Cheese is made from milk (either cow, sheep, or goat’s milk). It is allowed to thicken and then the whey is separated from the curd. The whey is drained off, and the curd is used. At this point in the cheese process, it is fresh cheese. The next process involves the curds being cured, by means of heat, bacteria, soaking, etc. Then they are flavored with spices and some are colored. The final step is the aging or ripening step.
Hard Cheeses are cooked, pressed, and then aged to their preferred texture and flavor. This process eliminates the as much whey as possible. The aging process is usually lengthy and at minimum, 2 years.
Hard cheeses are known for their crystallized texture. When aged, the proteins and amino acids break down naturally. With the high amount of salt and low moisture, this causes the proteins to crystallize.
Asiago: is a grating cheese with a sweet fruity, nutty flavor. The texture depends on the length of aging and can range from smooth to crumbling.
Buffalo: is made in Britain. Buffalo is unpasteurized, hard cheese that has a thin. leather-like rind. It has a mild, almondy flavor.
Cotija: is a Mexican cow’s milk cheese. It has two varieties, El Queso Cotija de Montaña, which is dry and firm, and Tajo Cheese which is less salty and less firm.
Coverdale: a pale yellow hard cheese, with a mild, buttery taste.
Dry Jack: is aged Monterrey Jack.
Fribourgeois (Vacherin): a pale tan color with an orange coating. It has a acidic, spicy flavor. It comes in 6 forms: classic, extra, rustic, alpage, mountain and bio. It is seasonal and available from September through April.
Grana Padano: (commonly known as Parmesan) on of the first Italian cheeses. It is grainy, fruit, and sweet.
Kashkaval: is a yellow sheep’s milk cheese.
Kefalotryri: is a yellow sheep’s milk cheese (and sometimes goat’s milk). It has a very strong aroma and a tangy flavor.
Kefalograviera: is Kefalotryri that uses cow’s milk.
Manchego: a sheep’s milk cheese made in Spain. It has a briny, nutty flavor. The color ranges from white to yellowish.
Mizithra: a sheep and goat’s milk cheese.
Romano: One of the first Italian cheeses. The method of making this cheese is different than most, called “rummaging the curd”. The flavor ranges from sharp and tangy (Pecorino Romano) to milder (Vacchino Romano).
Sapsago (Schabzierger): is slightly greenish. It has a spicy flavor which can be attributed to added fenugeek.
Sbrinz (Spalen): One of the first Swiss cheeses. It is made from cow’s milk and has a rich and tangy flavor.