Cheese Types – The Pretentious Connoisseur’s Choice

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If you are a passionate fan of this milky delight and seek to try new cheese types, then this is for you.

I discovered this new passion and hobby even, fairly recently. From a conservative fellow, who had little to no opinion on the rich cheese world out there, I changed to an absolute junkie and maniac in buying, tasting and browsing for newer and newer cheese types. Call me gluttonous, but the more alien and different to my national cheese traditions, the better. What can I say… I had lots of prejudices engraved in my mind as a kid. And was always told how smelly blue cheese for e.g is, or how bad it tastes. I found it peculiar and disgusting even, that there is a thick layer of mold on some cheese types. I just couldn’t explain to my still childish self, what all the fuzz about these expensive dairy products was all about.

But years later, when I became an adult I changed the way I view it all. That was after me and my girlfriend were watching the film version of the popular Swiss children’s book, Heidi, by Johanna Spyri. There was this scene with little Heidi’s grandfather, high in the snowy Alps in a small wooden house. There, the old man melted a huge chunk of Emmental (or Raclette, not sure) cheese above the fireplace on a big, soft loaf of freshly baked bread. The steamy, liquified cheese spread all over the loaf. It was from that moment, that I decided to discover the wonderful and rich world of cheese. And of course, I began with experiments.

Here is a list of my personal top pick of cheese types I’ve tried (and some I look forward to). Whether you’re just a beginner, or an experienced connoisseur, I believe you’ll find the list to your liking:

    1. Camembert

      cheese types
      Country of origin: France
      Source: Cow

      This delicious looking, mouth-watering soft cheese type of the Normandy region, is one of my favourites. At least it was my first ever ,,out of my comfort zone” cheese pick. It has a deep, earthy and strong flavour and aroma. It’s made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. The fat percentage is around 45% and takes at least three weeks to mature.

      It was first made in 1791, by a farmer from Normandy, France. He was given an advice from a priest, who came from the region of Brie, France. Probably that’s why It also has a lot of similarities with ,,Brie” cheese.

    2. Brie

      cheese types
      Country of origin: France
      Source: Cow

      This is the much older cousin of Camembert cheese. Brie is a soft cheese, that was first produced 1,200 years ago in the Middle Ages by monks of the Priory of Rueil en Brie, France. It’s aged for a minimum of four weeks and is pretty rich in fat, but also vitamins and minerals. This is one of the cheese types that is most popular among beginners.

      The difference between Brie and Camembert is in the rind, aging time, market storage and the aroma. Also, when heated Camembert usually melts, while Brie keeps more of its texture.

    3. Gruyere

      cheese types
      Country of origin: Switzerland
      Source: Cow

      This yellow, semi-soft legend dates back to early 12th century Switzerland. It originates in the Swiss cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchatel, Jura and Bern. Gruyere is often described as having a creamy and nutty taste when young and a more rich, earthy and complex taste when aged.

      It’s aging period is at least 12 months. And is also a popular choice in the traditional Swiss fondue dishes. But can also be used in salads, sandwiches and soups. Because it doesn’t have an overshadowing effect over other ingredients. It’s a bit more expensive than the other two but is a definite must to try!

    4. Pecorino

      cheese types
      Country of origin: Italy
      Source: Sheep

      Pecorino Romano is a member of the hard cheese types. It’s also very salty and comes from the Central and Southern part of Italy. And also Sardinia. Pecorino was first described by Latin scribes 2,000 years ago in the countryside of Rome. It’s made from sheep’s milk and has been a staple in the diet and rations of Roman legionaries. In the olden days, the cheese is said to give plenty of energy, strength and is easily digestible. Which makes it a perfect ration for the soldiers of the empire. Just the description made me want to try it out!

      It’s aged for at least five months and is a popular choice among pastas and other traditional italian dishes.

    5. Gouda

      cheese types
      Country of origin: The Netherlands
      Source: Cow

      Gouda is one of the most popular cheeses world-wide. It’s a mild, yellow cheese, named after the Dutch city of Gouda, where it was usually traded. However, today the name ,,Gouda” is mostly associated with cheese types produced in such Dutch matter. The cheese is aged from 4 weeks to 12 months and longer. As it ages it develops a special kind of caramel sweetness, that makes it so irresistible. It also has a bit of a crunch from the crystals formed inside in the longer-aged cheeses.

