Cheese refers to a solid food prepared from the pressed curd of milk of cows, goats or sheep, also from the milk of other animals like, buffalo, camel, ewe, mare, horse, goat and yak, often seasoned and aged. The flavor and taste of cheese depends on the type of milk used, and whether or not a culture was added. A culture refers to a beneficial bacteria or mold which give cheese its unique flavor. A Blue Cheese is an example of cultured cheese.

There are several varieties of cheeses, depending of the texture (firmness), type of milk used (from what animal) and other several factors: The texture of a cheese reflects whether or not it was aged, the processes used to create it, and how long it was aged.

(1) Soft cheeses, such as cream or cottage cheese, are fresh which means that these cheeses have not been aged. Brie and Cavoc from France and Scotland, respectively are examples of Soft Cheeses

(2) Semi-Soft cheeses refer to "young" cheeses, which means that they are aged for just a few weeks. Airag cheese from Turkey and Bel Paese from Italy are examples of Semi-Soft Cheeses

(3) Hard cheeses are aged for at least a few months, or longer. Asiago and Caerphilly cheeses from Italy and Wales, respectively are examples of Hard Cheeses. The Very Hard Cheeses are cheeses that have been aged for nine months or longer and are used for grating, or eaten in paper-thin slices. There are also Semi-Hard Cheeses such as Appenzell from Switzerland and Edam from Holland.

(5) Spotted Cheeses like the Bleu de Termignon cheese from France

There are so many types of cheeses from all over the world, depending on the type of milk and texture and the country they are coming from - each one has different taste. These will be discussed further in the Glossary.


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