Cheese Encyclopedia

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semi-hard_cWisconsin is home of the world's most award-winning cheeses. Discover the heritage and special nuances that make each of the varieties of Wisconsin Cheese so delicious to eat.


Soft and Fresh

Cheeses with high moisture content, typically direct set with the addition of lactic acid cultures. This category includes cheeses like Cottage cheese, Cream cheese, Feta, Mascarpone, Ricotta, and Queso Blanco.

soft-fresh

Ackawi

A firm, smooth cheese native to Lebanon and Syria and popular throughout the Middle East. The cheese is brined, giving it a salty flavor.

Bakers

Softer, smoother, more homogenous than Cottage Cheese, to which it's similar.

Basket Cheese

Soft, white, salty Middle Eastern style cheese typically shaped in a basket.

Boricua

Milky Puerto Rican-style white cheese.

Boursin

Boursin is a brand of Gournay cheese: Gournay, a soft cheese of the fresh Neufchatel type, is named for the village of Gournay in the Department of Seine-Inferieure, France, where it is made.

Cheese Curds

Fresh cheese--most commonly Cheddar--in its natural, random shape and form before being processed into blocks and aged. Curds have a mild taste with a slightly rubbery texture and should squeak when eaten.

Chenna

Crumbly, moist form of Paneer, an Indian-style cheese.

Chevre

Chevre is made from either a mixture of cow's milk and goat's milk, or entirely of goat's milk ("pur chevre on the label denotes that it is 100% goat's milk). It has a tart flavor and is generally fairly soft, although it can be semi firm.

Cottage Cheese

This fresh cheese originated in middle Europe from housewives making it in the home. Today Cottage Cheese comes in a variety of curd sizes and milk fat. The flavor will remind you of fresh milk with slight acidity, but nice and creamy. It pairs well with fresh fruit, vegetables or breads. Makes a good base for low calorie salad dressings

Cream Cheese

Rich, nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Neufchatel style is lower in fat. Available plain and with sweet or savory flavors. Creamy texture.

Creama Kasa

Buttery piquant cheesy flavor. Very rich.

Soft Ripened

A classification of cheese based upon body. Brie and Camembert are examples of soft-ripened cheese varieties.

Brie

Classic French-style cheese. Rich, earthy mushroomy flavor changes from mild when young to pungent with age. Available plain and flavored. Soft, creamy interior with snowy white, edible rind.

Camembert

Soft, creamy interior with snowy white, edible rind. Rich, earthy mushroom flavor that gets more pungent with age.

Les Freres

One-of-a kind washed-rind cheese with earthy, mushroomy, fruity flavor. Slightly pressed with creamy texture, softer than Brie, with a nutty aftertaste. Smaller version: Le Petit Frere.

Blue

A characteristic of cheese varieties that develop blue or green streaks of harmless, flavor-producing mold throughout the interior. Generally, veining gives cheese an assertive and piquant flavor.

Blue/Bleu

Piquant, full, earthy flavor that varies among brands. Firm, crumbly texture with blue mold in veins and pockets.

Cabrales

A very strong cheese from Asturias, similar to Blue and Roquefort cheeses, made with raw cow's milk or with a mix of other milks and aged for two months. An internal mold gives this cheese its marbled look and crumbly texture. A DOC cheese in Spain.

Cambozola

Cambozola cheese was created in Germany in the 1970's as the offspring of a marriage between French Camembert and Italian Gorgonzola.

CreamyGorg

Soft blue-green veined cheese with full, earthy flavor and creamy texture.

Gorgonzola

American Style: Full, earthy, piquant flavor. Crumbly texture. Italian Style: Slightly piquant, full, earthy flavor. Creamy, soft interior with greenish blue veins and rusty brown inedible rind.

Roquefort

Roquefort, a blue-veined, semisoft to hard cheese, is named for the village of Roquefort in southeastern France. Roquefort cheese is characterized by its sharp, peppery, piquant flavor, and by the mottled, blue-green veins throughout the curd and the whiteness of the curd between the veins.

