Here's the ultimate list of the most popular types of soft cheese. Some you'll know but I bet some you may not have heard about. Includes photos and in-depth descriptions.
As you graciously spread a thick layer of herbed cream cheese over a crispy cracker at a cocktail party, ever stopped to wonder how truly rich and delectable soft cheeses are?
Soft cheeses really offer a highly rich and unique taste, flavor, and aroma to every cheese connoisseur out there. These are known for their amazingly mild taste and creamy, moist, and buttery textures that just seem to melt in the mouth. Given that they are paired with the right kind of wine or the best type of cracker, they are likely to explode and burst in your mouth impeccable and unparalleled flavor.
Soft cheese is called so because of its amazingly moist and soft texture and also the process of making soft cheese differs from that of hard cheese. The biggest difference is that soft cheeses are not aged so they are able to retain all the moisture, unlike hard cheeses.
For any die-hard cheese lover, the list of types of soft cheese below is absolute cheese heaven. Read all about your favorite cheeses below!
Table of Contents
As the name suggests, blue cheese has bluish-green veins of mold that makes it highly distinctive from other kinds of cheeses. Some of the most popular types and varieties of blue cheese include Italian Gorgonzola, English Stilton, and French Roquefort cheese.
Blue cheese is known to contain a very crumbly and soft texture with a very piquant and sharp kind of flavor. If eaten raw or in large quantities, this cheese can end up being super salty.
Its unique smell and taste are essentially due to the fact that bacteria and mold are allowed to grow on the cheese.
Apparently, blue cheese was discovered accidentally back in ancient times when cheeses were stored in moisture-controlled caves as well as in naturally-occurring environments.
There are 2 main types of blue cheese: Roquefort and gorgonzola.
This is another popular French cheese that has originated from the south of France and is also a kind of blue cheese. It is made from pure Sheep’s milk and is said to be the only kind of cheese to have come from the region surrounding Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
Roquefort cheese is a type of blue-veined, semi-soft artisan cheese that has a beautiful crumbly and creamy texture. It is also quite popular for its sharp, salty, and tangy kind of flavor.
According to historic evidence, Roquefort cheese used to be a favorite of Emperor Charlemagne. One of its key features is that the cheese is amazingly moist which makes it break into little pieces easily.
Some of the most common and popular uses of Roquefort cheese is in dressings and salads.
This is a popular veined Italian blue cheese that has originated from Gorgonzola, Milan, and has been produced there for several centuries.
Presently, however, Gorgonzola cheese is chiefly produced in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont. It is a hallmark of Italian cuisine and is made from pasteurized milk.
Gorgonzola cheese can be eaten and consumed in various ways like melting it in a risotto, sprinkling the cheese over pasta, or perhaps, throwing a generous amount of it over pizza as a delicious topping.
Interestingly, Gorgonzola holds quite a reputation in popular culture as historical evidence shows that in his 1922 Ulysses, James Joyce offered the hero a gorgonzola sandwich coupled with a glass of burgundy.
Since this cheese is exclusively made from cow’s milk, it offers a milder flavor compared to other types of blue cheeses. Its most distinctive feature is how it still influences Italian artisanship, even in today’s time.
This is a popular triple-cream cheese that is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and has originated from the French region of Val-de-Marne. This cheese was initially invented in the 1950s by a man named Henri Boursault.
Boursault Cheese contains a very high amount of fat, almost 75 percent which is what makes it one of those melt-in-the-mouth kinds of cheeses. It has a super-rich, creamy and moist consistency and a rich buttery taste. The ideal combination of the exotic taste and the jelly-soft texture makes it a favorite dessert cheese.
This cheese goes through a period of maturation for about twelve days and is then properly wrapped; however, the maturation process still goes on for a month.
This cheese is also made from pasteurized cow’s milk and has a crumbly, creamy texture that is said to be similar to that of cream cheese. It comes in a variety of different flavors that are often infused with herbs and spices. Some of its popular flavors include maple bourbon, pepper, basil & chive, red chili pepper, and cranberry & spice.
