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Types of Cheese from Around the World

Updated on June 26, 2011
So many kinds of cheese! photo: ultimate epicure @flickr
So many kinds of cheese! photo: ultimate epicure @flickr

How to Classify So Many Types of Cheeses

There are hundreds of different types of cheese around the world. It is impossible to categorize different types of cheese into neat subdivisions. There are simply too many ways to classify cheeses.

Cheese has many different types of textures- smooth, hard, creamy, soft, and many more cheese varieties. Cheese can be fresh or aged, sometimes for many years. Cheese is made from many types of milk and from several different animals. It can contain high fat content or low fat. Another way to possibly classify different types of cheese is by origin.

Because of this, no common system has been developed to categorize and describe different cheeses. With that being said, here are some common ways to classify the many different types of cheese.

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Fresh Cheese - One of the Mild Types of Cheese

FRESH: This group identifies cheeses which do not go through an aging phase. They are often called farmer's cheese. Less than two weeks old,  fresh cheeses have little time to produce a rind and merely possess a slightly aging fruitty taste. They are often smooth as well as creamy, or can be crumbly similar to Feta. Sometimes they are covered with foliage or perhaps wrapped with spices.

Some examples of fresh cheeses are feta, cottage cheese, chevre, and ricotta cheese.

Pasta Filata Cheese - One of the Popular Types of Cheese

PASTA FILATA (SPUN CURD): Cheeses whose curds are generally spun in the course of creation, developing a stringy consistency. Popular types include Provolone and Mozzarella.

Lots of different types of cheese photo: cw beucheler @flickr
Lots of different types of cheese photo: cw beucheler @flickr

Blue Cheeses

BLUE CHEESE: Describes cheeses which are ripened by blue, green and purple molds inside. Blue cheese may be dry, sticky or gritty in texture.

The molds require oxygen to be able to acquire their particular color. That is accomplished through stabbing the fresh cheese using steel rods. The blue mold subsequently develops in the tube, splits and spaces within the packed curd.

Some examples of Blue (bleu) cheese are Roquefort, Maytag Blue and Gorgonzola.

Soft White Cheese- You Will Find These Types of Cheese Often at Parties

SOFT WHITE CHEESES: This describes cheeses that have a mold-ripened rind. The curd maintains more of the whey than other cheese types, guaranteeing this cheese turns into an incredibly soft cheese, virtually dripping.  Unpasteurized examples produce a reddish-brown tint around the rind in contrast to pasteurized variations, which possess a natural white appearance.
They can have very different tastes, for example like mushrooms or even a touch of sherry!

Popular soft white cheeses include Brie and Camembert.

Lots of cheeses photo: Rhett Sutphin @flickr
Lots of cheeses photo: Rhett Sutphin @flickr

Semi-soft Cheese

SEMI-SOFT CHEESES: There are a couple of types of semi-soft cheese. There are the ones having stretchy, occasionally rubbery, consistencies as well as sweet, savory and even meaty in flavor. These kind of cheeses could have a slightly formed rind similar to Edam or produce a heavy rind set with grey mold.

Another type of semi-soft cheese, is referred to as washed-rind cheese. These cheeses have a rind aged by bacteria, that is utilized by means of cleansing the particular cheese using a bacterial wash. The texture varies from somewhat chalky when fresh to deep, smooth and rich if more aged.

 Examples of semi-soft cheeses are Edam, Munster, Epoisses, and Gruyere.

Hard Cheese photo: Dongga BS @flickr
Hard Cheese photo: Dongga BS @flickr

Hard Cheese - Cheddar and Parmesan Are These Types of Cheese

HARD CHEESES: These cheeses are dense. Hard cheeses usually have a thick rind. The curd will be cut very fine, and then heated in huge vats prior to the whey being drained . The curd will be cut once again. They may be rubbed with a brine solution to shield the cheese and preserve the inner moisture. This also helps draw unique bacteria which generate the typical taste and smell. Sometimes they are sealed with wax. Then they are packed inside molds and completely pressed.

Examples are Parmesan cheese and the ever popular Cheddar.

Pressed Cheese - Very Common Type of Cheese

PRESSED CHEESES: This particular classification is quite basic, and includes cheeses in all of the additional classes. This identifies a stage during processing when the whey is expelled from the curds with some type of compressing device. Good examples include Cheddar, Swiss, and Gouda.

Impossible to Efficiently Classify All of the Types of Cheese

Once more, you will find cheeses that may match several types. For example Gruyere can be both a pressed, plus a washed-rind cheese. Nevertheless, separating different types of cheese into these categories tends to be about as effective as can be expected.

Cheese Knife Set - Makes a Great Gift for Cheese Lovers

Wine and Cheese - What a way to end the day (and this hub) photo: AMANITO @flickr
Wine and Cheese - What a way to end the day (and this hub) photo: AMANITO @flickr

How to Make Farmer's Cheese Video

Types of Cheese Comments

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      There certainly some great and wonderful cheeses there.