“Say cheese” is a common phrase most people used to cheer themselves before a photoshoot. When did this trend start? Who knows? But one thing is pretty clear. Cheese is loved by many to cheer up with its name. Paneer, feta cheese, and so many types to bring water to our mouths. Eat it by spreading on toasted bread or taste the melting delight in pizza, where oozy and gooey cheese tears up, leaving long streaks. It adds taste to your food. Even an un-tasty platter of salad gets life with these pieces.
Cheese is tasty and enjoyed all over the world. And to attest to this love, let’s talk about different cheese from all over the world and how culture and taste have transformed this seemingly simple-looking dairy product.
Paneer from India
The most commonly known variety of cheese in India is Paneer, made from cow milk. If you have a vegetarian family, you might understand the atrocity of paneer. There’s paneer tadka, paneer bhuji, paneer this, paneer that, almost every day. And, if you are a vegetable-hater like most common people, the only thing available for you at the family dinner table is paneer in all the glory.
Well, that’s from the perspective of a few that have got tired of paneer. But paneer is tasty and can be converted into a lot of dishes. Travel from north to south of India, and you might witness the conversion of paneer in cuisines with a whole burst of tastes. Sweet, sour, spicy, or tangy—paneer can be converted into any taste. And that soft paneer soaks all the flavors of the ingredients without losing the sweet, buttery, cheesy feel of the paneer. For lack of better words, let’s settle with “tasty” for paneer.
Feta Cheese from Greece
What is feta cheese? Feta cheese is made from sheep milk or a blend of sheep and goat milk. Milk is pasteurized, turned into curd with rennet, and then brined for a minimum of two months.
You can add these versatile cheese types to a salad and give it a tangy and salty flavor. You can add feta cheese in the soup, a variety of roasted vegetables, grains, and pasta. It gets peppery and harder with age. You can add it to your dish or eat it as a snack to get the rich buttery flavor.
Read Also: Processed Cheese to Real Cheese
Cheddar from England
Cheddar is a semi-hard cheese made from cow milk that melts in the mouth. It is quite popular all over the world. It takes more time to mature, about 6 months. Vintage cheddar takes more than 15 months to mature.
Let’s come to the taste part. It has a sharp and pungent flavor, a bit earthy. The bitter or sharp taste is because of the aged cheddar. For delicacies, you can consume this raw or along with freshly cut fruits, apples, nuts, and fast food like potato fries and chips. Burgers taste much better with it. Cheese spread gives it a buttery taste while balancing the fresh veggies and onions with the patty.
Gouda from the Netherlands
The exotic Dutch cheese, with a creamy and smooth texture, is the most widespread in the world. It is used in homemade macaroni and pasta. “Wine tastes better with age”—This saying is also applicable for Gouda cheese. Gouda is more of a cheesemaking process than a cheese variety. The more mature it is, the sweeter it tastes. Old cheese tastes fruity, tangy with a sweet finish. Young cheese about 4 weeks old tastes mild with a light fudgy nut taste. You can eat it as a spread over a sandwich, or take it raw alongside wine or beer.
Mozzarella from Italy
Mozzarella, the cheese for pizzas, is made from buffalo milk. It is thicker and rich in fat content. The moisture content is also high in it, and hence it is served after a day of making it. Fresh Mozzarella is generally white with a semi-soft texture. Sometimes it is pale yellow due to the diet of the cattle.
Mozzarella is good for a week and can be stored for a month when vacuum sealed. Italian pizzas are made with freshly made mozzarella, making the pizza soft and delectable. You can dip fresh tomatoes and basil in Caprese salad and enjoy the buttery taste.
Roquefort Cheese from France
Have you seen blue cheese? Roquefort cheese is usually white, crumbly, slightly moldy with blue mold veins. The blue color is because of mold (Penicillium roqueforti). Eating Roquefort has anti-inflammatory benefits and inhibits chlamydia.
Delicacies of Roquefort cheese are main-course meat sauces, savory tarts and quiches, pies, and fillings. It has a sweet and nutty flavor. Try eating this with salads with added honey and nuts.
Cotija from Mexico
The cheese that makes Mexican delicacies like tacos and burritos delicious is this. Cotija has a salty and milky taste, milder than feta cheese. It doesn’t melt when heated. It gets softer. When raw, it crumbles, adding texture to your food. You can add these crumbles to make your un-tasty salad saltier and tangier. Or you can try your desi taco, that is, cheese on paratha with some stuffed veggies. There are a few varieties of cotija –
- Queso Cotija de Montaña (grain cheese), produced in limited quantity from July to October. The cows are fed with grass grown during the rainy season, which results in a cheese with unique flavor and color.
- Tajo variety is a moister, fattier, and less salty version that holds its shape when cut.