Stilton

Stilton, which is one of the mold-ripened group of blue-veined cheeses that includes French Roquefort and Italian Gorgonzola, is rich and mellow and has a piquant flavor; however, it is milder than either Roquefort or Gorgonzola. Its distinguishing characteristics are the narrow blue-green veins of mold throughout the curd and the wrinkled, melon-like rind that results from the drying of molds and bacteria that grow on the surface.

Semi-Soft

A wide variety of cheeses made with whole milk. Cheeses in this category include Monterey Jack, Brick, Muenster, Fontina and Havarti, and melt well when cooked.

Airco

Sheep, goat, and cow's milk, hickory-smoked, brown-rind cheese with a gentle smoked flavor. Somewhat sweet.

Alpha's Morning Sun

Blend of Cheddar and Gruyere flavors. Mild, slightly buttery with a sweet finish.

Anejo Enchilado

Firm, salty Mexican style cheese, much like Cotija. Distinctive for its bright paprika or chile powder coating.

Asadero

Mexican style melting cheese, similar to Queso Oaxaca.

Auricho

Smoked white Cheddar, with a brown rind. Excellent with hard bread.

Benedictine

Monastery-style washed-rind cheese, made with goat, sheep and cow's milk. Cellar-cured, hand-rubbed for 12 weeks before packaging. Earthy, intense flavor.

Braukase

Rich, buttery German-style semi-soft cheese. Surface is washed with brine, creating toasty brown rind. Cured three weeks.

Brick

A Wisconsin original. Flavor changes from mild and sweet with a touch of nuttiness when young to pungent and tangy when aged. surface-ripened with smooth, open texture.

Butter Jack

Buttery texture with flavor of sweet cow's milk with slight tart finish of a Jack cheese.

Butterkase

Very mild, creamy cheese with buttery texture. Excellent melting properties.

Cheese Blends, Natural (excl. Colby-Monterey Jack)

Wisconsin's Cheesemakers package blends of different natural cheese varieties in a convenient pre-shredded form for quick, easy use.

Colby-Monterey Jack

Blend of Colby and Monterey Jack flavors. Mild flavor, creamy texture.

Pasta Filata

Pasta Filata cheeses have curds that are heated and stretched or kneaded before being molded into shape. The cheese stretches when melted. Pasta Filata cheeses include Mozzarella, Provolone and String.

Burrata

Extremely rich, fresh mozzarella filled with cream. Unique soft, silky texture. Name derived from "burro," Italian for "butter."

Fresh Mozzarella

Delicate, milky flavor. Slightly elastic texture. Stored submerged in water to keep fresh.

Halloumi

Halloumi has been made for centuries, from a mix of sheep's and goat's milk, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Fresh curd is submerged in hot whey to soften and stretch it, along the lines of mozzarella making. The young cheese is then aged in baskets and folded into wedges about the size of a large wallet.

Harvest

A pulled-curd aged cow's milk cheese, eggy in flavor and ropey in texture, its light aging and golden color is reminiscent of a good Provolone.

Mozzarella

Delicate, milky flavor. Smooth, plastic texture. Whole milk Mozzarella richer in taste. Excellent melting properties. Part-skim Mozzarella browns faster. String cheese similar to Mozzarella, but formed into strips for snacking.

Oaxaca

A Mexican pasta filata cheese, similar to string cheese or Provolone. Named after the Oaxaca region of Mexico, where it originated.

Provolone

Slightly piquant when young becoming sharper as aged. Firm texture becomes granular with age.

Scamorze

Similar to Mozzarella with mild, slightly salty flavor. Distinctively shaped into oval or pear. Sometimes smoked.

String

Type of Mozzarella that forms strings when pulled. Creamy, mild flavor.

Trumpeter Meadow

Named for the trumpeter swans that frequent northwestern Wisconsin's meadows and marshes, this Italian country-style cheese resembles a very young Provolone. It's mild and sweet, but aging in open-air caves adds a more complex, slightly earthy quality.

Semi-Hard

A classification of cheese based upon body. Cheddar, Colby, Edam and Gouda are examples of semi-hard cheese varieties.

Auribella

Aged a minimum of 6 months, made entirely from whole cow's milk. Robust flavor.

Baby Swiss

Typically from entirely whole milk. Silky, creamy texture with small eyes. Mild, buttery, slightly sweet flavor. Sometimes smoked.

