popular Cheeses

Cheese. It’s tangy, smooth, sharp and sometimes comes out of a spray can.

But we’re all in agreement that no matter what kind of cheese you love best, it adds flavor to meals like lasagna, makes that Danish delectable and you couldn’t have chili cheese fries without it.

It’s the Texture that Counts

What do we mean by that? There are four classifications of cheeses: Hard, semi-hard, semi-soft and soft. And it’s all about how it feels in your hand as well as how it tastes.

Hard Cheese

And we don’t mean the common playground taunt. This cheese has a hard texture and is easy to grate. Parmesan cheese is one the most popular cheeses around. It can be shaved on salads or grated as a topping for pasta and pizza.

Blue cheese also tops our list for a great hard cheese. It’s made in America and it’s most commonly seen on salads like a Cobb salad or on steak. Its blue veins and sharp taste signal a great treat awaits.

Semi-Hard Cheese

Cheddar is right up there on our list of popular cheeses for its versatility and variety. You can have mild cheddar, sharp cheddar and extra sharp cheddar. It goes well with crackers or in a mac and cheese. It has a tendency to be oily and clump when cooked so it is commonly partnered with another cheese to eliminate some of its oiliness.

Gruyere, that lovely delicacy of Switzerland, is a semi-hard cheese that is also a popular addition to any mac and cheese. It has a slightly nutty flavor that enhances any dish it is added to.

Semi Soft Cheese

One of our absolute favorite semi-soft cheeses is Colby. It comes packaged as a block with no rind and originates from Wisconsin. It’s frequently blended with Monterey Jack for a selection called Colby Jack.

Havarti, a semi soft cheese from Denmark, is the next in our popular cheese list. It comes plain or infused with dill and is a tailgate party favorite for its delicate texture and taste.

Soft Cheese

The soft cheese list would be a failure if we didn’t include Brie. With its beginnings in France, Brie has become a popular dinner party favorite especially with a spicy sweet red pepper jelly or raspberry jam.

Another softie that is very popular on American tables is mozzarella. Whether it’s served as part of a pizza or fresh in a tomato and moz salad with basil oil, mozzarella cheese wins the day with its wide number of uses.

Our last but not least popular soft cheese is feta which can be found on Greek salads everywhere. Its tanginess gives any dish it stars in a nice punch and is the only cheese on this list that is solid but falls apart easily.

Whatever your choice, your palate will thank you when you select any one of these cheeses. Bon appetit!

Photo Credit:  istockphoto.com

Which of these popular cheeses is your favorite?