The very first Boursin cheese flavor was Garlic and Fine Herbs which was created in 1957 by a cheese maker in Normandy called François Boursin. The inspiration behind the creation of this cheese came from ‘fromage frais’ which is a traditional party dish in which people take the cheese and add their choice of herbs to it for flavor.
The obvious savory-sweet flavor of the Boursin Cheese makes it a great choice for a cheese dip to go with vegetables and fruits. Regardless of what you pair it with, the rich buttery flavor for it will surely leave you craving for more.
This is one of the most well-known and popularly consumed types of soft cheese. It originates from the French region of Brie, as also the name suggests.
This famous French cheese is made from cow’s milk and sports a pale color with a hint of light gray under a layer of white mold. Brie cheese has an incredibly buttery and runny texture which makes it easily spreadable on a variety of different foods.
Several varieties of brie are made all over the world, some of which include herbed varieties, plain brie, and double and triple brie.
The maturation process of this cheese ranges from several months to a whole year which results in a strong taste and flavor of the cheese. The best way to truly enjoy brie cheese is to spread it on a cracker which makes an excellent appetizer!
This is a raw-milk goat cheese that has originated from an area named ‘Anjou’ in the Loire Valley, France. In the English language, the cheese literally means “a small log from Anjou” because it actually looks like a wood log.
The use of goat milk gives Buchette cheese a slightly acidic flavor but the best way to eat it is when it’s fresh and creamy. It also has a strong, pungent scent which will remind you of lemons. The texture of this cheese is really gooey which makes it easily spreadable on bread, crackers and other similar foods.
Interestingly, the hazelnut-like taste and the creamy texture of this cheese get even better and stronger as the cheese gets older.
Also called ‘Mozzarella di Bufala’ in Italian, the Buffalo Mozzarella cheese is made from the milk of Italian Mediterranean Mozzarella. It originates from Campania, Italy, more specifically from the provinces of Salemo and Caserta.
This cheese belongs to the “pasta filata” family and has quite a fresh, moist, and semi-elastic texture. Unlike most cheeses, this one is rich in calcium and protein and is lower in cholesterol because it is made from buffalo milk.
The word ‘mozzarella’ comes from ‘mozzare’ which is a process that literally means “cutting by hand”, followed by a separation of the curd and serving the cheese in individual shapes. This process makes the buffalo mozzarella cheese quite versatile and elastic in texture, two qualities that gave it unique names like “the Queen of the Mediterranean cuisine”, “the pearl of the table” and “white gold”.
Pronounced as ‘CAH-muhn-BARE’, this is another super famous French soft cheese that was first made in the 18th century in Camembert, Normandy in northern France.
It is a soft-ripened cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and contains an incredibly rich, buttery texture that you slather onto a piece of hot French bread. The best feature of the Camembert cheese is its insides that are super moist and runny. So, when you cut into a slice of this cheese that has been kept at room temperature, you are likely to feast your eyes on a buttery, runny interior that will surely make you want to dive right into it.
One of the best combinations of this cheese is pairing it with light red wine, or perhaps with cider, which is actually what it is traditionally paired with.
Coeur de Chevre
This cheese is defined as an artisanal, unpasteurized, and soft-ripened cheese that comes from a region in France called Quercy where the herds of goats roam around and feed on the lush grasses of the Gatinais.
Couer de Chevre cheese has a salty, spicy flavor with a super soft, smooth, and creamy texture. As the name translates to ‘heart of goat’, it is actually hand-molded into the shape of a heart, too. It has a rich, succulent consistency which makes it easily spreadable on a variety of different foods.
One of the most distinctive aspects of this cheese is that it is wrapped in a chestnut leaf and often served with fruity red wine or sparkling white wine.
This cheese has quite a fascinating history attached to it which goes back to the ancient Mesopotamians during the period of 3100BC-510BC. According to historic records, cottage cheese was accidentally found in a sheep’s stomach bag. After its ‘accidental’ discovery’, this cheese was made with leftover milk.
