Your Guide to Different Types of Cheeses

February 9, 2021 3:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There is a whole wide world of cheese out there just waiting for you to explore it. Once you get beyond the supermarket staples like cheddar, Swiss and mozzarella, there are so many different types and categories of cheeses that have their own unique properties, flavors and uses.

If you’ve ever been wondering about the difference in cheeses and the various categories you can buy from in Williamsport, PA, here’s a quick and handy guide.

Fresh cheeses

Fresh cheeses are the youngest cheeses you’ll find, and tend to have the highest moisture content. They’ll have a bright white color all the way through, though texture can vary. Taste will usually be mild. Examples include mozzarella, feta, ricotta, cream cheese and cottage cheese, many of which are available in spreadable form and all of which are soft and white.

Soft cheeses

Cheeses in this category will be ripened for up to 30 days, and will also have a higher moisture content and typically a higher fat content. They’re usually served at room temperature rather than cold, and have a very rich, smooth, velvety interior. Soft cheeses will often have a little bit of sweetness and a light acidity. Examples include brie, Chaource, camembert and chevre.

Semi-soft cheeses

Semi-soft cheeses get a bit denser than the soft cheeses, and often have a more pungent taste. They’ll frequently have a tougher, rubbery exterior but a more delicate, soft center. When young, the rinds are sweet and mild, but the thicker rinds tend to have a much stronger flavor, formed from molds growing on the cheeses that get brushed off with a brine. Examples include muenster, Havarti, provolone, American and taleggio.

Semi-firm cheeses

As cheeses get aged, their traits and flavors become much deeper and more complex. Semi-firm cheeses can have a wide range of flavors, including buttery, fruity and floral. This type of cheese is meant for shredding or slicing rather than spreading or grating. Examples include cheddar, caciocavallo, edam, gouda, gruyere and Emmental.

Hard cheeses

Hard cheeses are meant for thin slicing or grating. They have a much drier texture than the previous types of cheeses on the list, and will have a very potent savory flavor you won’t find in fresher cheeses. This kind of cheese is generally meant to be paired with jams or crackers, and will often be used in small quantities on charcuterie boards. When people talk about wine and cheese pairings, these are some premium cheeses you’ll find in those plates. Examples include Grana Padano, asiago d’Allevo, parmesan, pecorino and Manchego.

Blue-veined cheeses

Finally, the most complex types of cheeses are blue-veined cheeses, which give you a rich and creamy feel but a very pungent, complex taste and odor like those you’d find in firm cheeses. These cheeses have very specifically cultivated mold growths using penicillium cultures, or might have encouraged oxidation. Examples include Roquefort, gorgonzola, stilton and fourme d’Ambert.

For more information about the different types of cheese categories and what you can expect when you buy them at our deli in Williamsport, PA, visit or contact Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats today.

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