​Sorts of Cheese

​Sorts of Cheese

With an enormous cheese production of almost 800,000,000 kilo per year, Holland is known worldwide as Mediterranean Cheeseland.

Next to Holland there are more than sixty other producing countries. Clearly all of the counties have an enormous choice of different cheeses.

So many different types of cheese

Which cheeses are similar in taste or origin?  Which ones are fatty and which are very light? To have a better insight regarding the enormous cheese selection you can sort the cheeses out in different ways.
For example – on the basis of:

- Country/area
- production process
- type of milk
- fat content

Classification of countries and regions

Thanks to the many cheese producing lands and areas there are a number who are head and shoulders above the rest. The most well known cheese types are for example – French (Port Salud, Camembert, Mediterranean (Manchego, Pecorino) Greek (feta) Swiss (Emmental, Gruyere) German (Munster cheese and Tilster) Belgian (Brussel cheese) and of course, all the Dutch cheeses. Often the land regions are typical for the taste of its cheese.

Dutch cheese

If you look within Holland you can easily name much more than ten different cheeses. As in other lands a ticket will advise you of the cheese type and its origins.

Some examples of typical Dutch cheese:

Boerenkaas (produced on the farm)
Edam cheese (small globular cheese, originally produced in or around Edam)
Friese clove cheese (made from skimmed milk, with the addition of cloves and cumin)
Gouda cheese (the most popular in the form of a wheel)
Grass cheese (young cheese made from milk as the cows are let outside in springtime & eat grass)
Herve cheese (originally Limburg old cheese, which since the 15th century is manufactured in the Land of Herve)
Hay cheese (from the winter period, the counterpart of Grass cheese)
Kernhem (discovered by the Dutch Institute of dairy research)
Kollum cheese (from Kollum)
Leerdam (rectangular cheese which tastes similar to Emmental, the coagulant  of this cheese is of vegetarian origin)In this atmospheric town museum is a vast collection of Green Heart
Leide cheese (this cheese is made from divided skimmed milk with the addition of buttermilk and a coagulant.  Cumin seed is mixed through the curd.
May cheese (unripened and still white)
North Holland cheese (regional cheese from North Holland which compared to ordinary Gouda cheese has a unique character. North Holland cheese is one of the few Dutch cheeses where the European Union have assigned a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin))
Smoked cheese (melted with a smoked taste)
Cheese spread (thin, spreadable cheese, made by the addition of melting salt)
Fresh cheese (cheese which has not undergone the ripening process)

Format Production

Cheeses can also be sorted on the basis of the production process then you get a list that looks like this:

- The hard or compressed cheese
- Unheated pressed cheese (cheese whereby only the curdled milk is pressed and ripened)
- Semi heated compressed cheese
- Heat pressed cheese (where the milk is heated to more than 50 degrees Celsius
- Soft or unpressed cheese (the surface is washed with a mixture)
- White rind cheeses
- Washed rind or red smear cheeses
- Natural rind cheeses (the find forms itself during ripening)

Fresh Cheeses

- Fresh or spreadable cheese
- Kneaded cheese (Mozzarella)
- Cast cheese (factory produced)
- Blue vein cheese
- Milk type: another way to typify is on the basis of the type of milk used.

Most cheeses are made from cow’s milk but there are a few others. For example – sheep, goat or buffalo milk. Less well known but also suitable are horse milk and camel milk. Every cheese is different – different taste or structure, but they are almost all produced in the same way.

Format of fat percentage

Finally you can also categorise cheeses by their fat content. For example full fat 60+ cream cheese or 20+ light cheeses. The “plus” gives the fat content of the dry matter (namely cheese is also a solvent from water).