Cheese Me

The following is a guide to types of cheeses and common uses for each type:

VERY HARD

Parmesan/Romano

Ten inches or rounds; wedges or grated, yellow-white with brown or black coating. Granular.
Flavor: Sharp/Piquant
Use: Table cheese when cured 5 – 8 months, grated when cured after 1 year.
Grated: on soups, breads, vegetables, spaghetti, in cooked foods.

HARD

Swiss

Rindless blocks and large wheels with rind. Slices, random weights. Light yellow. Firm elastic body with large holes.
Flavor: Nutlike, rather sweet
Use: As such, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, in cooked foods.

Cheddar

Large wheels, cylinders (longhorn shape), blocks, random weights, slices, shredded. Range from white to orange. Smooth, firm body.

Flavor: Mild to sharp
Use: As such, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, in cooked foods, desserts.

Colby

Cylindrical, random weights, slices. Light yellow to orange. Softer and more open in texture than cheddar.

Flavor: Mild Use: As such, sandwiches, in cooked foods.

Provolone

Spherical or sausage shaped. Sliced. Light yellow. Smooth, plastic.

Flavor: Mellow to sharp and piquant. Usually smoked.
Use: As such, appetizers, sandwiches, in cooked foods, with fruit for dessert.

SEMISOFT TO HARD

Edam/Gouda

Red wax outer surface. Like a flattened sphere or loaf shape. Random weights from ¾ to 14 lbs. Baby Gouda weights about 1 lb. Gouda contains slightly more fat. Creamy yellow. Softer than cheddar;more open, mealy body.

Flavor: Mild, nutlike
Use: As such, appetizers, salads, with fruit for dessert.

SEMISOFT

Muenster/Brick

Cylindrical and flat at ends; loaf shaped. Loaf, brick. Both available as random weights, slices. Creamy white. Open texture with numerous round and irregularly shaped eyes.

Flavor: Mild, but rather pungent
Use: As such, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, with fruit for dessert.

Monterey/Monterey Jack

Cylindrical, sliced, random weights. Creamy white. Open texture.

Flavor: Mild
Use: As such, appetizers, sandwiches, in cooked foods, with fruit for dessert.

SOFT

Brie

Small wheels in foil or foil-wrapped wedges. Reddish yellow crust. Yellow creamy interior.

Flavor: Mild to pungent
Use: As such, for desserts with crackers or fruit.

Camembert

Small wheels in foil or foil-wrapped wedges. Rind: thick layer of gray mold with yellow creamy or almost fluid interior.

Flavor: Mild to pungent
Use: As such, for desserts with crackers or fruit.

Nutritional Benefits of Cheese

Cheese is a concentrated source of all the same naturally-occurring nutrients that are found in milk:

  1. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, and accounts for 25% of the calcium in the overall food supply
  2. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth, and also helps to prevent osteoporosis

Cheese also contains other essential nutrients:

Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Protein, Folate, Magnesium

There are dozens of varieties of low-fat cheeses available on the market:

Low-Fat CheesesHigh-Fat Cheeses
NeufchatelOriginal cream cheese
*Light* cream cheese
Fat-free cream cheese
Reduced-calorie cheeseRegular cheese
(Cheddar, Swiss, Jack, American)
Low-calorie processed cheeses
Fat-free cheeses (i.e., American Fat-Free)
Low-fat (1%) or reduced-fat (2%) cottage cheeseRegular (4%) cottage-cheese
Part-skim milk, low-moisture mozzarella cheeseWhole milk mozzarella cheese
Part-skim milk ricotta cheeseWhole milk ricotta cheese

People who are lactose intolerant can consume aged cheeses because they contain little or no lactose