Bessie's Blend

Goat and cow's milk cheese. Cured four months with firm body and nutty flavor.

Big Eds

Clean-rind cheese, made from raw milk, aged 120 days. Mild, but flavorful, with a buttery body.

Capriko

Blend of Goat and Cow's milk. Handcrafted semi-hard cheese with smooth sweet nutty flavor.

Cheddar

Rich, nutty flavor becomes increasingly sharp with age. Smooth, firm texture becomes more granular and crumbly with age. Usually golden; also available white.

Cheshire

Rich cow's milk cheese with slightly crumbly yet silky texture. Full-bodied, fresh flavor.

Chihuahua

As produced in Mexico, Chihuahua is a semi-hard, ripened cheese.

Colby

Original to Wisconsin. First produced in Colby, Wis., in 1885. Mild flavor similar to young Cheddar. Firm, open, lacy texture with tiny holes.

Darby

Whole milk and cultured cream cheese aged for 6 months. Soft, rich curd with slight melted butter flavor and a tangy finish.

Double Gloucester

Hard and smooth with mild, rich flavor. English style similar to Darby and Cheddar. Ages well.

Edam

Part-skim milk variety with light, buttery, nutty flavor and smooth, firm texture. Dutch in origin.

Processed

A blend of fresh and aged natural cheeses that have been shredded, mixed, and heated (cooked) with an addition of an emulsifier salt, after which no further ripening occurs.

Cheese Sauce

Natural cheeses blended with aid of heat.

Cold Pack

A Wisconsin original. Natural cheeses blended without the aid of heat. Smooth, spreadable texture. Variety of flavors available.

Folded Mint Cheese

Firm, with a texture similar to Mozzarella. Mint leaves incorporated into the cheese giving it pleasant, refreshing flavor.

Koch Kase

German-style "cooked" cheese for spreading.

Pasteurized Processed Cheese

Natural cheeses blended with aid of heat. Very mild. Semi-soft, elastic smooth texture.

Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food

Natural cheeses blended with aid of heat. Differs from Pasteurized Processed Cheese in that products such as cream, milk or whey can be added. Soft and smooth. Very mild

Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread

Natural cheese blended with aid of heat. Contains less milk fat and more moisture than Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food. Semi-soft, smooth texture. Can be spread on crackers, or melted into baked dishes.


Hard

A descriptive term for cheeses, such as Parmesan, Romano and Asiago, that are well-aged, easily grated and primarily used in cooking.



American Grana

Special reserve Parmesan aged over 18 months with complex flavor, crumbly texture.

Asiago

Mild when young becoming sharp, buttery and nutty when aged. Similar to blend of aged Cheddar and Parmesan flavors. Texture changes from elastic and firm to hard and granular with age.

Bellavitano

In style of Italian farmhouse cheese. Creamy with caramel and pineapple overtones. Rich and full.

Canaria

Sheep, goat and cow's milk cheese with firm Parmesan-like texture. Canaria Develops fruity, nutty flavor from curing in olive oil.

Caso Bolo Mellage

Sheep, goat, and cow's milk type made in 3 pound balls, then cut in wedges. Aged two years, with complex flavor. Spanish style.

Cotija

Firm, crumbly and salty Mexican style cheese.

Duro Blando

Hard cheese made from whole milk.

Gabrielson Lake

Sweet, buttery style made from raw milk of a single Jersey herd.

Gran Canaria

Sheep, goat and cow's milk cheese, similar to Canaria but aged for at least 2 years. Cured in olive oil. Fruity, nutty, intense, sweet, and pungent all at the same time. Crumbly texture.

Grana Padano

A DOP cheese. Grana means "grain" and refers to the grainy texture of this Parmesan-like cheese, made in several parts of the Piedmont as well as in Lombardy.

GranQueso

Similar in style to Spanish Manchego, GranQueso has a firm body and a rich, full flavor. This handcrafted cheese is shelf-cured and has a traditional basket-weave rind.

Graviera

A variety of cheese originating in Greece that is much like Gruyere. It is usually made from cow's milk, but occasionally sheep's milk is added. Graviera has a semi hard texture and a mildly nutty and slightly sweet flavor.

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