- Queso cotija is artisan cheese. Every cheese is unique and handmade.
Labneh from the Middle East
Labneh is a dairy product in between cheese and yogurt. It is also known as strained yogurt. Most of the whey is removed from yogurt, resulting in this strained yogurt. It is made from cow milk. Often camel milk and milk from other animals are also used. Cow milk gives it a mild flavor. The taste is very sour, complementing the many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.
Labneh is used fresh. Sometimes it is dried into balls, covered with herbs and spices, and stored in olive oil. The most common way to eat labneh is with pita bread. You can try it with a sandwich.
Emmental from Switzerland
Emmental or Swiss cheese is a medium-hard cheese with holes in them. The holes are formed from bubbles of carbon dioxide from the cheesemaking process. Usually, the holes are a sign of maturation. It tastes a bit sweet.
It is consumed cold or as chunks and slices. Make fondue and dip garlic bread to get the sweet buttery taste. It also makes an excellent ingredient for your simple grilled sandwiches. If your morning dish is simple wheat bread, make it tastier with slices of Swiss cheese.
Gruyère cheese from Switzerland
Gruyere is another Swiss cheese with a sweet but slightly salty taste. It is a fine cheese for baking. It adds savoriness to a dish without overpowering the taste of other ingredients.
If you are making a cake or baking some delicious cookies, it will give your cuisine the right amount of savoriness. It is traditionally used in French onion soup, croque-monsieur, a classic French toasted ham, and cheese sandwich. You can make a chicken dish even tastier with this. For a vegetarian twist, you can add salad and pasta. It will make it more savory with a sweet-salty taste.
Halloumi from Cyprus
Halloumi is an unripened, semi-hard cheese. It is made from unpasteurized goat and sheep milk. Nowadays, cow milk is also used.
It has a higher melting point, making it excellent for frying till brown or grilling. You can use grilled halloumi as an appetizer, fried with vegetables, or as a salad ingredient. It has a firm texture when fried. It will squeak your teeth when chewing. You can also try aged halloumi that is stored in brine. It is much saltier, harder, and drier.
Manchego from Spain
Manchego is made from sheep milk, aged 60 days to 2 years. It has a firm, compact, and buttery texture. Available in various colors, from white to ivory-yellow, and the inedible rind from yellow to brownish-beige. It has a distinctive taste with slight piquancy and leaves a characteristic aftertaste of sheep milk. Try it with olives, dried tomatoes, crusty bread, and wine.
Taleggio from Italy
Taleggio is a semi-soft, washed-rind, smear-ripened, Italian cheese made from cow milk. And also one of the oldest forms of cheese. A bit of historical fact—It has been around Roman times, with Cicero, Cato, the Elder, and Pliny, the Elder, all having tasted the delicacy.
It has a thin crust and a strong aroma. It lasts for 40 days and tastes comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang. Try it with a mustard or honey combination or make pasta, bruschetta, and risotto with it.
Monterey Jack from the USA
Monterey Jack is a semi-hard cheese made from cow milk, similar to cheddar. It takes 1-6 months to age and has a high moisture content, making it melt easier in the mouth. It is very sweet and can be eaten directly. You can try it with crackers, pasta or use it as toppings on sauce and soups.
Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy
Parmesan – the king of all cheese, and the most expensive of all, is a hard, granular cheese produced from cow milk. It takes a minimum of 1 year to mature to 2-3 years. It has low calories and has high calcium content.
Pasta meals are typically garnished with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. It can also be used in other recipes like risotto and soup. Salads, for example, commonly have it shaved or grated on top. Slivers and bits of the hard crusts are occasionally added to soups for flavor. You can also roast them and eat them as a snack when you’re hungry. They can be smoked as well.
So Many Cheese…
It’s not just this. Various cottage cheese or artisan cheeses with unique flavors and aromas worldwide. The method of production, the quality of the milk, region, and many factors affect the taste. These cheese types are designated with protected designations of origin (PDO) to preserve this uniqueness. It is a geographical indication to conserve the designations of origin of food-related products.
The taste of the cheese is affected by the pasture given to the cow. Even the taste of milk differs because of the feed. In Green Fields Organic, we give lush and green grass to our cows. We only provide organic feed to ensure the cow’s health to produce high-quality and nutrient-rich milk. Cheese and paneer made on our farm are rich, buttery to make your dish delectable. Since we produce organic farm products, dairy products have high calcium and low-calorie content. Try it yourself to know the difference.
Organic farming was introduced as a response to the intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides leading to environmental degradation. Owing to this constant exposure of the farm produce to pesticides, the quality and taste were compromised. Encouraged by an instinct to ensure the wellbeing of every single being on the planet, we begin GFO.