"How can you rule a country which has two hundred and forty-six types of cheese?" - Charles de Gaulle
Different Types of Cheese
The world of dairy products is huge and includes hundreds of types of cheeses which are fruit of millenary traditions. The classification of cheeses can be made following different criteria. Let's see the most common ones.
- Cheese by type of milk: cow, sheep, goat, buffalo or mixed-milk cheeses.
- Cheese by fat: we have fat, semi-fat and low-fat cheeses accoridng to the fat content present in the paste.
- Cheese by curd-cooking temperature: depending on the temperature that the curd reaches, we have raw, semi-cooked and cooked cheeses.
- Cheese by texture: different cheese-making processes and aging periods will produce soft, semi-soft and hard cheeses.
- Cheese by rind: bloomy, washed, natural, and dry are some of the most pupular types of cheese rind.
- Cheese by place of origin: cheeses are produced all over the world, but definitely French and Italian cheeses are the most popular types of cheeses in the world.
Another category to be considered is that of cheese made by adding enzymes, for example, blue cheeses.
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Bloomy rind cheeses are those raw milk cheeses that during the processing are treated with special molds. These molds give the crust a typical soft texture and a whitish color from which the name.
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Hard cheeses deserve a place of honour on our tables and in the kitchen. Percect as table cheese or in recipes they are long aged, crumbly and dry.
The use of cheese basically depends on the characteristics listed above.
Many types of soft cheeses are fresh, creamy and spreadable, perfect to be used in the kitchen to make quick appetizers or in risotto and pasta recipes.
Some medium-bodied and soft cheeses are great for cooking or melting in recipes such as the famous Fondue or over vegetables, meat and toasts.
Finally, some types of hard cheeses can be excellent table cheeses to be served accompanied by a good jam or honey, but can also be grated to add flavor to many recipes.
Image: Valentine dinner, cheese for dessert, CC BY 2.0