Dear Cheese Lovers,
This blog is dedicated to you and your unending love for cheese.
There are a thousand varieties of cheese and we are not sure if we will ever be able to taste them all, but we can surely read a little about them. Before we learn about the types and uses of cheese, let us get a clear picture of what cheese is and how is it obtained. Cheese is a derivative product of milk that results primarily from a milk protein's coagulation called the casein.
Cheese is usually solid in nature and melts at cooking temperature. The entire process of making cheese involves acidifying the milk, adding the right portion of the necessary ingredients, salt, and bacterial enzymes like rennet, then heating it to 110°c followed by separating the solid curd and the residual liquid called whey and finally compressing the split solids into preferred shapes.
Depending on factors like the type of milk, pasteurizing it, ingredients used, the process it undergoes, and its age, there are about a thousand types of cheese throughout the world. The cheeses differ from each other in flavour, colour, and texture.
Though there are several varieties of cheese, only a few are readily available in the market and are of great importance and popularity. Here is a list of some commonly used varieties of cheese and their uses:
1. Mozzarella cheese
Mozzarella is the most familiar cheese variety in the world. It is used in popular foods like pizzas, pasta, lasagne, sandwiches, etc. It has its root in the southern part of Italy, and its traditional form involves Buffalo milk.
- Mozzarella is a type of soft cheese that melts and turns chewy when heated.
- It is used extensively in pizzas.
2. Cheddar cheese
Do you know Cheddar is one of the most nutritious cheese varieties? This is because it is loaded with high protein and calories. Its origin is from various parts of England, named after the Cheddar village. The taste and sourness increase with age. This is not very creamy and is often used in grills and main cheese courses.
- Cheddar is high in protein.
- It has a sharp and distinct taste that enhances the flavor of the dish.
3. Cottage cheese
This widely used cheese variety has its roots in India. It is soft, sweet, and fluffy and is made simply by curdling full cream milk and isolating the solid from water only to compress it into shapes later. Since it is easily digestible, most of the dishes that demand a creamy taste like paneer butter masala, butter chicken, salads, etc. would contain cottage cheese.
- Cottage cheeses are soft and chewy with a subtle flavour.
- It is used exclusively in Indian cuisine. You can also top it on salads. (Tastes better when eaten raw)
4. Feta cheese
This salt and sour cheese were first made in Greece by blending sheep and goat milk. Some varieties of feta cheese are purely made of goat milk only. It is the first choice for salads and soups as it is creamy and has a good nutrient profile.
- This is a unique cheese made with a blend of sheep and goat milk.
- The taste and flavour is very similar to cottage cheese.
5. Gouda cheese:
Here is a variety of cheese that is known for a tint of sweetness in its flavour. Gouda cheese is just like wine, it only gets better in taste and quality as it ages. It was first made in a city called Gouda in the Netherlands and thus the name. This variety of cheese is mostly preferred for casserole dishes but is also used for macaroni, grills, salads, and sandwiches.
- Adding a portion of this aged cheese gives your dish a sharp taste.
- You can add Gouda cheese to any dish you wish to make stretchy or chewy.
6. Blue cheese:
Cheese that is cultured using penicillium is referred to as the blue cheese. They come with blue spots and hence the name and it is also known as ‘Gorgonzola’. It has no definite origin and it is well known for its odor. It is proven to contain many therapeutic benefits. This is often crumbled or melted and is used as toppings.
- Blue cheese has a characteristic odour and flavour.
- It could be grated and topped or melted and added to give your dish a new taste.
Making Emmental is a very challenging process. The credit goes to Switzerland. Yes! It is one of the many varieties of Swiss cheese, with the trademark of gas holes on it. It tastes sweet because it is prepared by adding fruits to cow's milk. Emmental cheese tastes best with wine and fruit salads.
- Emmental cheese is especially meant to be consumed raw.
- This cheese can be added to salads or to any dish that is eaten raw.
These are the most commonly used varieties of cheese. If you are a cheese lover just like us, then you should definitely try Milky Mist's selection of cheeses. Our cheese-making process is carefully monitored and assisted by the best microbiologists and technicians, who dedicatedly bring you the best quality cheese.
Wasn’t this a fun and interesting read for all you cheese lovers? Now that you have read a little about the 7 commonly used varieties of cheese, why don’t you read a little more on the Major types of cheese in Italian cuisine you should know about.