Cheese lovers, rejoice! With a vast variety of options, from gooey mozzarella to pungent Roquefort, cheese has something for everyone. Each irresistible cheese type is derived from milk – be it from cows, sheep, or goats – and depending on factors like fat content, animal source, country of origin, and production method, the resulting cheeses showcase a diverse range of textures, appearances, and flavors.
To satisfy your curiosity and expand your cheese knowledge, we’ve compiled a list of 30 mouthwatering cheeses from around the world. Dive into the delicious world of cheese, and discover the unique characteristics of Muenster, Provolone, Gouda, and many more!
- A wide variety of cheeses exist, ranging from mozzarella to Roquefort
- Types of cheese are derived from milk, sourced from cows, sheep, or goats
- Discover the unique features of 30 different cheeses from around the globe
Mozzarella, a delightful semi-soft, elastic cheese, shines as a star ingredient in many delicious dishes. Originating from Italy, it is made from the milk of water buffalos and features a smooth, creamy texture. Not only does its slightly sweet taste entice your taste buds, but its fantastic melting ability makes it a go-to choice for pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. You can even savor mozzarella on its own or mix it with tomatoes and basil for a rejuvenating Caprese salad. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, mozzarella is sure to enhance any meal.
2. Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Parmesan, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard cheese made from cow’s milk and aged for at least one year. Originating from the Italian provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia, this cheese is famous for its sharp, nutty taste that can enhance any dish it graces, from simple pasta to fresh salads.
Don’t just use Parmesan as a garnish; integrate it into your recipes for a savory boost. Add shredded Parmesan to breadcrumbs for a mouthwatering crust on chicken cutlets or mix it into homemade pesto for an extra layer of flavor.
Cheddar cheese is a beloved and versatile choice, known for its slightly orange color, creamy consistency, and bold flavor. It’s available in a range of sharpness levels, catering to various preferences. You can enjoy cheddar on its own, or incorporate it into sandwiches, fruit and cracker platters, and comfort dishes like macaroni and cheese or burgers. This globally adored cheese has a distinct, buttery taste that’s always a hit.
Originating in Greece, feta has become a beloved ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Nowadays, its delightful flavors and textures have earned a global fanbase. Crafted from sheep or goat milk, or sometimes a blend of both, feta is both crumbly and creamy. Its distinct salty, tangy flavor profile makes it an ideal topping for salads and pizzas, as well as a tasty addition to casseroles and savory pastries. Feta complements bold flavors like olives, tomatoes, and herbs, and shines in baked goods. So, go ahead and enjoy the versatile taste of feta in your culinary creations!
5. Blue Cheese
Distinguished by its moldy appearance and strong aroma, blue cheese is created by introducing mold spores into cheese curds. This process results in the characteristic blue marbling and intense flavor profile. Although it might be too potent to consume alone, blue cheese shines when used sparingly. Enhance your salads, dressings, and cheese boards with just a touch of this bold, flavorful cheese to enjoy its full potential.
Ricotta cheese, with its mild and gentle flavor, may not grab your attention like cheddar or feta. However, its creamy and delicate taste offers a unique experience. Ricotta originates from the whey leftover in the cheese-making process, giving it a hint of natural sweetness that distinguishes it from other cheeses.
With a lightweight, smooth, and airy texture, ricotta effortlessly complements both sweet and savory dishes. For instance, enhance your lasagna with its lush creaminess or indulge in a lavish dessert by blending ricotta with honey and fresh berries. Enjoy the versatile deliciousness of ricotta!
7. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is your go-to solution when you crave cheesy goodness while keeping it low-fat and calorie-controlled. This cheese has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and a unique lumpy, curd-like texture. You can savor it solo as a snack, incorporate it into breakfast dishes, or use it in various recipes like salads, dips, and biscuit toppings. Pro tip: you can also swap it for ricotta cheese in lasagna to keep things lighter and still delicious. Enjoy your cheese while maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
Ah, Gouda! You’re bound to adore it. This cheese boasts a rich, creamy texture, a savory, slightly nutty flavor, and versatility that allows you to savor it alone or incorporate it into a variety of dishes. Despite its Dutch origins in the city of Gouda, this delicious cheese is nowadays crafted in many countries worldwide.
You’ll typically find Gouda aged for a minimum of four months, creating a firm texture and robust flavor. But, if you prefer a softer touch, young Gouda with a milder taste is also available.
Nothing quite compares to the indulgence of enjoying a soft, creamy cheese like Brie on a crusty piece of baguette. Originating from the Brie region just outside Paris, France, this remarkable cow’s milk cheese features a delicious edible white rind. Its versatility allows you to savor it in various ways – from creating the perfect sandwich to incorporating it into sauces, or simply relishing its rich taste on its own. Remember to include Brie on your next charcuterie board for a true taste of delight!