      It’s production dates back as far as 1184. Making it one of the oldest cheesemaking traditions.

    6. Cheddar

      Country of origin: The United Kingdom
      Source: Cow

      One of the most widely spread cheeses in the world. The cheddar cheese is a hard, white or orange (depending on the ingredients) natural cheese, that tastes from mild to sharp. It usually tends to melt in your mouth. It’s aging time varies between 2 and 24 months.

      Although some believe it was brought to the British Isles by the Romans from central France. But the recognized story is, that It originated in the village of Cheddar, Somerset, England, where the production of cheddar dates far back to the 12th century. (What’s with 12th century and cheeses?! Like it’s the golden age for dairy products.) The surroundings of the village contain many caves, which had offered the perfect conditions for storing the cheese.

    7. Mozzarella

      Country of origin: Italy
      Source: Buffalo or Cow

      This semi-soft, yummy blob comes from southern Italy. Although it’s originally made from buffalo’s milk, you can make it with cow, sheep and even goat’s milk. It’s colour is traditionally white, but other shades, like slightly yellow are possible, depending on the animal’s diet. You can find this cheese mostly on pizzas and pastas, giving that creamy, soft feeling and taste. Unlike other cheese types, mozzarella isn’t aged.

    8. Roquefort

      Country of origin: France
      Source: Sheep

      This semi-hard delicacy is native to the french region of Roquefort. Where the famous mold Penicillium Roqueforti grows and is used in the production of the cheese. Roquefort is matured for at least 5 months.

      No one can tell who made it first. Some romans say it was made by the gauls. There is even a famous legend about its origins. The legend states, that long time ago, a boy had been eating cheese with bread, when he saw a beautiful girl in the distance. He abandoned his food in a cave and ran to chase her. But when he had returned later, his cheese was covered in blue moldy veins, turning his cheese into Roquefort.

      Just thinking about it makes me hungry already. This is the cheese I feared the most to try. And indeed on my first ever bite, the taste was too overwhelming and I regret it. But then, after the second and third bite it was different. I left it a bit on my tongue and waited to experience all the flavours one after the other. Because this magnificent cheese doesn’t show its true colours immediately. Like a good wine, it’s so much more sophisticated than that. It’s definitely in my top 5 list of favourite cheese types.

    9. Raclette


      Country of origin: Switzerland
      Source: Cow

      This melting wonder is indigenous to the German-speaking parts of Switzerland. In the canton of Valais. It’s first mentioned by convents in 1291. The cheese is aged for about 3 to 6 months and is sold usually in big round wheels.

      Raclette is best enjoyed when melted and spread over a loaf of bread, on a stake and on a meal in general. It’s a very popular choice for the famous Swiss dish, the Fondue. The Swiss usually serve it with a cup of tea, coffee or wine. But you shouldn’t drink it with water, because if you first melt it, the water will cause it to harden in your stomach. And cause you indigestion. Having that in mind, go out there and spread this milky delicacy on your meal! You won’t regret it!

    10. Vacherin

      Country of origin: Switzerland, France
      Source: Cow

      We will conclude with yet another Swiss-French cheese. The mouth-watering Vacherin Mont D’Or (or Vacherin du Haut-Doubs, the one produced in France). It’s a soft cheese with washed rind and rich in flavour. It’s unpasteurized and its fat percentage is from 45-50%. Vacherin is aged from 5-7 weeks.The cheese is made between August and March and sold in September. Traditionally it’s made in the Winter, when the cows have returned from the Alps.Vacherin is commonly sold in round boxes and usually enjoyed when heated and melted. Or of course, in a Fondue.

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      Those were our favourite picks of cheese types around the world.
      Yes, we know there are so many more to cover, but the list will be endless!
      Which one of our choices is your favourite? What can you add?
      Share us a comment and let us know!
      Until next time,
      Bon Appétit from OwlKnow!

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