We're Just Crackers about Cheese

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triple cream Brie, aged Cheddar, Mahón, Stilton, smoked Gouda

iStockPhoto.com/Kelly Cline

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As we researched “Making Cheese Easy” (read the original article here), we learned a whole bunch about cheese that we’d like to share with you. What follows is a list of common cheeses. It includes how Americans pronounce the cheese’s name; the place it’s named for; its appearance and type (soft, semi-firm, hard, etc.); which animal’s milk it’s made from; someone’s opinion on what it tastes like; and what’s done to the milk, curd or cheese that makes it different from other cheeses.

Name; Pronunciation; Place; Type; Made From; Taste; Treatment

Appenzeller; ah-pent-seller; Appenzell region, Switzerland; straw-colored, hard; cow milk; nutty or fruity flavor, which can range from mild to tangy, depending on how long it is aged; cooked, pressed and cured in an herbal brine with wine or cider

Brie; bree; Brie province (modern Siene-et-Marne), France; pale very soft with slightly grayish tinge under crusty white mold; cow milk; rich, mild and creamy; uncooked, unpressed, inoculated with mold (Penicillium candidum, Penicillium camemberti and/or Brevibacterium linens) and aged at least four weeks in a cellar

Edam; ee-duhm; town of Edam, Holland; pale yellow semi-hard, yellow or red waxed spheres; partly skimmed cow milk; very mild taste, slightly salty or nutty and almost no smell; cooked, pressed, aged up to 10 months, lower fat

Feta; feh-tah; Greece; white soft to semi-hard curd; sheep milk (sometimes mixed with goat’s); tangy, salty flavor ranges from mild to sharp; unpressed, salted and cured in a brine solution

Gouda; goo-dah; town of Gouda, Netherlands; rich yellow semi-hard with red or yellow wax; cow milk; pungent underlying bitterness, creamier than other common cheeses; cooked, pressed, brined and dried, then waxed

Gruyère; groo-yehr; town of Gruyères, Switzerland; hard yellow; cow milk; sweet but slightly salty, creamy and nutty when young, becoming with age more assertive, earthy and complex; heated curd, pressed, brined, aged

Limburger; lihm-buhr-guhr; Duchy of Limburg (modern Netherlands, Belgium and Germany); light semi-soft; cow milk; smooth, creamy and light with a very pungent odor; rind-washed and brushed with Brevibacterium linens-infused solution (called the smear) while it ages

Mahón; mah-hohn; town of Mahón on Minorca off the coast of Spain; white, firm to hard; cow milk; sweet and fruity when young ages sharper, slightly salty; curd pressed and twisted in cheese cloth, rind rubbed with oil, butter and paprika, aged

manchego; mahn-chay-go; La Mancha, Spain; golden semi-firm with small holes; manchega sheep milk; mild, nutty, slightly salty, not too strong; uncooked, pressed, aged in natural caves

provolone; proh-voh-lohn; Po river valley, Italy; white semi-hard; cow milk; taste varies with aging from very mild (provolone dolce) to very sharp (provolone piccante in which goat rennet is used for sharpness); made similarly to mozzarella then hung and aged for at least 4 months

ricotta; rih-kaht-tuh; Italy; soft white; whey; creamy and slightly sweet; whey heated to near boiling, sometimes with acid added to curdle remaining protein

romano; roh-mah-noh; Lazio and Sardinia, Italy; yellow and hard; sheep milk (pecorino), goat’s milk (caprino) and cow’s milk (vacchino); salty and sharp; curd drained quickly after molding, pierced and carefully salted, aged for 5 months

Roquefort; rohk-fuhrt; town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in the south of France; white, crumbly, semi-hard with veins of blue mold; sheep milk; mild, sweet and smoky, with a salty finish; uncooked, unpressed, inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti, aged in natural Cambalou caves

Tomme de Savoie; tum-de-sav-wha; Savoie area in the French Alps; beige semi-soft with thick brownish-grey rind; cow milk; mild, nutty with faint cheese-cellar flavor; uncooked, lower fat because it’s made from skimmed milk after cream is used to make butter or richer cheese, pressed and cellar aged

Wensleydale; wehns-lee-dayl; Wensleydale, England; white, moist, crumbly semi-firm; cow milk; fairly mild; slightly pressed, bandaged, aged


Parmigianoa-Reggiano; iStockPhoto.com/YinYang