Cheese Characteristics and Uses,
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Cheese

Cheddar - Hard, smooth, firm, it can be crumbly and have a white or orange color. Cheddars that are more mild melt well under direct heat whereas a sharper Cheddar will not melt as well and will perform better shredded and incorporated in a sauce. Ranges from mild to sharp, becoming sharper with age. Cheddar can be frozen but some of its moisture will be drawn out. This does not change the flavor but it does affect the texture. For this reason, once Cheddar has been frozen it is best suited for cooking.

Apples, pears, pumpernickel and rye breads, mushrooms and tomatoes. Serve with red wines, beer, apple cider or Port.

Chesire - Firm, moist, salty cheese from England. Sometimes crumbly. Rich and mellow.

Good for snacks, appetizers or dessert. Serve with dry red wine or beer.

Chevre - The French word Chevre is a generic term for cheese made from the milk of goats. Most Chevre made in the United States is a very fresh, soft white cheese shaped into small logs. Contrary to popular belief, its flavor is tangy, yet mild.

Colby - Hard cheese, although softer with a more open texture than Cheddar. It is light yellow to orange, has tiny holes and melts well when grated. Ranges from mild to mellow, lightly sweet to sharp and tangy and is often sold in longhorn shape. An American original, Colby is named for the town where it was invented. Colby is a "washed curd" cheese. The term "washed curd" indicates that during the cooking process the whey is replaced by water to reduce the curd's acidity. In addition, the curd is not turned and stacked like a Cheddar, nor is it pressed quite as hard. The cheese which results is somewhat similar to Cheddar, but softer and moister with a mild, sweet flavor. Colby may be used just like Cheddar.

Apples, pears, pumpernickel and rye breads, mushrooms and tomatoes. Serve with red wines and beer, apple cider or Port.

Colby Jack - The colorful combination of a yellow cheese (Colby) and a white cheese (Monterey Jack). This mixture of two different cheeses gives Colby Jack a unique marbled look. It is generally sold in a full-moon or a half-moon shape when it is still young and mild in flavor. Eight ounce bars cut from 40 pound blocks are another popular way you'll find this cheese packaged and sold.

Cotija - Known as the "Parmesan of Mexico," this cheese is strongly flavored, firm, and perfect for grating. It is used in Hispanic cooking in a manner similar to the way Parmesan is used in Italian cooking.

Cotija is commonly used to add a lively garnish to common dishes: simply sprinkle on top of refried beans, salads, chili or lasagna. In Mexico, it is also widely used to enhance the flavor of many savory dishes by mixing directly into the casserole or recipe. In the U.S. it is increasingly popular on pasta.

Cottage Cheese - White with small or large individual moist curds that resist melting. Cottage cheese should not be frozen. Milky and mild.

Tomatoes, citrus fruit, herb or fruit breads, salads and vegetables; serve with white wine or ice-cold milk.

Cream Cheese - Soft, white, smooth, spreadable cheese that melts quickly and should not be frozen. Mild and slightly acidic, often flavored with fruits or herbs.

Fresh fruit, jams and jellies, fruit and nut breads and bagels; serve with cranberry or grape juices or a light white wine.

Duroblando - A strongly flavored Caribbean cheese that is firm, and has a mild smoked flavor. It is used for grating in a manner similar to Cotija.

Edam - Firm, coated in a red wax with a creamy yellow, semisoft to hard interior. It melts quickly under heat when shredded. Mild, slightly salty, nut-like flavor.

Mild Edam - Peaches, melons, apricots and cherries. Serve with fruity wine and lager beer, lemonade, flavored iced tea, apple juice and raspberry sparkling water.

Aged Edam- Apples and pears. Serve with fruity red or white wines and sparkling red cranberry juice.

Emmentaler - "Swiss" cheese from Switzerland. Hard and smooth, pale yellow cheese with large holes. Sweet, nutty flavor.

Good for fondues, snacks, dessert and cooking. Serve with red wine or beer.

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