Cheese Characteristics and Uses, page 1
American - Semi-soft, mild, smooth, light yellow
or orange, usually cut into square slices; it does not separate
Crackers, English muffins, pretzels, apples and red grapes. Serve
with beer, light white wine, ice-cold milk, tomato juice and lemonade.
Amish (Lacy) Swiss - There are different types
of Amish Swiss which have been perfected by the Amish in different
areas all around the country. The most commercially popular is a
longhorn shaped Swiss cheese which develops small lace-like eyes.
It is creamier in texture than regular Swiss cheese.
Ham and cheese sandwiches.
Anejo Enchilada - Mexico. A firm, pressed cheese
rolled in paprika. This cheese is not as strongly flavored as Cotija
but can be easily shredded or grated. It is commonly used as a topping
or stuffing for enchiladas, burritos, and tacos.
Asadero - A smooth, yellow cheese with more "tang"
than the mild Queso Quesadilla cheese. This cheese is ideal for
baking because its stronger flavor adds to the appeal of a baked
Asiago (ah-zee-AH-goh) - Piquant, sharp
tasting cheese with a nutty, pleasantly-salty flavor. Asiago blends
well with Cheddar, Parmesan or mozzarella. This cow's milk cheese
gets its name from from the village of Asiago in northern Italy.
There are two types, Asiago d'allevo and Asiago pressato. Both fresh Asiago (delicate and sweet, made with whole
milk) and aged Asiago cheese (more savory in taste, aged from 3
to 12 months, and made with skim milk) may be purchased in the
United States in many different grocery stores (including
Walmart) and gourmet markets.
Asiago Pressato PDO is
semisoft and a pale straw-color, and dotted with some small
holes. Look for the mark Asiago POD or PDO ( protected
designation of origin). Authentic Asiago comes from only four
places in Italy – Vicenza, Trento, and parts of Treviso and
Padua. The The symbol of authentic Asiago PDO is:
Find more information at:
is made from partially skimmed cows' milk and is beige in color
with distinctive tiny holes running throughout the cheese. When
ripe, the cheese can be soft and makes for a great table cheese,
but when aged for a year or longer, it is used as a grating cheese.
The flavor is rich, somewhat nutty, but mild. It may be coated with
paraffin. It can range from a softer firm to a hard granular texture
depending on aging. When grated, it melts quickly over heat. In
a restaurant, ask for Italian Asiago PDO. Aged Asiago may be
shaved or grated to serve over salads and pastas.
Pasta, figs, grapes, apples and pears. Serve with red wines, cider,
cranberry juice and sparkling red grape juice.
Baby Swiss - The mildest, sweetest cheese of the
family that includes Switzerland's famous Emmenthaler and Gruyere.
Baby Swiss is notable for its light, almost white color, creamy
texture and small holes. Ivory to pale yellow, creamy with small
eyes, it melts well when shredded. It has a buttery, slightly nutty
and sweet flavor and smooth melting characteristics. A smoked version
is also available.
Cheese trays, sweet fruits and berries, croissants and muffins.
Serve with fruity white wine, aged red wine, juices and ice-cold
Basato - Uruguayan. Semi-hard and sharp. This unique
table cheese can be used as you use Provolone.
Excellent in antipasto, sandwiches, as a topping, or in cooking.
It shreds well.
Blue Cheese (Bleu Cheese) - Semi-soft white cheese
with blue veins, sometimes crumbly interior. This is a generic term
to describe many different types of cheeses made throughout Europe
and North America. All blues begin as unpressed white cheese onto
which a blue mold such as Penicillium roqueforti is dusted. The
mold makes its way into the interior of the cheese via forty or
so holes punched through the wheel of cheese as it ages. Most blues
have a crumbly texture and a sharp, tangy flavor. Blue cheese melts
quickly under heat when crumbled.
Serve blue cheese with robust, whole-grain crackers. Crumble blue
into sour cream or plain yogurt as a dip, or into mayonnaise as
a dressing. Pears, raisins, fruit breads and walnuts. Serve with
full-bodied red wines, cappuccino, fruit juice and champagne. Port
wine is the classic accompaniment.
Boursin - Soft, French dessert cheese. Rich and
creamy with some tartness.
Good with fruit and wine.
Brick - Semi-soft. Ivory with numerous small round
and irregular-shaped holes and an open texture. Shredded brick melts
quickly under heat. Mild with a sweet, pungent flavor.
Apples, grapes, pears, onions, sweet crackers and dark bread. Serve
with light red wines, beer, cran-apple juice, cider and sparkling
Brie (bree) - A world-famous externally-ripened
cow's milk cheese that originated in the 13th-century near Paris.
It is an easily recognized thin disc covered with a whitish bloom.
This rind may be eaten depending on personal taste. At its peak,
the cheese's interior should be plump and glossy, but not runny
or smelling of ammonia, which indicates over-ripeness. Its flavor
(without the rind) may be best described as mildly tangy and fruity.
Serve Brie with a variety of fruits. Thin slices served on a sandwich
with roast beef are quite tasty. Some people enjoy Brie baked in
a pastry crust.
Camembert - Created in 1789 by Marie Harel, a peasant
woman and said to have been christened by Napoleon himself, this
cow's milk cheese (40 to 45% fat) is world renown. 11 centimeters
in diameter and 3 to 4 centimeter's thick, this smooth creamy
cheese with a soft white rind should be served at room temperature
when perfectly ripe. You'll know it's perfectly ripe when
it oozes thickly. If it is runny, it is overripe. An externally-ripened
cows-milk cheese similar in appearance to Brie. Its flavor is only
slightly more assertive than Brie, and its rind is edible.
Use Camembert as you would Brie.
Cantal - Firm, yellow cheese from France. Piquant
Good with wine or beer, for snacks, appetizers, desserts or cooking.
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