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Cheese A to Z


Blue


Blues are typically cow’s or sheep’s milk cheeses with veins of blue or blue–green mold throughout. Blues were (and sometimes still are) produced in caves, where naturally occuring mold combines with the nutrients to give the cheese its exquisite, complex flavor and unique veins.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Blue (USA)

firm and crumbly, mildly tangy, piquant, earthy flavor as dip or dressing, as an appetizer, crumbled on salads

Gorgonzola (Italy, USA)

semi–soft tangy, piquant flavor similar to blue toss on salads, serve with fresh fruit

Roquefort (France)

made from raw sheep’s milk, crumbly, semi–hard sharp, tangy flavor with french bread, as a dessert

Saga Blue (Denmark, USA)

soft–ripened blue brie texture; extra rich and creamy, elegant mellow flavor with baguette and sliced pears

Stilon (England)

white to pale amber interior, crusty rind; rich, piquant, mildly–sharp flavor on water crackers with dried fruit

 

Brie

Also known as soft–ripened, these delicate cheeses are found encased in an edible, downy white rind. They range from quite firm and mild when they are young, to softer and more robust in taste as they age. Flavors of butter, mushroom and hazelnut.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Brie (USA, France)

pale yellow, soft spreadable interior ranges in flavor from mild to pungent depending on age

served at room temp or hot out of the oven with berries, grapes or crusty bread

Camembert (France)

fluid consistency, mild to pungent earthy flavor on a cheese plate, served with fruit

St. André (France)

rich and buttery triple–crème cheese; velvety texture on a cheese plate

Boursin (France)

a close cousin to Brie, Boursin is a white triple–crème without rind; soft, smooth texture with garlic, herbs or cracked pepper spread on crackers or bagels, great for baking

 

Cheddar


The largest family among cheese, cheddars and jacks are by far the most versatile. These semi–soft cheeses range in texture and flavor from very soft and mild to quite hard and nutty. This family will please almost everyone.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Cheddar (USA)

cows milk cheese; smooth, firm texture, mild to sharp flavor depending on age, easy to melt

delicious on warm apple pie, perfect on a cheeseburger, grated over chili, baked potato, or salad

Applewood (England)

semi–hard with tangy flavor, edible smoked rind melt on pork chops, slice with apples

Cheshire (England)

firm texture, a bit crumbly, rich, mellow and slightly salty with an excellent finish welsh rarebit, fondue, sandwiches

Double Gloucester (England)

semi hard, full buttery flavor, sharp but smooth as a snack, for grating or grilling

Monterey Jack (USA)

rich and buttery with a creamy texture on cheese or snack trays, melted on burgers

 

Gouda


These fine cheeses represent some of the best of Europe. Enjoy the true essence of each country and their traditions with every bite. Pair with a fine wine and loaf of crusty bread for a true epicurean delight.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Gouda (Holland)

firm yellow to gold interior; sweet, fruity and mild when young, a superior cheese with more pronounced flavor when aged a wonderful table and dessert cheese

Edam (Holland)

smooth, waxy texture; mild, sweet and nutty flavor as a snack, in salads, for cooking

Limburger (Germany)

although pungent in aroma, this cheese is mild in flavor with warm sweet undertones serve with crackers or dark rye bread

Manchego (Spain)

most famous Spanish cheese; pale yellow with slightly grainy texture; tangy, full flavor serve with olives, sun–dried tomatoes and crusty bread; drizzle with fine olive oil

Port Salut (France)

distinctive orange rind, sweet flavor, smooth texture serve with crusty french bread

 

Jarlsburg


The world’s most famous Baby Swiss, Norway’s Jarlsberg has the consistency, texture and hole formation of Swiss Emmental, but its flavor is more nut–like and sweeter. It’s also America’s best–selling cheese.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Jarlsberg (Norway)

made from full–cream cow’s milk, buttery rich, nutty mild and slightly sweet snacks, fondue, sandwiches, omelets, soufflés

Farmer’s (Norway, USA)

fresh white cheese similar to cottage, but firmer best served with fruit and vegetable

Gjetost (Norway)

goat’s and cow’s milk cheese; golden brown; strong, buttery but faintly sweet and caramel–like flavor slice with a cheese plane; great for breakfast or dessert; serve on hot buttered toast

Havarti (Denmark)

pale yellow, smooth texture with irregular holes; creamy, mild flavor; plain or herbed great for snacking; appetizers, open–faced sandwiches, desserts with plums & grapes

 

Gruyere


How does Swiss cheese get its holes? The fermentation process causes gas to expand within the cheese, creating large bubbles which become holes. The two most famous original Swiss cheeses are Emmenthaler and Gruyere, both of which are prized in fondues.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Gruyere (Switzerland)

pale yellow firm interior with few holes, mild flavor but slightly sharper than Swiss melt on french onion soup or open–faced sandwiches, unbeatable in fondue

Imported Swiss (Switzerland)

a delicious aged swiss with nut–like flavor ideal for snacking, salads, sandwiches and cooking

Baby Swiss

creamy white interior with a soft texture and small holes; mild, sweet–milk flavor great sauce for steamed vegetables, great in omelets and quiche

Emmenthaler (Switzerland)

smooth yellow interior with large holes; strong sweet, nutty flavor slice and melt on a Reuben sandwich, Swiss fondue, on a cheese tray

 

Parmesan


Grana style Italian cheeses like Parmesan have an exceptionally hard, brittle texture (which makes them perfect for grating) and are known for their exquisitely sharp, piquant flavor. Cheeses of this type can be matured for up to three years.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Parmigiano Reggiano (Italy)

Italy’s most famous cheese– the "real" parmesan; exceptional delicate, nutty flavor and pleasing aroma grated on salads, soups, pasta, vegetables, pizza, casseroles

Asiago (Italy)

medium yellow, hard granular cheese with tiny holes; nutty, full–bodied flavor dessert or snack cheese when young; use as a grating cheese when mature

Grana Padano (Italy)

firm, granular texture and of intense flavor grate over pasta

Pecorino Romano (Italy)

sheep’s milk cheese; hard, brittle, flaky; more piquant and salty than parmesan grate over pasta, shred or shave and serve as snack with salami, pear or crusty bread

Romano (USA)

usually from cow’s milk, granular, sharp and peppery great on sandwiches, great for cooking

 

Marscapone


Cheese plays and important role in Italian cuisine. It enhances the flavor of a number of dishes, makes creamy sauces for pasta, and compliments the other ingredients in lasagna. A good Italian cheese enriches any first course with a healthy dose of protein, creating a balanced one–course meal.

cheese type cheese decription ways to enjoy

Mascarpone (Italy)

fresh cream flavor, luxurious, smooth, thick texture essential ingredient in tiramisu, serve with berries

Fresh Mozzerella (Italy)

most often ball shaped with springy texture; sweet, milky nutty and buttery flavor serve on roma tomatoes with fresh basil and olive oil, add to pasta dishes and pizza

Ricotta Salata (Italy)

naturally aged and hardened ricotta; dense, slightly spongy texture, salty, milky flavor dice into pasta or spinach salad, toss over fresh grilled vegetables, serve with fruit

Fontina (Italy)

semi–firm with dark golden or red rind; sweet, buttery slightly earthy flavor wonderful for melting, pair with fruit

Provolone (Italy)

firm texture; mellow to sharp flavor with a bit of tang great on sandwiches, great for cooking

 

 

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