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    EOL Coverage of Chefs Championships at IHMRS

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    Preparing Lobster for Competition

Cheese Basics

There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of cheeses. 

This is very basic table with the Name, National Origin,  Consistency and Texture,  Color and Shape,  Flavor,   Basic Ingredient, Ripening Period and common Mode of Serving  for primarily Cow milk cheeses.

Name

Origin

Consistency and Texture

Color and Shape

Flavor

Basic Ingredient

Normal Ripening Period

Mode of Serving

Cheddar

England

Hard; smooth, firm body, can be crumbly

Nearly white to orange; varied shapes and styles

Mild to sharp

Cow’s milk,whole

60 days minimum: 3 to 6 months usually: 12 or longer for sharp flavor

Cheese platter, sandwiches, cooked foods

Colby

United States

Hard, but softer and more open in texture than Cheddar

White to light yellow orange cylindrical

Mild to mellow

Cow’s milk,whole

1 to 3 months

Cheese platter, sandwiches, cooked foods

Cream

United States

Soft: smooth, buttery

White foil-wrapped in rectangular portions, whipped in tubs

Mild, slightly acid; flavoring may be added

Cream and whole cow’s milk, skim milk

Unripened

Salads, in sandwiches, spreads, on crackers

Edam

Holland

Semisoft to hard: firm crumbly body: small eyes

Creamy yellow with natural or red paraffin coat flattened ball or loaf shape, about 4 lb.

Mild, sometimes salty

Cow’s milk,lowfat

2 months or longer

Cheese platter, on crackers: with fresh fruit

Gouda

Holland

Hard, but softer than Cheddar more open mealy body like edam, small eyes

Creamy yellow with or without red wax coat, oval or flattened sphere of about 10 to 12 lb.

Mild, nutlike, similar to edam

Cow’s milk,lowfat but more milkfat than edam

2 to 6 months

Cheese platter, on crackers with fresh fruit: in cooked dishes

Monterey Jack

United States

Semisoft (whole milk),hard (lowfat or skim milk): smooth texture with small openings throughout

Creamy, white round or rectangular

Mild to mellow

Cow’s milk,whole, lowfat or skim

3 to 6 weeks for table use: 6 months minimum for grating

Cheese platter, sandwiches, grating cheese if made from lowfat or skim milk

Mozzarella

Italy

Semisoft: plastic

Creamy white, rectangular and spherical; may be molded into various shapes

Mild, delicate

Cow’s milk, whole or lowfat may be acidified with vinegar

From unripened to 2 months

Generally used in cooking, pizza; as such, Fresh with tomato and basil

Muenster

Germany

Semisoft smooth, waxy body numerous small mechanical openings

Yellow, tan, or white surface, creamy white interior, cylindrical and flat or loaf shaped, small wheels and blocks

Mild to mellow between brick and limburger

Cow’s milk, whole

2 to 8 weeks

On sandwiches

Neufchatel

France

Soft: smooth creamy

White; foil-wrapped in rectangular retail portions

Mild

Cow’s milk, whole or skim, or a mixture of milk and cream

3 to 4 weeks or unripened

On sandwiches, spreads, dips, salads

Parmesan

Italy

Very hard (grating),hard brittle rind

Light yellow with brown or black coating: cylindrical

Sharp piquant

Cow’s milk lowfat

10 months minimum

Grated or shaved cheese on salads and soups

Provolone

Italy

Hard; stringy texture, cuts without crumbling, plastic

Light golden-yellow to golden brown, shiny surface bound with cord, white interior. Made in various shapes(pear, sausage, salami)and sizes

Bland acid flavor to sharp and piquant, usually smoked

Cow’s milk, whole

6 to 14 months

Cheese platter, As dessert after it has ripened for6 to 9 months: grating cheese when aged

Ricotta

Italy

Soft, moist and grainy, or dry

White; packaged fresh in paper, plastic or metal containers,or dry for grating

Bland but semisweet

Whey and whole or skim milk or whole and lowfat milk

Unripened

Cooked foods

Romano

Italy

Very hard, granular interior, hard brittle rind

Round with flat sides, various sizes

Sharp piquant if aged

Cow’s(usually low fat), goat’s milk or mixtures of these

5 months minimum; usually 5 to 8 months for table cheese; 12 months minimum for grating cheese

Grated or shaved and used as a seasoning

Swiss

Switzerland

Hard; smooth with large gas holes or eyes

Pale yellow shiny; rindless rectangular blocks and large wheels with rind

Mild, sweet nutty

Cow’s milk lowfat

2 months minimum; 2 to 9 months usually

Cheese platter, in sandwiches; with salads; fondue