Fresh Cheeses

 

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feta cheese cubes with mint garnish Fresh cheeses are likely the first type ever developed, requiring very little time or effort to produce.  Intended for use within days of production, they are created by simply curdling cow's or ewe's milk with the use of synthetic rennet before being packaged for consumption.  This lack of fermentation or ripening results in a soft, creamy texture and a mild flavor that is not far removed from that of the milk from which they originated.  Because fresh cheeses contain as much as 60% to 85% moisture, they have a short shelf life.

roasted ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes Without ripening methods to differentiate them, fresh cheeses vary most in their final presentation.  Their unassuming nature makes them an ideal base on which to build.  Some are gently rolled in cracked pepper or blended with savory herbs, nuts, or chopped dried fruit.  They may be served in tubs for spreading with a knife; stored in large containers to be scooped out for cooking; or formed into logs to be cut into bite-sized rounds.  Fresh balls of mozzarella are packed in whey; crumbly feta, in brine; and cottage cheese is mixed with cream.  These and many other fresh cheeses are well-known and widely available.

mozarella cheese and tomato salad Fresh cheeses are especially versatile.  Soft French cheeses may be served aside crackers or bread on a cheese board, while ricotta is often added to pasta dishes or even served atop pizza.  In addition to adding creamy texture to savory dishes, these delicately flavored cheeses are often used for sweet desserts.  Mascarpone is especially popular in Italian desserts such as tiramisu.

The gentle flavor and smooth texture of fresh cheeses hold universal appeal, and this category's versatility and variety makes it a ubiquitous presence at the table.

Fresh Cheese Suppliers

  • Athenos makes cheeses including feta, gorgonzola, and blue cheese.  Their fresh cheeses are produced for the grocery market.
  • Galbani crafts fresh mozzarella, mascarpone, and ricotta in the finest Italian tradition.
  • Sorrento produces mozzarella, mascarpone, and ricotta cheeses for every use, from snacking to fine dining.

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Fresh Cheeses - Fresh Cheese Types