Inner Chef

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Cheese 102 (Part 2)

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Cheese 101 (Part 2)

This is the part where we get into categories of cheese; which cheese falls where…fresh, firm, soft, bloomy-rind, etc.


These cheeses include: cottage cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, cream cheese, Petit Suisse, quark.

They are not aged and should be eaten quickly. They are generally low in fat (0.1% -13% fat) and low-energy foods. They become high in fat and energy when they are made with cream (up to 30% fat, in case of cream cheese).

Several contain additives, thickeners and preservatives. Fresh cheeses are smooth, creamy or granular, with a mild or slightly acidic flavor. They are used mainly in pastries and desserts. They are available in plain or flavored with veggies, fruits, or spices.



These include: mozzarella, scarmoza (Itallian cheese made with cow’s milk and similar to provolone), provolone, bocconicini (Italian cheese similar to mozzarella), and caciotta (similar to Monterey cheese).


These cheeses are divided into 2 categories:

Bloomy-rind:  Camembert, Brie, Brillat-Savarin, Coulommiers. This rind is edible, but should be removed if it tastes too strong.

Washed-rind: Munster, Pont-l’Évêque (contains warm, buttery, savory flavors), Livarot (French cheese with strong odor and full flavor), Bel Paese (milky aroma infused with a mild buttery flavor), Époisses (French cheese with a powerful rich flavor, salty and creamy with a pungent smell).

The ripening of these is finished off by dipping them in alcohol such as or wine or beer.


These include: Cheddar, Gouda, Edam, Fontina, Cantal (French cheese with milky aroma with nutty flavor), Reblochon (French cheese that is creamy, softer-than-Brie texture; a nutty after taste; and a strong herbal aroma that is not for the timid), Saint-Nectaire (nutty and fruity flavor with a touch of salt and spice), Morbier (French cheese with a mild taste and leaves a wonderful, nutty aftertaste), Tomme (French cheese that is firm with flavor of nuts and sometimes grass), Tilsiter (German cheese with mildly pungent aroma and a tangy taste that is delicate and fruity with spicy undertones), and Monterey Jack.

FIRM CHEESES (or hard cheeses)

These include: Gruyére, Emmental (Swiss cheese with a fruity taste mixed with fine flavors), Jarlsberg (has a combination of mild, nutty, and sweet flavor), Comté (complex, nutty and caramelized flavor), raclette (Swiss cheese that is mild, creamy, and slightly nutty and it is ideally suited for melting), Beaufort (French cheese that has the scent of milk, butter and honey. The supple paste has flowery and herbs aromas), Parmesan, and Romano.

BLUE-VEINED CHEESES (or blue-cheeses)

These include: Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Bleu de Bresse, Danish Blue, Stilton; they have peppery, strong, sharp tastes and usually a crumbly texture.


These are made from one or several cooked or uncooked pressed cheeses that are re-melted, and to which milk, cream or butter is added.


These are imitation cheeses sometimes made from a single milk component, such as casein, to which artificial emulsifiers, flavors and colors are added. Some natural ingredients are also incorporated (soy, corn).


Some goat cheeses have evocative names such as Chabichou (rich goaty flavor; when mature, the cheese is dense and smooth with a distinct layer next to the rind. Although sweet and delicate, the taste is slightly acidic and salty at the finish.), Crottin de Chavignol (stong nutty taste), Valencay (soft and delicate taste with nutty flavor), Chevrotin (it has the odor of goats and flowers with a nearly sweet taste. Being a mountain cheese, it has an inherited aromatic sourness suggestive of wild herbs fed to the goats). Feta cheese is included in this category.





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