Learn more about the different types of cheese
Cheese and cheesemaking has been around for thousands of years, and a staple part of our diet ever since.
Cheese possibly has its origins as a happy accident, such as a bowl of milk left in the sun or too close to a fire, or milk carried by a nomadic herdsman in a bag made from the stomach of a young animal. Whatever the process, it resulted in the natural souring of the milk, creating curd.
Types of cheese
These are the simplest of cheeses. With no rind and a soft and smooth texture, they are high in moisture, generally lower in fat and not pressed. As fresh cheeses have a short shelf life, they have little time to develop any distinctive taste and are delicate and milky in flavour. Fresh cheeses are most often known for their versatility for cooking. Their mild flavour can help to balance bold flavours or complement subtle flavours without overpowering.
These cheeses are often referred to as 'spun curd' or 'string cheese' because of the way they are made. 'Pasta filata' is the traditional Italian name for these types of cheese. To make stretched curd cheeses, the curd is heated in water (70-80°C) until it becomes elastic, then kneaded and pulled into threads.
Each cheese type can be identified by the quantity of moisture in the cheese, its size and shape and the conditions in which it is aged. Some of these cheeses may also fall into the fresh or semi-cooked cheese categories.
Provolone is an example of a stretched curd cheese that is matured. Caciocavallo is a stretched curd cheese that is prepared in the same way as provolone, but it is cured for a short time. The different shapes of the two cheeses are what distinguishes them from each other.
White mould cheeses are creamy, oozy and rich in earthy flavours. They’re identifiable by their delicately mottled rinds. They are surface ripened and aged from the exterior to the interior cheese.
Originating from northern France, this cheese was originally made by monks and carries a meaty flavour. Washed rinds are mostly surface ripened, semi-soft cheeses with a strong aroma and a bright red or orange rind.
Perhaps the most well-known cheese in the world, it’s also Australia’s most popular. Cheddaring is the name of the process that makes cheddar cheese, which involves pressing whey by stacking blocks of curd on top of each other.
This cheese is known for its signature holes or “eyes". They are smooth, supple, and have sweet, nutty flavours. They are either hard-cooked or semi-cooked.
Hard cheese has a long shelf life due to its low moisture content, and has had time to mature and develop robust, concentrated flavour. It is made by cutting curd finely, then cooking it at high temperatures to remove the amount of moisture removed before placing the curd in hoops.
Blue cheese is a unique category of mould ripened cheese, with a naturally crusty rind that forms while it matures in humidity controlled cellars. Blue mould spores are added at the beginning of the cheesemaking process, which creates pungent flavours.
Cheese nutritional information
|Type per 100g||Protein
(eg. Brie, Camembert)
|Ricotta (reduced fat)||10.1||8.7||2.0||551||230|