Soft cheese, hard cheese, gooey cheese, melting cheese; we love cheese in all forms and types! Whether it’s sandwiches, burgers or just scooping it up from the fondue, cheese is an all-time favourite comfort food. While we enjoy cheese, understanding this complex food is not so easy. So here is a breakdown for types of cheeses you must know and use, when cooking or otherwise.
First Things First
Made from milk, cheese is available in a wide variety, with different textures, flavours and forms dependent upon a multitude of factors, from the type of milk to temperature, humidity, location and more. While the variety of cheeses in is more than 1700 kinds, the types can be classified as below.
Fresh cheese is not matured, it is the youngest and purest form of cheese. It has a mild yet pleasing flavour, simpler than matured cheese. A soft fresh cheese like burrata and fresh mozzarella goes beautifully with salads. Whereas, cream cheese can be used as a topping for breads, cakes and other confectionery products. Fresh goats curd is a magnificent addition to pizzas when accompanied by rocket leaves. Try out our cream cheese carrot cake recipe.
The fresh cheese can be thickened and hardened by adding rennet which results in the cheese becoming more dense. Rennet is a complex of enzymes which causes the milk to curdle. The Indian staple, paneer is a form of fresh firm cheese commonly used in curries. Fresh ricotta used as a stuffing for pastas is another type of infamous fresh firm cheese. We have a number of paneer recipes you can pick from.
Matured cheese develops flavour over time. Brie is matured for over a month and has a pale colour with slight grey rind. Creamy and gooey in texture, the flavour though mild, depends upon the ingredients and environment. Camembert is another soft cheese with creamy texture and best eaten baked. The gooeyness of this cheese is giving us some major food goals! Here’s the wine you can pair this with.
Semi-soft cheese has a lower moisture content. Traditionally halloumi is aged, but commercially it is produced as a fresh firm cheese. The traditional halloumi is served grilled or pan-fried and is a type of cheese which doesn’t melt but has a soft rubbery texture. Brunost is a Norwegian caramelised cheese, brown in colour commonly used in sandwiches and eaten with biscuits or crisp bread. The pungent blue cheese also belongs to this category. Here’s the wine you can pair this with.
We are talking gouda, gruyère and emmental, widely used in sandwiches and burgers. Raclette is our favourite kind of semi-hard cheese used in the wheel for melting. The name is now associated with the French dish based on heating the cheese and scraping the melted part. Here’s the wine you can pair this with.
Ageing reduces moisture, thus cheeses matured for a long time develop a hard texture. Often regarded as grating cheeses, these include cheddar, parmesan, grana padano and pecorino. All strong, sharply flavoured cheeses commonly used in pasta, casseroles and other such recipes. These are some snacks you can use hard cheese with.
So, go ahead and say cheese!
Featured Photo Courtesy Of: Jez Timms