Cottage cheese is a soft, fresh cheese with a very mild flavor and super soft and creamy texture. It is made from the curds that are left behind in pasteurized cow’s milk but can also be made with the help of other kinds of milk.
Interestingly, cottage cheese was extensively promoted during World War I as an excellent substitute for meat because it contains a large amount of protein. It is also low in calories, unlike several other types of cheeses, which makes it a very healthy kind of cheese. It is also quite popular as a diet snack among numerous health devotees and dieters.
The invention of this incredible cheese stemmed from the American culinary back in 1872 in New York State. It is a kind of fresh cheese that is made from cream and milk. Cream cheese is known to have a super mild taste and buttery soft consistency and texture.
Most people don’t think of cream cheese as an actual “cheese”, but it is, in fact, a very rich kind of cheese that is also easy to make at home. It is popularly and commonly used as a spread for bagels, crackers, different types of bread, etc. Cream cheese is one of those cheeses that are used in both savory and sweet foods for example, many people use it as savory dips for snacks and also to make cheesecakes.
Since cream cheese is a type of fresh cheese, it means that it is unaged. This further suggests that once opened, it tends to have a short shelf life and should always be refrigerated to prevent it from being rotten or spoiled.
This has to be one of the most popular types of cheese that are featured in a variety of different foods and recipes. This is a brined curd white cheese that is authentically made from whole sheep’s milk. In recent times, however, different versions of feta cheese are also made from a mixture of sheep milk and goat milk.
Feta cheese has originated from Greece and has been around for several centuries. Interestingly, there is not a single Greek meal or dish that doesn’t make use of feta cheese in some way or the other.
It is also defined as an aged, crumbly cheese with holes or no holes and a salty, tangy flavor. The texture of this cheese is mostly crumbly and is commonly found in small square-cut pieces.
The most popular use of feta cheese is in a variety of salads since it crumbles up easily. Some people also prefer to use it flatbreads and pizzas an alternative to the typically used mozzarella cheese.
As the name suggests, this cheese is made from goat’s milk and is one of the most popular dairy products that is thoroughly enjoyed all across the globe. Goat cheese comes in a number of varieties with different flavors and textures. These include salty and crumbly aged cheese to super moist and creamy spreadable cheese.
Goat cheese is divided into several categories according to regions of their origin. For example, goat cheese from china is called Rubing and greatly resembled cow’s cheese, the one from Ireland is called Tully boy goat cheese that is made from pasteurized milk and the one from Japan is called Yagi cheese.
Goat cheese also goes by the name ‘chevre’ in various parts of the world and is also quite rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein.
Some of the best ways to incorporate goat cheese in foods are perhaps in the form of herbed goat cheese butter, goat cheese stuffed chicken, or say goat cheese cheesecake bites?
This cheese is quite popular for its heart shape and is made from pasteurized cow milk. This is also one of France’s oldest types of cheese, dating back to the 6th century, which mainly originated from the French region of Normandy.
Neufchatel cheese has a soft and slightly crumbly texture and has an aroma and taste that is very similar to that of mushrooms. Its flavor can also be described as a little nutty and creamy, which makes it ideal to be spread on crackers and toast.
In the United States, the Neufchatel cheese is commonly referred to as “farmers’ cheese”.
This is a famous Italian whey cheese that is made from the leftovers of other cheeses that come from sheep milk, Italian water buffalo milk, or even goat milk.
The word ricotta literally translates to “re-cooked” and is produced by coagulating those proteins that remain behind after the casein from the milk is used to make other cheeses.
Ricotta cheese originally comes from the Italian Peninsula and goes as far back as the Bronze Age. This cheese is an incredibly mild fresh cheese that has a slightly sweet flavor and an extremely soft, buttery texture.
Common culinary uses of the ricotta cheese include Italian desserts like cheesecakes and cannoli. It may even be used in a variety of savory dishes like different kinds of pasta, pizza, calzones, lasagna, and ravioli. Some people even substitute it for mayonnaise and use it as a sauce thickener.
Have you picked your favorite yet? Perhaps, grab a huge supply of wine and crackers and indulge in your own delicious, rich, creamy cheese world!
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