Cheese lovers masterclass - all about cheese variety!
Cheese can be said to be one of favorite foods in the whole world. Cheese lover is even more fascinating for cheese in all seasons. In the summer, I love the best wines with cheese. I love the cheese fondue in winter and add warmth to the winter. The reason why cheese is popular is that it is rich in nutrients and rich in variety. But as a cheese-lover, in addition to know how to taste cheese, you also need to know all kinds of knowledge about cheese, such as how to distinguish the type of cheese, as well as its nutritional value, always eat healthy is the most important!
What affects the taste of cheese?
Cheese is mainly made from milk, and the source is mainly from cattle, buffalo, goats and sheep. When making cheese, rennet is usually added to solidify the protein and fat in the milk, then the curd is formed and finally pressed into cheese. At present, there are more than 2,000 types of cheese, and there are more than 400 kinds in France alone. The milk source, treatment method, fermentation process, etc. directly affect the taste and texture of the cheese. Sometimes vanilla, spices and smoked seasonings are added to the cheese making process.
Cheese is fun and intimidating at the same time. That’s due to the many difficult names it has been given. However, understanding cheese is not that hard, even for the uninitiated. All you need to know about cheese is its color and texture.
In most cases, cheese is made from cow’s milk. This type of cheese appears buttery, creamy and tastes sweet. It often looks thicker because of its high content of fat. Although there are more than 2000 kinds of cheese, they are divided into the following 6 different types depending on the moisture content:
1. Hard Cheese
Also, the most complex, these types of cheese are perhaps the firmest. They are produced by an elaborate aging process that takes several months or even years. Hard cheese usually has a nutty, salty flavor and is grainy in texture. This cheese has a lower moisture content, often dry and crumbly. It has a firm texture and a rich skin, a thick mouthfeel and a rich flavor. When melted, some of these cheeses tend to take on a more elastic texture. If you need cheese for grating, this is the type you should consider buying. Parmesan, Cheddar, Emmental, and Beaufort are all types of hard cheese.
2. Semi-Hard Cheese
To make this type of cheese, the curds are pressed into molds and then aged for quite a number of months. The cheese usually has a cloth or natural waxed rind. In terms of texture, it can be in the form of the firm and semi-firm varieties. This cheese is full-bodied, and the texture is semi-rigid with a bit of flexibility. The outer skin is darker in color with a bit of smoke and toughness. This cheese has a fragrant milky taste and a long finish. The difference between this and the semi-soft cheese is that the moisture content is low. Semi-hard cheeses are Cantal, Mimolette, Saint-Nectaire, Tome de Savoie.
3. Soft Cheese
While this cheese may have a hard texture on the surface, it usually appears soft on the inside. The thin outer layer of the soft cheese is covered with white mildew. Under the hardened surface, there is a creamy, soft and smooth, with a hint of salty, fragrant milky nuts, butter and fungus. To form the rind, the cheese is exposed to mold spores, which help to break down the fats and proteins in it for a yummy, soft affair. It is also known as bloomy rind, surface-ripened ring or soft-ripened rind. Soft cheese is one of the most representative mature cheeses in French cheese. Soft cheese representatives include Camembert, Brie, and Chaource.
4. Semi-soft cheese
If you are looking to make fondues, cheese sandwiches, and so on, this should be your number one choice. That’s due to the fact that they melt very readily. Apart from having springy pastes, they also make thin rinds. Although usually mild in taste, that is not always the case. In fact, some of the cheese in this category has a very strong, pungent taste. The semi-soft cheese has a unique and intense aroma. Munster, Havarti and Port Salut are all soft cheese types.
5. Blue cheese
Ever seen cheese with green or blue streaks? That’s the distinguishing characteristic of blue cheese. The blue cheese is covered with a marble-like blue mold pattern. To create the streaks, different strains of penicillium mold are added to the cheese. To let oxygen into the cheese, several piercings are made. This allows the mold to grow so as to give the cheese a standalone flavor and the smell lasts for a long time. You cannot miss this type of cheese given its unique green or blue streaks. Blue cheese representatives include Roquefort and Blue de Bresse.
6. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is made from goat's milk, so it has musk with goat's milk and the skin is soft and thin. The ash on the surface will slowly turn into blue-grey spots over time, while the inside is white. Unlike cow’s milk which is creamier, goat’s milk contains less fat. It also tastes much lighter than its cow counterpart. Goat cheese is usually fresh and tangy in taste. It has a salty and sour taste when early ripe and will have a nutty taste when it is mature. Due to its light nature, goat cheese is easier to digest. Unlike cow cheese, it contains very little lactose. Chevre, Saint mature, and Valençay are all kinds of goat cheese.
You can make cheese from pasteurized or raw milk. However, raw milk is bound to give you cheese with the best flavor. You may, therefore, want to serve this to your guests.
Making a cheese platter is simple and easy. Check out our latest cheese board design here