Cheese is a high-fat, high-protein dairy product made when milk, cream, skimmed milk, buttermilk, goat’s milk, sheep’s milk or any combination thereof is soured and fermented or fungi, yeast or bacterial cultures added. Once the majority of the whey is removed, the cheese that remains is either eaten as is or left to ripen and eaten at different stages of maturity.
The distinction between true cheese and things like cream cheese, sour cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche, etc. is the way in which the milk is curdled. Milk can be curdled either by acid and/or by rennet. To be considered a true cheese (Cheddar, Swiss, Brie, etc) acid and rennet curdling is required.
Mozzarella cheese is a slice-able curd cheese originating in Italy. This mild, white fresh cheese made by a special process where the curd is dipped into hot whey then stretched and kneaded to the desired consistency. It’s a firm but creamy cheese that tastes like fresh milk with a slightly sour edge to it. It melts well and has a unique stretchiness, making it the classic pizza topping cheese.
Italy’s classic salad – Insalata Caprese – is made with thick slices of mozzarella & ripe tomatoes drizzled with olive oil & topped with basil leaves & a little salt and pepper.
Roquefort is undoubtedly one of the world's oldest and finest cheeses, in France, where it comes from it is called "The cheese of kings and popes." and was the favorite cheese of Charlemagne.
Genuine Roquefort is moist, rich and creamy and is interlaced with a distinctive green mold, it breaks apart easily and the flavor is sharp, tangy and salty.
Roquefort is generally formed in 5-pound (2.3-kg) cylinders of about 7 inches in diameter and about 4 inches thick. It should be cut with a heated knife.
Roquefort is made exclusively from the milk of the Red Lacaune ewes that graze on the huge plateau of Rouergue, Causses in Southern France. That milk combined with the mold, Penicillium Roqueforti, and maturation in natural caves gives Genuine Roquefort its unique taste. In the early 15th century, King Charles VI granted rights to the aging of Roquefort to only one village:
These days, Roquefort cheeses still mature naturally in the caves of this village where Penicillium Roqueforti was discovered hundreds of years ago, for a minimum of 4 months.
There are seven Roquefort producers, all of whom produce genuine Roquefort, and have red sheep on their labels. The largest producer is Roquefort Société. The other producers are Roquefort Papillon, Carles, Fromageries occitanes, Gabriel Coullet, Vernières and Le Vieux Berger.
Dating as far back as 6000 BC in the Indian Subcontinent, Paneer is a fresh cheese frequently used in South Asian Cuisine similar to Queso blanco. Moist and soft crumbly in texture, it is used to make delicacies such as Palak paneer and Mutter paneer.
Made with whole milk, Paneer is a rich source of milk protein and because it is made without Rennet it's safe for vegetarians to eat.
Unlike most cheeses, Paneer is an acid set cheese, which means that the cheese is curdled and set with the assistance of an acid such as lemon or lime juice, rather than rennet and bacteria.
Gouda is a traditional, cow’s milk, hard cheese covered in a wax rind.
The flavor is sweet and fruity, and as the cheese ages, it hardens & the taste becomes more intense & complex and almost cheddar like.
One of the most popular cheeses worldwide, Gouda is named after the city of Gouda just outside of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. These days Dutch Gouda is produced industrially, and accounts for more than 60% of the cheese produced in Holland. Except for "Boerenkaas" which is a protected form of Gouda made in the traditional manner, using unpasteurized milk. Only about 300 Dutch farmers still produce this "Farmers cheese". Boer is farmer and kaas is cheese in Dutch.
There are six different types of Gouda cheese, categorized by age.
The waxed rind of the cheese also changes by the age as soft, younger Dutch Gouda cheese are identified by yellow, orange, or red wax rinds, mature cheeses have a black wax covering.
Unlike Roquefort, the name Gouda is not protected and is used today not only for the Genuine Dutch Gouda, but as a general term for a variety of similar cheeses produced in the traditional Dutch manner. This means that the term "Gouda" is not restricted to cheese of Dutch origin. However, both "Noord-Hollandse Gouda" and "Boerenkaas" are registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Status. These cheeses can only be made in the Netherlands and can only use milk produced by Dutch cows.
Smoked Gouda is a variant of this famous cheese. herein it is smoked in ancient brick ovens over flaming hickory chip embers. This hard cheese has an edible, brown rind and a creamy, yellow interior.