The Eight Styles of Cheese

by Laura Werlin

Once you know something about the different styles of cheese, you will begin to be able to discern the basic flavor profiles of specific cheeses even if you have never tasted them. Really! From there, you will be able to make informed cheese-buying choices.

The eight styles are:

  • Fresh cheeses
  • Semi-soft cheeses
  • Soft-ripened cheeses
  • Surface-ripened cheeses
  • Semi-hard cheeses
  • Hard cheeses
  • Blue cheeses
  • Washed-rind cheeses

Terms like "semi-hard," "surface-ripened," and so on may not mean anything to you now, but I hope they will begin to make sense once you read more about them in the chapters to come. To give you a head start, here is a chart of the styles of cheese, a brief description, and a list of a few cheeses in each of the styles.

from Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials
The Eight Styles of Cheese
  Flavors How Strong? Examples
Fresh cheeses mild, milky, tangy mild fresh goat cheese, ricotta, mozzarella
Semi-soft cheeses milky, tangy, sweet mild Colby, Havarti, Port-Salut
Soft-ripened cheeses buttery creamy, mushroomy mild to medium-strong Brie, Camembert
Surface-ripened cheeses creamy, earthy, mushroomy, tangy mild to medium-strong LaTur, Le Chevrot, St. Marcellin
Semi-hard cheeses buttery, earthy, fruity, nutty medium-strong cheddar, Gouda, Gruyère
Hard cheeses caramel candylike, salty, sweet, sharp medium-strong to strong Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged Asiago, pecorino
Blue cheeses floral, musty, salty, pungent medium-strong to very strong Maytag Blue, Gorgonzola, Stilton
Washed-rind cheeses beefy, creamy, gamy, nutty, salty strong to very strong aged brick, Epoisses, Munster, Taleggio
  • from:
  • Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials
    An Insider's Guide to Buying and Serving Cheese
  • by Laura Werlin
  • Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2007
  • 272 pages, Flexibind, US $24.95
  • Photographs by Maren Caruso
  • ISBN-10: 1-5847-9627-8
  • ISBN-13: 9781584796275
  • Excerpt reprinted by permission.

Buy Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials


Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials

Excerpt: The Eight Styles of Cheese


This page created November 2007

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