Introduction to Cheese

Cheese Groups | Forms of Cheese
Uses of Cheese | The Issue of Mold and Crystallization in Cheese

Cheese is a dairy product made from the curds of milk that have been separated from the whey. The curds form a firm substance that is aged to create added flavor. There are hundreds of varieties of fresh and aged cheese made in a variety of countries. Many cheeses are made with ingredients and processes that exist only in the particular region in which the cheese originated.



Cheese Groups


Cheese is divided into five major groups: hard cow's milk cheese, soft cow's milk cheese, goat's milk cheese, sheep's milk cheese, and blue cheese. From these groups, the various cheeses are then selected for their intended purpose, flavor, and suitability for recipes and serving objectives.

Cow's Milk - Hard Cheese
Parmesan

Cow's Milk - Soft Cheese
Neufchâtel

Goat's Milk Cheese
Chèvre

Sheep's Milk Cheese
Berkswell

Blue Cheese
Adelost Blue




Forms of Cheese


Among the different groups of cheese, there are also a number of different forms of cheese, such as hard, soft, grated, sliced, block, wedge, and so on. The different forms are chosen for specific purposes when serving cheese or when cheese is used in a recipe.

Hard Cheese

Soft Cheese

Wheel

Cylinder

Block

Wedge

Stick

String

Curds

Sliced

Wax Covered

Shredded

Spreadable

Baked

Crumbled

Shaved/Grated




Uses for Cheese


Cheese can be served for appetizers, toppings, sandwich filling, entrees, and desserts or used as an ingredient for numerous food dishes. When serving cheese as an appetizer, serve approximately one ounce per person. If several different types of cheese are being offered as courses for a meal, begin with the mildest cheese; then serve increasingly stronger cheeses as the courses progress. Additional foods can accompany cheese to enhance the flavor, such as almonds, walnuts, apples, pears, slices of hard breads, or crackers. Serve breads and crackers that are mild in flavor so they don't compete with or overpower the flavor of the cheese. A variety of fruits go well with many strong cheeses: pear slices served with blue cheese is a good example.

Cheeseball Appetizer

Cheeseburger

Cheesecake

Cheese and Broccoli Soup

Cheese Dip

Cheese Sauce




The Issue of Mold and Crystallization in Cheese


If mold appears on soft cheese, discard the cheese immediately; but when mold appears on hard cheese, the mold can be cut away. Make sure not to contaminate the good cheese with the knife by slicing too close to the mold spores that have formed. Allow a generous margin between the mold and the good section of the cheese.
Some types of cheese that have aged, such as Asiago, Cheddar, and Parmigiano Reggiano, may become covered with small crystallized granules that create a rough and gritty texture on the cheese. This is not harmful. This happens because the calcium in the milk used to make the cheese begins to break down. This is simply a natural occurrence of the cheese aging process.



Introduction to Cheese Reviews

introduction to cheese

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sandrajo
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"this is a very good information on the different cheeses. I run a cheese shop great web site to send my customers to when they need info"
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