Uncooked Cheeses

 

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block of yellow cheddar cheese The oldest pressed, uncooked cheeses were created by cattle breeders in south-central France.  Trappist monks refined many cheeses in this category, developing a pressing system that resulted in cheese with good keeping qualities.  These cheeses are produced from either cow's or ewe's milk, to which rennet is added.  Once curds have formed, they are cut and stirred to facilitate the removal of whey; this also creates the granular texture characteristic of this category.  They are then pressed into flattened wheels, square blocks, or round balls.  Many varieties are very large, some tipping the scales at over one hundred pounds!  After pressing, the cheeses are moved to a cellar for ripening, which can last from two weeks to over a year.

gouda cheese wheels at a Netherlands market Pressed, uncooked cheeses often have a mellow, nutty flavor, becoming increasingly tangy and sharp as the cheeses age.  With increased ripening, the cheeses also gain a firmer, crumblier texture, in contrast to the soft, springy character of the younger ones.  These variations in texture and flavor translate to different uses.  Younger cheeses melt smoothly and are often used in sauces, while the most mature varieties may be grated over pasta or served in thin slices as an appetizer with crackers or bread.  The rind on these cheeses is not eaten.

Easily the most-consumed cheese in the world, English Cheddar is the most well-known variety in this category.  Other popular pressed, uncooked cheeses include two Netherlands varieties, Edam and Gouda, with their distinctive red or yellow wax coatings.  Manchego, the best-known Spanish cheese, is made from rich ewe's milk and consumed at varying stages of ripening; how it is served — over pasta, on a cheese board, or cubed and fried — depends on its age.

Uncooked Cheese Suppliers

  • Cabot Cheese is a cooperative of family-owned Vermont dairy farms producing all-natural cheeses, including the ever-popular sharp cheddar as well as reduced-fat cheeses, and a variety of flavored cheddars.
  • Grafton Village Cheese  Based in Vermont, this producer crafts artisanal cheddars with cow's milk from small, local farms.
  • Shelburne Farms is a Vermont cheesemaker that produces raw milk farmhouse cheddar.

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Uncooked Cheeses - Uncooked Cheese Types - Pressed, Uncooked Cheese