Cheese is one of the most used ingredients for breakfast around the world. It is a milk based solid food. Cheese can be prepared from cow, sheep, goat and other mammal milk.
The basic procedure of preparing cheese is by curdling milk and further acidification. Rennet or other rennet substitutes are used for the curdling of milk.
Hundreds of types of cheese exist all over the world. The types of cheese exist due to the usage of the milk from different mammals, specific species of molds and bacteria and also varying the aging length. Other processes are also used to prepare different types of cheese. Other factors which determine the type of cheese is the diet of the animal the milk is taken from. The diet can include herbs, spices and wood smoke.
Cheese cannot be categorized on a single categorization concept. Therefore, there various systems used for the categorization of cheese. Some factors taken into consideration while classifying cheese are the length of aging, the methods of making it, the curd and the various processes relating to the curd, the kind of milk, the fat content and the whether the texture of the cheese is hard or soft.
The most common type of cheese is Fresh Cheese. To prepare fresh cheese, milk is curdled and drained. There is little other processing involved in preparing Fresh Cheese. Some examples of Fresh Cheese are chevre, Cas and cottage cheese.
Cheese is also classified according to its firmness. The various classifications are soft, semisoft, semihard and hard. However, this type of categorization is not exact. Cheddar is a type of hard or semi hard cheese.
Semi hard cheese is created with the cutting of the curd, heating gently, piling and then stirred before pressed into forms. The most common semi hard cheese are the cheddar cheese like Gloucester and Chesire.
Milder cheese, like the Colby and Monterey Jack are prepared by having curd rinsed and then pressed. This washes away the acidity and calcium in the cheese. This procedure is also used to create the Edam and Gouda cheese.
Gruyere and Emmetal, swiss type of cheese are quite firm. They have a texture of holes, which add to their sharp flavors and aroma. Parmesan, Romano and Pecorino are the hardest cheese, also known as grating cheese.Some cheese are prepared by allowing Penicillin Candida to grow on the outside ot the soft cheese for a preset time. THe mold adds to the runny and gooey textures of the cheese and also intensifies the flavors of these cheese. The mold forms a white crust on the cheese.
Molds are of two types, blue and white. The white molds are generally used while preparing cheese from goat's milk. Blue mold cheese is commonly called blue cheese. Stilton, Gorgonzola and Roquefort are some of these types of cheese. They are prepared by injecting Penicillum roqueforti molds into the cheese. This mold then grows within the cheese, as opposed to Brie and Carmembert, where the mold is allowed to grow on the outside of the cheese. Blue cheese can be of soft or firm texture and have assertive flavours.
Processed cheese is another type of cheese. Processed cheese is prepared by adding emulsifying agents, milk, preservatives, more salt and food coloring to traditional cheese. Velveeta and yellow American cheese are the most popular types of processed cheese.
Washing Rind is also a major type pf cheese. These cheese are bathed in saltwater brine while they age. This makes their surface available for bacteria. These bacteria are responsible for the flavors and odors of washing rind cheese.
Other than these major types, there are hundred if not thousands of types of cheese created in all parts of the world. Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Australia have various ways of preparing cheese.