Apparently, there are other ways to talk about cheese than, “Oh. My. Gosh. More please.” or “What is this deliciousness?”
Cheeses can be grouped into several different categories- type of milk used, hard & soft, stinky vs. mild, regional groupings, etc.
The most basic categorization strategy seems to be the following four categories, and I like things to be simple– so for my blog, let’s go with that :).
Soft cheeses are cheeses with a high moisture content, generally with a spreadable consistency
Examples: cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, brie, bleu, Roquefort, mozzarella, muenster, fromage blanc (French for ‘white cheese’), mascarpone, queso blanco (Spanish for ‘white cheese’)
Semi-soft cheeses are slightly harder than soft cheeses, still with a high moisture content. They also tend to have a slightly longer shelf life and are great for melting.
Examples: American, Colby, co-jack, Quesa Fresca, Taleggio
Semi-hard cheeses are made similarly to hard cheese, in that most of the moisture is drained out. Unlike hard cheese, semi-hard are allowed to set in a mold with little or no pressure.
Examples: cheddar, provolone, Gouda, Jarlsberg
Hard cheeses are longest lasting, with a low moisture content, and are pressed and aged.
Examples: Parmesan, Romano, asiago, Swiss, Gruyere
For cheese experts, we’re at the “duh” level, but I’m just beginning my cheese discovery journey (and maybe you are too!), so let’s start at the very beginning- a very good place to start!
My wonderful husband surprised me with tickets to The World of Cheese on Monday, August 13th. I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot more about the basics as we go to this class together. I’m SUPER excited and can’t wait to share everything I learn! I only wish I could send you each a taste ;)…