How many types of cheese are there?

For tastes, the colors. Or in this case, the countless types of cheese that can be enjoyed at a table. This Saturday, June 1, is World Milk Day, the main ingredient that results in one of the most valued products of Spanish gastronomy, cheese.

Cheeses can be classified according to different criteria: type of milk, milk treatment, fat content, ripening time, or the production process, although it is commonly done by the milk used in its production.

Taking this parameter into account, we can talk about some names such as the following, although the list could be innumerable.

COW CHEESES: they are the most numerous since these animals produce a large quantity of milk. Their creaminess and flavor will depend on the ripening process they have undergone.

  • Afuega’l Pitu: fatty cheese, fresh or matured, made with pasteurized whole cow’s milk, soft paste obtained by lactic coagulation, white in color and even orange if paprika is added.
  • Arzúa-Ulloa: made from raw or pasteurized cow’s milk, from the milking of Rubia Gallega, Pardo Alpina and Frisona cows or their crossbreeds.
  • Asiago: It is a semi-hard cheese of semi-cooked paste with a white, slightly yellow color, with marked and irregular holes and a thin and flexible rind. It has a sweet taste and is produced in the Veneto region of Italy.
  • Brie: it is the best known cheese in France. Its rind is edible and has a mild flavor, which makes it well known for it. It comes from the Serna and Marne regions.
  • Camembert: has a firm, creamy texture, flexible, with smooth and straight sides. Its rind is very soft and smooth. Another of the kings of France, well known throughout the country but also outside it. It originated in Normandy.
  • Cabrales: it is more than 1,000 years old and is produced in the Picos de Europa where it has become a sign of identity of the Asturian land.
  • Casín: fatty, matured, made with whole, raw milk from healthy cows of the Asturiana de la Montaña or Casina, Asturiana de los Valles, Frisona and their crossbreeds.
  • Chaource: of French origin and elaborated in an artisanal way, it has been known since the 14th century. It is thought to have been created by the monks of the abbey of Pontigny.
  • Cheddar: can be recognized by its characteristic orange color. It is one of the best known cheeses in the world. It comes from England. It is a hard pressed cheese, cylindrical or block shaped.
  • Cottage: of granulated texture and neutral flavor, they are obtained from buttermilk and are similar to yogurt.
  • Do Cebreiro: a white, soft and granular fresh cheese, made with cow’s milk from the Rubia Gallega, Parda Alpina and Frisona breeds and their crosses with each other.
  • Edam: recognizable by its red kerosene coating. It is produced in the Netherlands. Made from cow’s milk, it has a firm, smooth texture that is easy to cut into slices or cubes.
  • Emmental: it is known for the holes left by its fermentation. It is produced in the Savoie region, near Switzerland. Its name comes from the Swiss Emmental valley which is crossed by the Emme river. It is a cooked pressed cheese, light yellow in color with a mild and sweet flavor. The amount of water it holds amounts to 38%.
  • Fourme d’Ambert: blue cheese, soft, delicate and creamy. It is made with cow’s milk. It can also be used in hot dishes, such as pies or gratins.
  • Gamonedo: fatty cheese, matured, with a natural rind, made with raw cow, sheep and goat milk, or with mixtures. It is slightly smoky.
  • Gouda: the best known Dutch cheese in the world. It dates back to the 16th century in the Netherlands, where it is produced.
  • Gorgonzola: centuries-old blue cheese, believed to have originated in the Italian region of Lombardy between the 10th and 11th centuries. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, it is a creamy blue cheese similar to Cabrales in Spain or French Roquefort, it comes in two varieties and is internationally famous.
