green mold spreads through each wheel over 2-5 months, resulting in creamy white cheese veined with blue. The diverse caves’ cool temperatures, moist air, and natural mold spores penetrate the cheese in a way that modern facilities can’t replicate. These conditions transform the pungent raw milk, creating Cabrales’ intensely complex flavor profile with each batch unique.

6. Cashel Blue

Cashel Blue

Hailing from the emerald hills of Ireland comes a creamy blue cheese that pairs beautifully with a pint of stout. Cashel Blue, crafted not far from the historic Rock of Cashel, impresses with its mellow blue flavor and smooth texture that contrasts with bolder blues.

Crafting Cashel Blue is a careful process, starting with fresh cow’s milk curdled using vegetarian rennet. Once drained, the moist curds are hand-ladled into perforated molds before dry salting. So far, the process mirrors fellow blues, but here, tradition takes over. Wheels are transferred to old converted farm buildings to age rather than modern maturing rooms. 

Cashel Blue gently ripens over 4-12 weeks. Air circulation allows blue veining that laces through the buttery ivory interior. Compared to assertive Cabrales, Cashel Blue develops leisurely thanks to Ireland’s remarkable seaside climate. Its distinctive farmhouse style sums up why I adore Irish food traditions.

Conclusion 

I enjoyed this cheesy conversation, and I hope you also had a delicious time reading it. Most of us love eating cheese, and as a foodie and cheese lover, one has to try all the different types of cheese available in the market. 

There is nothing like extra cheese because when it comes to cheese, more is always less. I will come back with some more conversations like this. Until then, have some slices of cheese and bread. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between soft and hard cheeses?

The difference between soft and hard cheeses is that soft cheese has a creamy and smooth texture, while hard cheese has a crumbly texture. Hard cheese is aged long, increasing its shelf life, but it is valid with soft cheese. 

What are the different categories of cheeses?

There are five categories of cheeses that are available 
1. Fresh cheeses
2. Soft cheeses
3. Semi-Soft cheeses
4. Semi-hard cheeses
5. Hard cheeses
6. Blue Cheeses

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