101

Types of Cheeses

Fresh - young and soft
Smooth and mild to tart and tangy
Think: fresh goat cheese (chèvre), mozzarella, ricotta, feta

Bloomy - rich, creamy, milky
Mild and buttery to earthy and mushroomy
Think: brie, camembert

Washed-Rind - pungent and intense
Mild and fruity to strong and funky
Think: munster, taleggio, chimay

Semi-Soft - earthy, pliable
Smooth and earthy to grassy and barnyard
Think: tomme, fontina

Firm - dense but supple
Fruity and grassy to sharp and nutty
Think: cheddar, gruyere, manchego

Hard - dry, caramelly, grainy
Sharp and crumbly to sweet and butterscotchy
Think: aged gouda, dry jack, parmigiano- reggiano

Blue - bold and sharp-edged
Mild and creamy to punchy and complex
Think: gorgonzola, roquefort, stilton

What does Artisanal mean?

 The term artisanal simply means handcrafted in small batches, using traditional methods; the opposite of mass-produced, factory-made, and processed.

Why is it better?

There are several reasons why artisanal cheeses are better than mass produced supermarket cheeses:

1st - Supporting small-scale farms and dairies supports local communities; keeping revenue in the community and away from major corporations and foreign competitors.

2nd - By supporting smaller dairies and farms, you’re supporting the environment. The negative impacts of factory farms on the natural environment, animal welfare, and the health and well-being of people are well documented. Supporting local farms also cuts down on food transportation, which means less carbon emissions and fresher products.

3rd - And most importantly… The unsurpassed flavor! Once you try it, you’ll be reluctant to settle for lesser quality.

What does farmstead mean?

 The term farmstead means the product was made using only milk from the animals from that particular farm.

How do I store cheese?

The best way to store cheese is not to store cheese! Eat it fresh, and buy smaller amounts more often. In case you don’t have your own cheese cave, the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator will do fine. Wrap cheese in wax paper, then plastic wrap. Generally, softer cheeses are best eaten in a week or so; harder cheeses, two weeks and really hard cheeses, up to a month. If it gets some mold on it, it’s not bad, it’s just not as fresh as it was…just slice it off and enjoy.

How do I pair cheese?

Just like a wine’s flavor changes as it breathes, cheese will take on different flavors when paired with different items. There is no real science to this but there are two different methods: pairing things that compliment (such as a hard, nutty cheese with toasted nuts) and pairing things that contrast (such as a firm, salty cheese with sweet preserves). In the end, it’s purely a matter of personal taste and the best way to find out it to experiment! The best pairings are well balanced.

Try some of these favorites:

• Toasted almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts (toasting nuts brings out their flavor!)
• Crisp green apples, pears, kiwis, strawberries, grapes
• Mild preserves like apricot and peach
• Grape tomatoes, sliced cucumber, roasted red peppers
• Savory spreads like pesto, chutney and hummus
• Sweet drizzled honey or reduced balsamic vinegar