Types of Cheese

Cheese can be divided among different categories, or types, according to their firmness.  There are various systems for classifying cheese and there are variations within each system.  


SOFT


Soft, smooth, and creamy texture.  Soft cheese is
not pressed or cooked during the manufacturing
process.  Examples:  Feta, Saint-Damase, Brie, Camembert.

SEMI-SOFT



A little more firm and compact than soft cheese, the semi-soft category contains the largest variety of cheese.  Examples:  Havarti, Mozzarella.

FIRM


Cheese in this category is considered to be an "all-purpose" cheese.  Cheese is pressed to remove as much whey as possible after the curdling process which creates a firm cheese.  Examples:  Cheddar, Colby, Friulano, Marble, Provolone, Gouda.

HARD


Hard cheese has a moisture content of less than 50% due to the cheese being aged for a long period of time which causes the cheese to lose some of its moisture content and have a stronger flavour.  Examples:  Parmesan, Romano, Vintage Gouda.

BLUE CHEESE
 


Cow, sheep or goat's milk with a blue or green-blue mold.  The mold is derived from spores from Penicillium Roqueforti, Penicillium Glaucum or others being injected into the cheese or into the cheese curds.  People who are allergic to Penicillin are not advised to eat blue cheese.  Examples:  Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola.

FRESH,
Unripened or "Infant"



Fresh cheese is not ripened, aged or fermented during the manufacturing process or at any point during the lifespan of the cheese.  Fresh cheese has a very short shelf life.  Examples:  Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Ricotta.

LIGHT or LITE

 


Light cheese is made by reducing the amount of butterfat which makes the cheese rubbery in texture and much less flavourful than full-fat versions of cheese. Light cheese has a high moisture content which makes it have a shorter shelf life.  Examples:  Cheese with 7% milk fat, Light Havarti, Light Jarlsberg, Cheddar with 19% milk fat.

PROCESSED


This cheese is created by melting together a blend of grated cheese, milk, milk solids or water, food colouring and seasonings.  Examples:  Processed Cheese Slices, Cheese Spreads, "Smokies".