30 types of cheese – What are the different varieties called and their main characteristics

If you are a cheese lover, this OneHOWTO article is perfect for you. Did you know that there are more than 2,000 varieties of cheese in the world? How do you hear it! All of them have unique characteristics and particularities and are usually differentiated from each other by their consistency and flavor.

Cheese making has its origins thousands of years ago and even today, in each region it is prepared in a different way, with different curing, and with particular ingredients, with cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s milk… , which gives each cheese a special and unique characteristic. For this reason, in this article we bring you a variety of 30 Types of cheeses classified according to their origin, fat, maturation, texture and rind.

Types of cheese according to fat

Cheese can be classified based on the percentage of fat on the dry matter. The calculation of this percentage is obtained on the mass of the cheese once the whey has been discounted and not on the total mass of the product. In this sense, we can have the following types of cheese:

  • extra fat: with 60% fat or more.
  • Fatty: with a fat content between 45 and 60%, such as goat cheese.
  • semi-fat: with a fat content of between 25 and 45%, such as Parmesan, Manchego or Gouda or blue cheese.
  • Semi-skimmed or low-fat: with values ​​between 10 and 25% fat. Examples of low-fat cheeses would be queso fresco, Cheddar, Feta, or queso bola.
  • Skimmed or light: with less than 10% fat. Like Cottage cheese, Ricotta, spreadable cheeses or petit-type cheese.
How many types of cheese are there - Types of cheese according to fat

Types of cheese according to their origin

The origin of the product with which the cheese has been obtained, that is, the milk, can mark another way of classifying the different types of cheese in the world. According to this criterion, the cheese varieties would be as follows:

  • cow: It is the most used milk. Some examples of cow’s milk cheeses are Emmental or Gouda.
  • Of goat: it has a high proportion of fatty acids that give it a characteristic flavor.
  • Of sheep: these cheeses are rich in protein and have a high energy value. Some famous cheeses in this category are Manchego or Roquefort.
  • buffalo: It has a sweet flavor and an extremely white color. Mozzarella is produced with this milk.
  • milk mix: The production of cheeses can occur through the combination of milks. In these cases, the result is usually creamier cheeses with milder flavors. Proof of this are Cabrales or Mahón cheese.

Types of cheese according to their texture

The interior and exterior texture of the cheese can also give us another classification in the field of cheese varieties:

Depending on the texture of the pasta

  • Hard: the mass of these cheeses is very consistent, which makes them ideal for grating or au gratin and, in addition, they can be cut into slices. Parmesan or Sardo are examples of this.
  • medium hard: most cheeses belong to this category, which corresponds to those that can be sliced ​​without breaking, such as Edam, Gruyère or Gouda.
  • semi-soft: blue cheeses belong to these categories, as well as all those ideal cheeses for sauces. The paste is brittle and tends to break, due to its high moisture content. The best known types of cheese within this group are Gorgonzola or Roquefort.
  • soft: they are creamy type cheeses, commonly used as spreads such as cream cheese or double cream. Examples of soft pasta texture are Brie or Cammembert and should be eaten quickly because they don’t last long.
  • Very soft: it is the typical texture of fresh cheeses that, in addition to being made with little fat, do not need ripening. The fresh cheese that represents the texture of very soft pasta is the Cottage.

Depending on the texture of the interior

  • Compact or without eyes: they are made with lactic cultures that barely release fat during fermentation, so the sugars are fermented before the cheese is completely finished. Burgos cheese or Cheddar are examples of this.
  • with round eyes: cheeses with round eyes, such as Emmental or Gruyère, have these indentations as a result of gas production by lactic acid bacteria during the ripening process. This cas accumulates in the cracks of the dough resulting in these iconic holes.
  • Granular or irregular eyes: they are produced when the curd is placed in a mold without whey, so that the cracks are exposed and holes are produced due to the gas of irregular sizes and shapes. An example of this is the Patergrás.

Types of cheese according to their maturation

The degree of maturation of the cheese gives us a classification of the most common:

  • Fresh cheese: without maturation. It is consumed directly at the end of its production, like Cottage cheese.
  • Soft cheese: It is consumed after 7 days of maturation, like the Tronchón.
  • semi-cured cheese: its maturation takes place from 20 to 35 days, some of the best known types of cheese within the semi-cured group are Manchego or Gouda.
  • cured cheese: its maturation takes place between 45 and 105 days, like Pecorino or Grana Padano.
  • old cheese: maturation is from 100 to 180 days.
  • Old cheese: its maturation is more than 270 (if the weight is more than 1.5kg).
How many types of cheese are there - Types of cheese according to their maturation

Types of cheese according to the rind

The rind and its texture can give us another way of classifying cheeses. In this sense we can find:

  • no bark: it is one of the best known types of cheese, a clear example is fresh cheese.
  • with dry bark: are those cheeses that by themselves produce the rind when dried, through a natural process. The more time passes, the greater the drying and the more rind the cheese will have. Some examples of this are the Reblochón, the Idiázabal or the Chaumes.
  • With moldy crust: during the ripening process, mold causes a crust to appear. Although the mold settles on the outside, the bark is edible. Some examples of this category are Brie or Cammembert.
  • with artificial bark: the rind is added during the manufacture of the cheese to protect it. This bark can be made of wax, charcoal, plant extracts or dyed paraffin. Examples of cheeses with artificial rind would be Cheddar, Edam or Mar de Plata.

We hope you liked this article about the different types of cheese there are. If you are a cheese lover and want to continue learning about the subject, we recommend that you take a look at our posts How to tell if cheese is bad and How to freeze cheese.

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