The cheese originally comes from the Emme valley in the canton of Bern. Unlike some other cheese varieties, the denomination “Emmentaler” was not protected (“Emmentaler Switzerland” is, though). Hence, Emmentaler of other origin, especially from France and Bavaria, is widely available. Even Finland is an exporter of Emmentaler cheese.
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2. Feta Cheese
Feta (Greek: φέτα) is a brinedcurdcheese traditionally made in Greece. A sheep's milk cheese, varying amounts ofgoats’ milk may be added, as long as goat milk makes up less than 30% of the total mixture. Since 2005, feta has been a protected designation of origin product in the European Union. Although traditional feta cheese should only include sheep and goat’s milk, it is quite common that cheese sold as ‘feta’ includes cow’s milk, or even is composed exclusively of cow’s milk.
Feta is an aged cheese, commonly produced in blocks, and has a slightly grainy texture. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads, pastries and in baking, notably in the popular phyllo-based dishes spanakopita(“spinach pie”) and tyropita (“cheese pie”) and combined with olive oil and vegetables.
Similar white brined cheeses (often called ‘white cheese’ in various languages) are found in the eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea.
Feta is salted and cured in a brine solution (based on water or whey) for several months. Feta dries out rapidly when removed from the brine. Feta cheese is white, usually formed into square cakes, and can range from soft to semi-hard, with a tangy, salty flavor that can range from mild to sharp. The cured cheese easily crumbles. Its fat content can range from 30 to 60 percent; most is around 45 percent milk fat. Most feta cheese has a pH of 4.4 to 4.9.
Feta is also an important ingredient of Greek salad. Feta, like most cheeses, can also be served cooked; it is sometimes grilled as part of a sandwich or as a salty alternative to other cheeses in a variety of dishes.
The cheese is from milk that is cultured and heated until the curd is separate from the whey. Some of the whey is then drained, and water is added. This is called “washing the curd”, and creates a sweeter cheese, as the washing removes some of the lactic acid. About ten percent of the mixture is curd which are pressed into circular moulds for several hours. These moulds are the essential reason behind its traditional, characteristic shape. The cheese is then soaked in a brine solution which gives the cheese and its rind a distinctive taste. The cheese is then dried for a couple of days before being coated to prevent it from drying out, then it is aged. Depending on age classification, it can be any time between a number of weeks to over 7 years before it is ready to be eaten. As it ages it develops a caramel sweetness and sometimes has a slight crunchiness from salt-like calcium lactate or tyrosine crystals that form in older cheeses.
5. Brie Cheese
Brie/ˈbriː/ is a soft cows’ cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated (roughly corresponding to the modern département of Seine-et-Marne). It is pale in colour with a slight greyish tinge under crusty white mould; very soft and savoury with a hint of ammonia. The whitish mouldy rind is typically eaten, the flavor quality of which depends largely upon the ingredients used and its fabrication environment.
The region in France that gave its name to this cheese (Brie) is, in the French language, feminine: la Brie, but the cheese Brie is masculine, le Brie.
Brie may be produced from whole or semi-skimmed milk. The curd is obtained by adding rennet to raw milk and heating it to a maximum temperature of 37 °C (98.6 °F). The cheese is then cast into molds, sometimes with a traditional perforated ladle called a “pelle à brie”. The 20 cm mould is filled with several thin layers of cheese and drained for approximately 18 hours. The cheese is then taken out of the molds, salted, inoculated with cheesemould (Penicillium candidum or Penicillium camemberti) and/or Brevibacterium linens, and aged in a cellar for at least four to five weeks.
If left to mature for longer, typically several months to a year, the cheese becomes stronger in flavour and taste, the pâté drier and darker, and the rind also darker and crumbly, and is called Brie Noir(Fr: black Brie). Around the Île-de-France, where Brie is made, people enjoy soaking this in café au lait and eating it for breakfast.]Over-ripe Brie contains an unpleasant, excessive amount of ammonia, which is produced by the same microorganisms required for ripening.
At last but not least,
6. Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is a relatively hard yellow to off-white, and sometimes sharp-tasting cheese originally made in the English village of Cheddar, in Somerset.Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in the United Kingdom, accounting for 51% of the country’s £1.9 billion annual cheese market.
Cheddar cheese has been produced since at least 1170. A pipe roll of King Henry II from that year records the purchase of 10,420 lb at a farthing per pound (£3 per ton). One suggestion is that Romans brought the recipe to Britain from the Cantal region of France, where it was adapted. Cheddar cheese traditionally had to be made within 30 miles (48 km) of Wells Cathedral.
Cheddaring refers to an additional step in the production of Cheddar-style cheese where, after heating, the curd is kneaded with salt, then is cut into cubes to drain the whey, then stacked and turned. Strong, extra-mature Cheddar, sometimes called vintage, needs to be matured for up to 15 months. The cheese is kept at a constant temperature often requiring special facilities. As with production of other hard cheese varieties in other regions worldwide, caves provide an ideal environment for maturing cheese; still, today, some Cheddar cheese is matured in the caves at Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge.
rennet, an enzyme complex normally produced from the stomachs of new-born calves (in vegetarian cheeses, bacterial-, yeast- or mould-derived chymosin is used).
Parmigiano is an Italian adjective for Parma. Parmesan is the French-language name for it and also serves as the loose term for the cheese in the English language. The name Parmesan is used for cheeses imitating Parmigiano-Reggiano, with phrases such as Italian hard cheese adopted to skirt legal constraints. The closest legitimate Italian cheese to Parmigiano-Reggiano is Grana Padano.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is made from raw cow's milk. The whole milk of the morning milking is mixed with the naturally skimmed milk (it is left in large shallow tanks to allow the cream to separate) of the previous evening’s milking, resulting in a part skim mixture. The milk is pumped into copper-lined vats (copper heats and cools quickly). Starter whey is added, and the temperature is raised to 33–35 °C. Calf rennet is added, and the mixture is left to curdle for 10–12 minutes. The curd is then broken up mechanically (spinitura in Italian) into small pieces (around the size of rice grains). The temperature is then raised to 55 °C with careful control by the cheese-maker. The curd is left to settle for 45–60 minutes. The compacted curd is collected in a piece of muslin before being divided in two and placed in moulds. There are 1100 L of milk per vat, producing two cheeses each. The curd making up each wheel at this point weighs around 45 kg (100 lb). The remaining whey in the vat was traditionally used to feed the pigs from which “Prosciutto di Parma” (cured Parma ham) was produced. The barns for these animals were usually just a few yards away from the cheese production rooms.