World of cheese

Invented at least 8,000 years ago, cheese provides a world of protein and fat mostly from cow, goat, and sheep’s milk through curdling and fermenting methods. This wonderful food is classified into many types according to singly or in combination of criteria such as length of fermenting, texture, methods of making, fat content, type of milk, country or region of origin, etc., especially moisture content. In the list below, The Finest Magazine will introduce the most popular cheeses worldwide that food lovers and cheese fans should keep on their minds always.

1. Mozzarella

Country of Origin: Italy (Campania)

Type: Semi-soft

Texture: Soft, moist, supple

Colour: White

Flavour: Milky

Type of milk: Primarily cow or water buffalo, even sheep and goat in some areas

Aging: None

Tasting Notes: Mozzarella is a fresh, pulled- curd cheese with mellow milky odor. It is kept as the moist balls and has a slightly acidic or lactic taste. Fresh and dairy rich, mozzarella is prized for its texture and low on fat.

Best Uses: Snow-white Mozzarella can be eaten fresh, but still suitable for different cooking with a drizzle of olive oil, coarse salt and pepper, and tomatoes in a sandwich, pizza or spaghetti.

2. Monterey Jack

Country of Origin: Mexico or United States

Type: Semi-hard, brined

Texture: Compact, creamy, firm, open and supple

Color: Pale yellow

Flavour: Buttery, mild

Type of milk: Cow

Aging: About one month

Tasting Notes: This semi-firm, creamy, mild flavoured cheese from cow’s milk is aged for a little period. It’s akin in taste and texture to Colby and Cheddar: mild in flavour and melts really well.

Best Uses: Melted in grilled cheese, casseroles, over chili, cheese dip.

3. Feta

Country of Origin: Greece

Type: Soft, brined

Texture: Creamy, crumbly, grainy and open

Colour: White

Flavour: Full-flavored, salty, tangy

Type of milk: Sheep and goat

Aging: About 3 months

Tasting Notes: On the whole, Feta is a pickled curd cheese that has a salty and tangy taste enhanced by the brine solution. The texture depends on the age which can be extremely creamy, or crumbly dry.

Best Uses: Broiled with olive oil. Crumbled in salads or sandwiches. Used in place of Cotija in tacos and other Mexican dishes.

4. Emmental

Country of Origin: Switzerland

Type: Hard

Texture: Hard

Colour: Yellow

Flavour: Very fruity, with a tone of acidity

Type of milk: Cow

Aging: 2 – 18 months

Tasting Notes: Emmental is a firm cheese featuring the characteristic holes of the Swiss cheese. Emmental brings mild and nutty feelings combined with a fruity taste and ended with a slight bite. It is like a Gruyère but less buttery.

Best Uses: Fondue, grilled cheese, casseroles.

5. Gouda

Country of Origin: Netherlands

Type: Semi-hard, artisan, brined, processed

Texture: Smooth texture with compact, crumbly, dense and springy

Colour: Yellow

Flavour: Unique flavour as creamy, full-flavored, nutty, sweet

Type of milk: Cow

Aging: At least 4 weeks, but better ones are aged for a minimum of one year

Tasting Notes: Aged Gouda is sharp yet sweet at the same time. It is usually described as caramelly, nutty and buttery. Long-aged Gouda will have a crunchy texture as crystals of concentrated calcium lactate and the amino acid tyrosine that form this cheese loses moisture, just like a good parmesan.

Best Uses: Young cheese can be melted, while aged one is best as grated into salads or over casseroles.

6. Cheddar

Country of Origin: England

Type: Hard, artisan, processed

Texture: Compact, dry and crumbly

Colour: From a natural white to pumpkin orange

Flavour: Creamy, sharp

Type of milk: Cow

Aging: No minimum, but good ones are generally aged at least one year

Tasting Notes: Cheddar cheese made by traditional method is dry and crumbly in texture, with a deep, tangy, and nutty flavour. Its taste is mild and salty as one of the most easily digested cheese.

Best Uses: Used in sandwiches, grilled cheese, casseroles.

7. Parmigiano Reggiano

Country of Origin: Italy

Type: Hard, artisan

Texture: Crystalline, dense and grainy

Colour: Straw

Flavour: Fruity, nutty, savory, sharp

Type of milk: Cow

Aging: At least 12 months

Tasting Notes: Parmigiano Regiano or Parmesan cheese is considered to be among the top cheeses by cheese connoisseurs. It has a gritty texture and is fruity and nutty in taste. Sometimes Parmesan cheese may have a bitter taste.

Best Uses: Grated on salads and pastas. The harder, saltier rinds are perfect for adding flavour to many Italian soups.

8. Edam

Country of Origin: Holland

Type: Semi-hard

Texture: Compact

Colour: Pale yellow

Flavour: Mild, nutty, salty

Type of milk: Primarily cow or goat

Aging: 4 weeks – 10 months

Tasting Notes: Most “young” Edam cheese has a very mild taste, is slightly salty or nutty, and has almost no smell when compared to others. As the cheese ages, its flavour sharpens, and its texture becomes firmer. It also has a significantly lower fat content than many other traditional cheeses. Edam is often sold in rounded cylinders with a pale yellow interior and a coat, or rind, of red paraffin wax.

Best Uses: Used as topping with sandwich, burger or added to soup making taste. It is also appetizer in the meal of the Dutch.