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Learn about the 5 main types of cheese

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

There are thousands of different cheeses out there and many look and taste similar. However, to make things easier for those of us that are beginners, there are 5 general categories of cheese available throughout the world. They are as follows:

  • Hard cheese

  • Soft cheeses

  • Semi soft cheeses

  • Fresh cheeses

  • Blue cheeses

In this post, I will provide an example of each type that you may not have heard of so you can try them on your next cheese board or tasting...

Hard cheese - Gouda

Hard cheeses are commonly used for grating into dishes and adding an aged up punch to any dish. They can also make a good cheese for snacking as they are flavorful and can be eaten with crackers and breads.

Gouda hails from the Netherlands and can actually vary quite a bit in its texture. A well aged Gouda will have a hard texture and rich, nutty and bold flavor. Try it sometime with a bit of dried fruit on a cracker!

Soft cheese - Gournay

Soft cheese makes for a great spread for sandwhiches and general snacking. Many different types available in the store.

I personally like a brand called Boursin, they sell a Gournay style soft cheese.

Semi-soft cheese - Brie

Semi-soft cheeses sometimes have some kind of rind keeping them together and holding in all the goodness. The rind is perfectly ok to eat. The flavor of the rind can even compliment the contents! These cheeses can be served heated or cold and work well in many different styles of cooking.

Brie is a French cheese hailing from the Brie region in France. It is a great addtion to any cheese board and tops a wheat cracker with great affect. Personally, I like to bake mine for 15 minutes and dip a good french baguette into its center after peeling back the rind.

Fresh cheese - Cojita

Fresh cheeses won't normally find their way into a cheese tasting lineup but they have some really great culinary qualities!

Cojita cheese originated in Cojita, Mexico and is a salty, briny, cow's milk cheese very similar to feta. If you are looking for a more authentic and tasty way to make Mexican dishes, this is your ticket.

Blue cheese - Gorgonzola

Blue cheese has a tangy and intense flavor that absolutely must have a representative on any cheese board or tasting menu. The varieties of blue cheese are immense but they all are sure to leave an impression.

Gorgonzola cheese comes from Italy and has a massive presence around the world. Gorgonzola cheese can be used in many ways. Try melting some down and adding it into an alfredo sauce for an extra kick!

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