As a fan of Tex-Mex cuisine, you should always keep cotija cheese in your kitchen. This Mexican cheese, often compared to Parmesan, offers a salty and crumbly consistency that enhances the flavors of various dishes.
Cotija cheese is made from cow’s milk and varies in texture. The dryer, crumblier version is perfect for topping enchiladas or salads, while the softer, smoother variety works well for slicing into sandwiches.
Not only can you use cotija as a topping like Parmesan or feta, but you can also incorporate it into sauces or doughs and batters for extra richness. Enjoy experimenting with this diverse and delicious cheese!
11. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese, a versatile and tasty ingredient, is found in many dishes, such as cheesecakes, spreads, and even cupcakes. It’s produced by blending cow’s milk and cream, which gives it a smooth texture and a gentle tangy taste. Unlike regular cheese, cream cheese isn’t aged and boasts a higher fat content. You can enjoy its delightful flavor by:
- Spreading it on bagels
- Adding it to dips
- Incorporating it into delectable desserts and frostings
Add some richness to your cheese platter with the Italian Fontina cheese. Its nutty, fruity flavors and creamy texture make it a delightful choice. Easily melt it for a perfect addition to grilled sandwiches or pasta dishes. Pair Fontina with cured meats, such as prosciutto or salami, to enhance your culinary experience.
13. Goat Cheese (Chèvre)
Goat cheese, or “chèvre,” offers a bright and creamy tanginess perfect for expanding your cheese horizons. Its milder, earthier flavor pairs well with various dishes and can be a great alternative for those with dairy sensitivities. Add goat cheese to salads, baked meals, or simply spread it on crusty bread slices. For a delightful treat, drizzle honey over the cheese-covered bread and broil it briefly. Enjoy the mouthwatering goodness of goat cheese in diverse recipes or as a standalone snack.
Searching for a cheese that delivers rich, intricate flavors? Give Gruyère a try! Hailing from Switzerland, this cheese is crafted using cow’s milk and matured for a minimum of five months. The maturation process bestows Gruyère with a delightful nutty and mild fruity essence. Its superb melting quality makes it an excellent choice for enhancing grilled cheese sandwiches or fondues. Plus, it doesn’t just shine on its own but also pairs wonderfully with various meats, like prosciutto or ham. Enjoy!
If you haven’t experienced halloumi yet, you’re in for a treat. This delightful cheese, made from a blend of sheep and goat’s milk, boasts a somewhat rubbery texture and a distinctive savory taste. What sets halloumi apart is its ability to hold up under heat without melting, allowing you to fry, grill, or even barbecue it.
As the ideal accompaniment to summertime dishes, consider using halloumi as a meat substitute on skewers or as an enticing garnish for salads.
Mascarpone is a scrumptious Italian cheese you’ll often encounter in desserts like tiramisu and cheesecake. Its creamy, high-fat content lends a luxurious touch to various savory dishes, such as risotto and pasta.
Distinct from aged or pressed cheeses, mascarpone is crafted by curdling cream with citric acid or lemon juice, resulting in a velvety, spreadable texture and a rich, sweet taste.
Not limited to tiramisu, you can also use this delightful cheese as a substitute for butter or cream in your recipes – infusing a remarkable flavor into anything from pasta dishes to baked goods.
17. Monterey Jack
Monterey Jack cheese pleases your palate with its mild, buttery flavor and smooth, creamy texture. It doesn’t overwhelm your senses, while offering a pleasant sharpness and depth of flavor. You’ll find it works wonderfully as a melting cheese for sandwiches and burgers, and shines in recipes like quesadillas and cheese dips. Feel free to savor it all by itself, or combine it with crackers or fruit for a tasty treat.
You might not be as familiar with Muenster cheese as cheddar or mozzarella, but you should definitely give it a try. This creamy, soft cheese has a mild flavor and smooth texture, making it an excellent choice for sandwiches or melting over your burger.
When it comes to Muenster cheese, the town of Muenster, Texas, known as “The Cheese Capital of Texas,” holds a special place. Production dates back to the late 19th century, and the town is filled with cheese plants. Your experience can be elevated by attending annual cheese festivals that celebrate this delightful dairy treat.
As an Indian food enthusiast, paneer is certainly a delight. This Indian cottage cheese has a firm texture and a mild flavor, making it perfect for grilling or frying. Since paneer is curdled with acid rather than rennet, it suits vegetarian diets. Whether you’re searching for a tasty vegetarian cheese option or looking to add a unique twist to your cooking, paneer is worth trying!
Provolone is a delightful cheese that can enhance many dishes with its mild and slightly salty taste. You can enjoy it in various ways, whether as part of a sandwich, tossed into pasta, or artfully arranged on a charcuterie board.
