The Cheese Guide

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about cheese—then put your newfound knowledge to the test with some of our cheesiest recipes.

Selecting Cheese

Find the perfect cheese for any recipe (or snack!) with this handy cheese guide with info for cheese-lovers of any skill level.

American

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Smooth, semisoft texture; usually orange; mild, milky flavor

 

Asiago (ah-SYAH-go)

Best For: Grating, snacking, in cooking

Semifirm to hard texture, depending on length of curing; light yellow; sharp flavor

Bel Paese (bell pah-AY-zeh)

Best For: Snacking

Crumbly texture; blue- and green-streaked white interior; sharp, tangy flavor

Blue

Best For: Crumbling, in cooking

Crumbly texture; blue- and green-streaked white interior; sharp, tangy flavor

Brick

Best For: Slicing, snacking, in cooking

Semisoft texture; creamy white; mild and sweet to pungent and slightly tangy flavor

Brie (bree)

Best For: Snacking, in cooking

Creamy to runny texture with soft, thin, edible rind; cream-color interior; mild yet robust flavor

Cheshire (CHEH-sher)

Best For: Crumbling, slicing, snacking

Hard, crumbly texture; made in red, white, or blue; intense tangy, salty flavor

Colby

Best For: Shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Firm body and open texture; light yellow to orange; mild to mellow flavor

Colby-Monterey Jack

Best For: Shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Firm, smooth texture; a blend of orange Colby and white Monterey Jack with mottled appearance; mild, milky flavor

Edam (EE-duhm)

Best For: Slicing, snacking, in cooking

Semisoft to hard texture with small holes; light yellow; mild, nutty, and sometimes salty flavor

Gjetost (YAYT-oost)

Best For: Slicing, snacking

Semisoft to semihard; light to deep golden brown; smooth, firm, and fudgelike

Gruyere (groo-YEHR)

Best For: Shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Firm texture with small holes; ivory; mild, nutty flavor

Jarlsberg (YAHRLS-berg)

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking

Smooth, firm, with small holes; white to light yellow with natural rind covered with yellow wax; very mild flavor

Limburger

Best For: Snacking

Soft, creamy texture; pale yellow; very pungent aroma and robust flavor when aged

Monterey Jack

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Smooth, semisoft to hard texture; creamy white; mild to mellow flavor

Mozzarella (maht-suh-REHL-lah)

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Smooth, semisoft, chewy texture; creamy white; mild, delicate flavor

Muenster (MUHN-ster)

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Smooth, waxy texture; creamy white with orange-red exterior; mild to pungent flavor

Parmesan (PAHR-muh-zahn)

Best For: Grating, in cooking

Hard, dry texture; pale yellow; sharp, salty flavor

 

 

Port du Salut (POHR deu-sah-LOO)

Best For: Snacking

Smooth, semisoft texture; creamy yellow with orange rind; mild to robust flavor

Provolone (proh-vuh-LOH-nay)

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, in cooking

Firm, smooth texture; creamy yellow; mild to sharp with a light smoky flavor

 

 

Romano (roh-MAH-noh)

Best For: Grating, in cooking

Hard, dry texture; light yellow; sharp, piquant flavor

 

 

Roquefort (ROHK-fert)

Best For: Crumbling

Made from unskimmed sheep's milk and aged in rustic limestone caves—exclusively produced within the city of Roquefort, France; blue veins with natural rind; very rich with pungent, salty flavor

 

 

Sapsago (sap-SAY-goh) 

Best For: Grating

Hard, dry texture; light green; tangy and spicy with an herb flavor

Scamorza (ska-MOHRD-tsah)

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Semisoft texture; light yellow; delicate, nutty flavor

Swiss

Best For: Cubing, shredding, slicing, snacking, in cooking

Smooth, creamy, and supple; ivory to pale yellow with irregular holes; mellow, buttery, and slightly tangy

 

The Right Cheese for the Job

Use this handy guide to find a cheese for every purpose. Cubing || Shredding || Slicing || Snacking Cooking || Grating || Crumbling

Cubing--Cuts nicely into chunks for salads and cheese trays.

 

 

  • American
  • Gouda
  • Jarlsberg
  • Monterey Jack
  • Muenster
  • Provolone
  • Scamorza
  • Swiss

Shredding--Produces long, narrow strips for use as a topping and in cooking.

 

  • American
  • Cheddar
  • Colby
  • Colby-Monterey Jack
  • Gruyere
  • Jarlsberg
  • Monterey Jack
  • Mozzarella
  • Muenster
  • Provolone
  • Scamorza
  • Swiss

 

Slicing

--Cuts easily into slices and generally melts well for use in sandwiches.

  • American
  • Brick
  • Cheddar
  • Colby
  • Colby-Monterey Jack
  • Edam
  • Gjetost
  • Gouda
  • Gruyere
  • Jarlsberg
  • Monterey Jack
  • Mozzarella
  • Muenster
  • Provolone
  • Scamorza
  • Swiss

 

Snacking--Can be spread onto crackers or cut into cubes and slices for eating out of hand.

  • American
  • Asiago
  • Bel Paese
  • Brick
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cheddar
  • Cheshire
  • Colby
  • Colby-Monterey Jack
  • Edam
  • Feta
  • Fontina
  • Gjetost
  • Gouda
  • Gruyere
  • Jarlsberg
  • Limburger
  • Monterey Jack
  • Mozzarella
  • Port du Salut

 

Our Favorite Cheesy Recipes and Tips

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