  • Grana Padano: dry, hard and compact, produced in Italy by curdling milk from cows fed on forage grasses. Produced with milk from mainly grass-fed cows, its texture is grainy and has no holes. It is usually served in flakes.
  • Gruyere: it was first marketed in 1249 in the French Alps, where it originated. Agujerado, with ivory-yellow paste and light brown rind, is characterized by its circular shape, strong aroma and flavor that may vary according to the time it has matured.
  • Havarti: typical Danish cheese, made from cow’s milk. It is a soft, tender and creamy cheese that is usually consumed in thin slices. It is well known all over the world, its interior has small holes of irregular size and it is usually eaten in cubes.
  • Liébana: it is a cheese made with milk from the following species and breeds: Bovine: Tudanca, Parda Alpina and Frisona. Sheep: Lacha. Caprine: Pyrenean and Picos de Europa goat. It has a very characteristic aroma and flavor.
  • Mahón-Menorca: pressed paste and made exclusively with milk from cows of the Friesian, Mahonesa or Menorcan and/or Brown Alpine breeds. Of firm paste and easy cut, yellowish ivory color, it has a variable number of small eyes, irregularly distributed.
  • Mascarpone: sweet and creamy cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy, where it is used to make countless desserts. It is a creamy, consistent cheese, very light yellowish-white in color, with a sweet flavor and high in calories.
  • Mozzarella: native to Italy, it is a fresh cheese made of spun paste in brine, perfect for salads, pastas and pizzas. It can be made with cow’s milk or buffalo milk.
  • Münster: from the Alsace region, it is a cheese with a very marked flavor due to the intensity of its aromas. It is a soft cheese with an orange rind and a white interior. It has a very mild flavor.
  • Nata de Cantabria: pressed paste, made from Friesian cow’s milk. It has a parallelepiped or cylindrical shape. The crust is thin and soft, the texture is solid and creamy and the flavor is mild, slightly salty and the texture is creamy.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: it originated in Italy in the 12th century and is now one of the most famous cheeses in the world. With a hard, grainy and fatty consistency, it is used grated or au gratin.
  • Picón-Bejes-Tresviso: it is made with milk from the following species and breeds of cattle: Bovine: Tudanca, Pardo-Alpina and Frisona. Sheep: Lacha. Caprine: Pyrenean and Picos de Europa goat.
  • Provolone: it was first marketed in southern Italy, but it was not until it reached the northern part of the country that it became famous. Currently, most production takes place in the Lombardy region.
  • Ricotta: produced from whey, it has a light and fresh taste. It is a granular cheese made with whey obtained from other cheeses and consumed fresh, without ripening, pressing or maturation.
  • San Simón Da Costa: from milk from cows of the Rubia Gallega, Pardo Alpina and Friesian breeds and their crosses with each other. The rind must be smoked, hard and inelastic, yellow-ochre in color and somewhat greasy.
  • Stilton: cow’s milk blue cheese from England, where it is well known. They are shaped like a tall cylinder and have a thick, hard bark without cracks, usually grayish brown, slightly wrinkled and with white spots.
  • Tetilla: made with milk from cows of the Friesian, Parda Alpina and Rubia Gallega breeds. It is one of the most representative Galician cheeses and the most international. It is worth noting its typical “tetilla” shape, which is formed by the funnels in which the milk is left to curdle at the beginning of its production.
  • Taleggio: from the area of Bergamo, Italy, its particular square shape makes it unmistakable, it is a soft cheese with a red color on its rind. It has a creamy texture and a sweet, smooth and aromatic flavor.
  • Valdeón: this is a blue-veined, fatty cheese made from cow’s milk or a mixture of cow’s milk with sheep’s and/or goat’s milk and may be presented whole or whipped (in cream).

