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Cheese Types

Cheese Types

Cheese Type - The overall characteristic of a cheese that can represent many different varieties.

Choose a cheese type below to learn more:

Soft and Fresh Cheese - Cheeses with high moisture content, typically direct set with the addition of lactic acid cultures. This category includes cheeses like Cottage cheese, Cream cheese, Feta, Mascarpone, Ricotta, and Queso Blanco.

Types of Soft and Fresh Cheese:

Cheese Curds are a fresh cheese--most commonly Cheddar--in its natural, random shape and form before being processed into blocks and aged. Curds have a mild taste with a slightly rubbery texture and should squeak when eaten.
Feta is a cured in brine to produce tart, salty flavor. Crumbly, moist texture.

For examples of Soft and Fresh Cheese, go to our cheese varieties page.

Blue Cheese - Piquant, full, earthy flavor that varies among brands. Firm, crumbly texture with blue mold in veins and pockets.

For examples of Blue Cheese, go to our cheese varieties page.

Pasta Filata Cheese - Pasta Filata cheeses is made by heating and stretching the curd before molding it into shape. Pasta Filata stretches when melted and includes Mozzarella, Provolone and String.

Types of Pasta Filata Cheese:

Mozzarella Cheese is great cheese for melting. It has a milky and delicate flavor.
String Cheese is snackable and portable cheese cylinders usually made of mozzarella or provolone cheeses.

For examples of Pasta Filata Cheese, go to our cheese varieties page.


Processed Cheese - A blend of fresh and aged natural cheeses that have been shredded, mixed, and heated (cooked) with an addition of an emulsifier salt, after which no further ripening occurs.

Types of Processed Cheese:

Cold Pack (Club Cheese) is a blend made from different batches of cheeses the same variety, or two or more varieties of mild and sharp natural cheese that have been ground (comminuted). Unlike processed cheese, Cold Pack is not heat-treated nor cooked at the time of packaging.
Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread is a natural cheese blended with aid of heat. Contains less milk fat and more moisture than Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food. Semi-soft, smooth texture. Can be spread on crackers, or melted into baked dishes.
Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food is a natural cheese blended with aid of heat. Differs from Pasteurized Processed Cheese in that products such as cream, milk or whey can be added. Soft and smooth. Very mild
Pasteurized Processed Cheese - Natural cheeses blended with aid of heat. Very mild. Semi-soft, elastic smooth texture.

For examples of Processed Cheese, go to our cheese varieties page.


Semi-Hard Cheese - A classification of cheese based upon body. Cheddar, Colby, Edam and Gouda are examples of semi-hard cheese varieties.

Types of Semi-Hard Cheese:

Baby Swiss is typically from entirely whole milk. Silky, creamy texture with small eyes. Mild, buttery, slightly sweet flavor. Sometimes smoked.
Capriko is a blend of Goat and Cow's milk. Handcrafted semi-hard cheese with smooth sweet nutty flavor.
Cheddar is a rich, nutty flavor becomes increasingly sharp with age. Smooth, firm texture becomes more granular and crumbly with age. Usually golden; also available white.
Colby is original to Wisconsin. First produced in Colby, Wis., in 1885. Mild flavor similar to young Cheddar. Firm, open, lacy texture with tiny holes.
Edam is a part-skim milk variety with light, buttery, nutty flavor and smooth, firm texture. Dutch in origin.
Gouda is a whole milk variety with rich, buttery, slightly sweet flavor and smooth, creamy texture. Develops complex caramel flavor, firmer texture when aged. Dutch origin.
GranQueso is a one-of-a-kind cheese that has become an instant classic. Similar to a Spanish Manchego (yet crafted with cow’s milk), GranQueso is shelf cured for at least six months to create a distinctive bite and lingering sweet finish unlike any other.
Gruyere is a nutty, rich, full-bodied flavor made with traditional Swiss techniques in Wisconsin. Firm texture with scattered tiny eyes. Surface ripened with inedible brown rind.
Swiss is a full-flavored, buttery, nutty with characteristic holes. Aged at least 60 days.
Vintage Van Gogh is a full-cream, aged Gouda with a smooth, golden body and caramelized flavor.

For examples of Semi-Hard Cheese, go to our cheese varieties page.


Semi-Soft Cheese - A wide variety of cheeses made with whole milk. Cheeses in this category include Monterey Jack, Brick, Muenster, Fontina and Havarti, and melt well when cooked.

Types of Semi-Soft Cheese:

Brick is a Wisconsin original. Flavor changes from mild and sweet with a touch of nuttiness when young to pungent and tangy when aged. Surface-ripened with smooth, open texture.
Butterkase is a very mild, creamy cheese with buttery texture. Excellent melting properties.
Colby-Monterey Jack is a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack flavors. Mild flavor, creamy texture.
Farmer's is a style that varies worldwide from soft-fresh to semi-soft. Wisconsin style similar to Havarti texture, but typically lower in fat. Buttery, slightly acidic flavor. Smooth, supple composition.
Havarti is a buttery, slightly acidic flavor. Available plain and flavored. Smooth, supple texture with tiny holes.
Monterey Jack is a delicate, buttery, slightly tart flavor. Available plain and flavored. Creamy, open texture.
Muenster is a mild cheese when young, mellow with age. Traditionally a washed-rind cheese, in U.S. rind may or may not be washed. Usually has bright orange natural annatto coating.

For examples of Semi-Soft Cheese, go to our cheese varieties page.


Soft Ripened Cheese - A classification of cheese based upon body. Brie and Camembert are examples of soft-ripened cheese varieties.


Hard Cheese - A descriptive term for cheeses, such as Parmesan, Romano and Asiago, that are well-aged, easily grated and primarily used in cooking.


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