Its creamy texture complements bold foods like roast beef or zesty salami, making it a versatile choice. Provolone shines as a melting cheese, giving your pizzas and paninis an irresistible gooeyness.
Don’t hesitate to savor Provolone as a snack, accompanied by crackers or crusty bread!
21. Emmental, Emmentaler, or Emmental Cheese
Ah, Emmental! This Swiss cheese bears distinctive holes, known as “eyes,” resulting from gas generated during fermentation. It’s cherished for its nutty and slightly sweet taste, as well as its solid texture. Emmental couples nicely with fruits or nuts and melts beautifully for fondue or sandwich layers. Key to well-known recipes like Raclette and Croque Monsieur, you’ll adore this versatile cheese in various dishes.
In search of cheeses to enjoy with your favorite drinks? Asiago is an excellent choice. This Italian cheese features a nutty and slightly sharp taste, perfect alongside a refreshing white wine. You’ll find Asiago in two versions: young and aged. Young Asiago has a smooth texture, ideal for dressing up salads or melting over toast. On the other hand, aged Asiago offers a bolder flavor profile to savor.
Camembert, a delectable and soft cheese from France, offers you a creamy texture and a rich, earthy taste. Delighting your palate with its nearly melting sensation, this fragile cheese comes in round wooden boxes for protection during its journey to your table.
24. Grana Padano
Grana Padano, an Italian cheese, offers a hard, grainy texture and a delightful nutty taste. It shares similarities with Parmigiano Reggiano, as both are often grated or shaved onto pasta and salads. The aging process, however, distinguishes Grana Padano from its counterpart. Aged for a minimum of 9-16 months, its extended maturation period lends Grana Padano its uniquely granular texture and intricate flavor profile.
Havarti, a Danish cheese, boasts a creamy texture and rich, buttery flavor, making it an ideal choice for cheese platters and sandwiches. Its incredible melting ability renders it the perfect candidate for a grilled cheese or macaroni and cheese. You’ll be delighted to know that it comes in various flavors, such as dill, caraway, and jalapeño. So, don’t hesitate to broaden your cheese horizon and try something new when you’re at the grocery store.
Originating from the La Mancha region in central Spain, Manchego cheese is a popular ingredient in Spanish cuisine. Made from sheep’s milk, it offers a firm yet creamy texture with a sharp, nutty flavor. You can enjoy Manchego with crusty bread, quince paste (membrillo), or delicious dry-cured meats like chorizo or salami. Plus, this versatile cheese is perfect for enhancing a variety of dishes, such as salads, sandwiches, or even tapas platters.
27. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano, a delectable hard cheese crafted from sheep’s milk, offers a zesty, salty taste that complements pasta dishes beautifully. Sprinkle it on salads and soups or shave it onto savory bread to enhance the flavor. Don’t miss out on the delightful experience of grating Pecorino Romano over a mouthwatering, cheese-loaded risotto. Enjoy these scrumptious culinary moments with this versatile cheese.
Burrata is an exquisite Italian cheese that you should definitely try. Created from a blend of fresh mozzarella and cream, it boasts a luxurious texture that combines creaminess and stretchiness. The delightful freshness of burrata can be likened to the taste of newly made cheese curds.
To enjoy burrata, include it in your antipasti spread accompanied by crusty bread and a drizzle of top-notch olive oil. You can also enrich your salads or pasta dishes with its delightful flavor.
29. Roquefort Cheese
Roquefort cheese is a delight for your taste buds, as it boasts a distinctive and rich taste. This exceptional cheese gets its remarkable flavor from a combination of sheep’s milk and cave aging. Expect your palate to meet a mix of tanginess and subtle sweetness that complements a cool glass of white wine or a piece of fresh bread perfectly. Indulge in this one-of-a-kind cheese and elevate your cheese-loving experience!
Delightful in its ordinary round shape and orange-brown hue, Mimolette cheese offers a scrumptious experience. The exterior rind is crisp and nutty, complementing the interior’s velvety texture with hints of caramel and butterscotch flavors. Produced from cow’s milk and matured for six months to two years, this cheese boasts a sharp, potent taste.
For the bold and daring, consider adding thin slices of Mimolette to your cheese platter or grating it over salads to elevate the dish’s savory essence.
30+ Types of Cheeses
- Parmesan Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Blue Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Goat Cheese Chèvre
- Monterey Jack
- Emmental Emmentaler, or Emmental Cheese
- Grana Padano
- Pecorino Romano
- Roquefort Cheese
- Choose a cheese that catches your eye.
- Search for a delicious recipe involving your selected cheese.
- Revel in your cheesy creation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Popular Cheeses in America
- Monterey Jack
- Pepper Jack
Semi-Hard Cheese Varieties
Common White Cheese Types
- Goat Cheese
Top Cheeses for Pizza
Cheeses with Holes
Popular Soft Cheeses