SHEEP CHEESE: although the quantity produced is much smaller than that of cow’s milk, it is not difficult to find cheeses made from sheep’s milk. It is also perfect for lactose intolerant people. They are very creamy and provide vitamins B1, B2 or B12.

  • Castellano: it is a fatty or extra-fatty cheese of enzymatic coagulation and intense pressing with a long shelf life. Made with raw or pasteurized sheep’s milk from farms located in Castilla y León.
  • Feta: white, salty and crumbly, it is originally from Greece. Its maturation in brine gives it a balance between salty and acid. It is a soft, rindless cheese sold in rectangular or wedge-shaped portions.
  • Flor de Guía and Queso de Guía: Flor de Guía and Queso de Guía cheeses are made from Canary Island sheep’s milk or a mixture of this with milk from Canary Island cows and their crossbreeds or goats of any of the Canary Island breeds.
  • Fiore sardo: it is an Italian cheese with protected designation of origin made in Sardinia. It is made according to traditional methods and in an artisanal way, with sheep’s milk. They are lightly smoked and rubbed with olive oil, then left to mature for a period of 3 to 6 months.
  • Idiazabal: is a protected designation of origin for a variety of cheese produced in Spain, in the Basque Country and Navarra. It is made with raw sheep’s milk from the Latxa and Carranzana breeds. In 1992 it was nominated as a European Gastronomic Heritage Product by the French Ministry of Agriculture and in 1995 it was awarded the first prize for Best European Sheep Cheese in Parma.
  • La Serena: raw Merino sheep’s milk is used. To obtain the creaminess and final result, the milk is curdled at a reduced temperature, between 25 and 30ºC. It is a soft to semi-hard cheese.
  • Manchego: known in Spain and abroad, it arose as a result of the grazing that took place in the lands of La Mancha. Pressed paste cheese made with sheep’s milk from the Manchega breed, with a minimum maturity of 30 days for cheeses weighing 1.5 kg or less, and 60 days for the rest of the formats, and a maximum of 2 years. It can be made with pasteurized milk or raw milk; in the case of raw milk, it can be labeled with the words “artisan”.
  • Roncal: made for millennia in the Roncal Valley, Navarra. It is the first cheese in Spain to obtain the Protected Designation of Origin, in 1981. It has only milk, rennet and salt and its format must be cylindrical.
  • Torta del Casar: is a natural cheese, made using traditional methods with raw sheep’s milk from controlled herds, vegetable rennet and salt. Due to special weather conditions, occasionally a process occurred that the shepherds considered accidental and undesirable, since the result was a soft cheese that, when the rind was not yet fully formed, sank under its own weight and which they knew as “atortaos”.
  • Zamorano: it is a mature cheese made with pasteurized milk from sheep of the Churra and Castilian breeds that are fed by traditional grazing. It is a cheese with character, a very characteristic intense flavor and aroma.

    GOAT CHEESES: they are rich in Vitamin A and low in fat, although they have a much stronger flavor, which makes them ideal for cheese lovers.

  • Camerano: the milk used to make Camerano cheese comes from healthy goats of the Serrana, Murciana-Granadina, Malagueña, Alpina breeds and their crossbreeds.
  • Ibores: it is a fatty cheese, made exclusively with raw milk obtained from healthy goats. The milk used in the production of these cheeses comes from the Serranas, Veratas, Retintas and their crossbreeds. It has a cylindrical shape, with noticeably flat faces.
  • Majorero: it is produced on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura. A fatty cheese with an intense aroma, with a predominance of certain acidity, the spiciness being reserved for cheeses with a certain maturity. It is characterized by the absence of eyes, although some small ones may appear. Both handmade and industrially produced, which, due to their quality and uniqueness, have earned important awards.
  • Murciano: there are two types of cheese that belong to the D.O. Queso de Murcia: Fresh Murcia cheese: not subject to ripening, its consumption is immediate and cured Murcia cheese with a minimum ripening of two months.
  • Palmero: these cheeses are made exclusively with milk from the milking of the Palmera goat breed, whose diet is based on the use of the forage resources of the island of La Palma. It is preferably consumed fresh, but tender, semi-cured and cured cheeses are also produced.
  • Payoyo: produced in the town of Villaluenga del Rosario, in the heart of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, in Cadiz. Since 1997, artisan cheeses have been made from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and a mixture of both.
  • Napkin: it is made with pasteurized goat and cow milk. It is one of the most exquisite and tasty artisan cheeses, it owes its shape to the cloth that wraps it in its manual process, called tovalló. Globose in shape, with rounded edges, and the radiated striations are marked on the cheese due to the knotting of the fabric. It has a smooth and fresh taste.
  • Rulo: it is made from pasteurized goat’s milk, salt, rennet, lactic ferments and Penicillium. It has a homogeneous white color, a smooth and pleasant flavor and an unctuous, melting texture.
  • Tronchón: made with cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk, with the traditional mold of the Maestrazgo mountain range. It is easily recognizable by its circular shape, with a volcano-shaped hollow on both sides and a slight bulge in the most central part.

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