What happens when you put together four people who love cheese? The Cheese Market! We are the Wisconsin cheese experts of Illinois and know everything about the world’s greatest cheeses. There are hundreds of different types of cheese, from Abbaye de Belloc (a semi-hard cheese made from sheep’s milk), to Zimbro (a sheep’s milk cheese produced in the Serra da Estrela Mountains in Portugal).
Know your fromage
Cheeses are typically stuffed into basic categories that are based on a few characteristics such as wine pairings and texture:
With a creamy texture, these cheeses don’t get heated or pressed and are not usually used in cooking. There are two different types of subcategories – soft cheeses with a bloomy rind and soft cheeses with a washed rind. Brie de Meaux or Brie de Melun are examples of two soft cheeses.
Semi-soft cheeses are harder than soft cheeses and can be cooked and pressed during the manufacturing process. Fontina is a popular example of a semi-soft cheese.
Typically aged for three months to two years, these cheeses, such as Gouda and Sardo, can be either cooked or uncooked during the manufacturing process. These cheeses are good for cooking, grating and melting.
Unlike their counterparts, hard cheeses are aged the longest and have less water content. These cheeses are the best for cooking, grating and melting and can have a crumbly exterior texture. Aged Gouda and some types of Cheddar are popular examples of hard cheeses.
This type of cheese is distinctive because of the colored veins and strong flavor. Typically called bleu cheese, these are similar to soft or uncooked semi-soft cheeses except the manufacturing process is different. Gorgonzola and Stilton are common examples of blue cheese.
Even with a few basic categories of cheeses, there is so much more to learn, including which cheeses can fit into multiple categories. Instead of pouring over hundreds of books and websites deciphering the different subcategories of cheeses, our experts will listen to what you want and point you in the right direction.
Come nosh on our Wisconsin cheeses and other products today at our Rockford or Freeport, IL cheese shop!