A Cheesy Topic : Know Your Cheese

A guide to different types of Cheese

Cheese is one such dairy product everyone craves for, though the calorie count is relatively high. It is a delicacy that makes any dish a heavenly treat with its aroma, taste and gooey texture when melted. Be it a pizza, burger, pasta, sandwich, or any dish cheese just uplifts the taste of the dish. If you are a die hard fan of cheese, then you ought to know the most popularly used varieties of cheese around the world.

Cheese is differentiated on the basis of taste, colour, age, aroma, texture and its mould content.

1. Mozzarella

Mozzarella, hands down the best cheese, whose origin is from Italy. It has mild, smooth texture and is made from the milk of water buffalo. It is delicate ,not aged and perishable, typically lasts few days. Mozzarella cheese is used in pizza, lasagne and many baked dishes.

Texture: Soft, Chewy

Calories(per 100 gm): 280, Carbohydate: 3.1 g, Fat: 17 g, Protein: 28 g

  • Mozzarella is a great source of biotin, Vitamin B7.
  • It is loaded with riboflavin, hence possess antioxidants.
  • Rich in Calcium, Phosphorous, Zinc.
  • Is protein rich and hence promotes muscle strength.

2. Parmesan

Also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, made from cow’s milk and is considered to be among the top cheeses by cheese connoisseurs. Though produced by various producers, Parmesan cheese has a Protected design of Origin (POD) status, which means its manufacturing is restricted to Northern Italy. It comes in a pasteurised form and undergoes an ageing time of one to three years. Parmesan is mainly used in its grated form as a seasoning and it adds lots of flavour to dish.

Texture: Hard, Crumbly

Calories (per 100 gm): 431, Carbohydate: 4.1 g, Fat: 29 g, Protein: 38 g

  • Parmesan is a good source of Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorous, Calcium, Sodium and Vitamin A.
  • Is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
  • As it has a long ageing process it acts as a probiotic and helps with digestion.

3. Cheddar

Origin of Cheddar is from the district of Cheddar in Somerset, England, hence the name. It is one of the favourite cheese whether served in melty quesadillas, creamy mac and cheese or on top of a sizzling burger. Cheddar comes in varying degrees of sharpness, say mild, medium, sharp and extra sharp. The degree of sharpness depends on how long it has been aged. The longer it ages, sharper it gets. Though delicious, it has relatively high calories and saturated fat content. Moderate amount can be part of a healthy diet.

Texture: Soft, Crumbly

Calories(per 100 gm): 402, Carbohydate: 1.3 g, Fat: 33 g, Protein: 25 g

  • Cheddar is a great source of Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin k.
  • Is rich in calcium and hence promotes bone strength.

4. Feta

Feta is originated in Greece, is made from either sheep or goat’s milk. Feta means ‘Slice’ in English. It has a soft and creamy texture and is tangy in taste. Feta is a very popular choice for salads, and tastes great when served with olives, vegetables and nuts. It has low fat and lesser calories compared to other varieties.

Texture: Soft and Creamy

Calories (per 100 gm): 264, Carbohydate: 4.1 g, Fat: 22 g, Protein: 15 g

  • Feta is a good source of protein and calcium.
  • Since its light, is easier to digest.
  • It is an excellent probiotic helps in digestion of gut.

4. Gouda

Gouda pronounced as ‘How-da’, is a Dutch cheese from the town of Gouda in Netherlands. It can be milky, fresh and young, or aged for many years which gives unique sweet and strong flavour. The young Gouda is best paired with beer while the aged compliments wines that are rich flavoured like Merlot and Shiraz. It can be grated, melted or sliced. Is used as a tables cheese or dessert cheese.

Texture: Semi Hard to Hard

Calories(per 100 gm): 356, Carbohydate: 2.2 g, Fat: 27 g, Protein: 25 g

  • It is rich in Calcium, helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Is an excellent source of Vitamin K2, which is a miracle vitamin that prevents many common ailments.

6.Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is very different from the rest of the varieties. It is made by acidifying curd from milk with yeast or lemon , and is called Paneer in India.Cottage cheese is commonly eaten plain or with fruits, vegetables or as seasoning.It is widely used in making of pancakes and Cheese cakes.

Texture: Moist and Creamy

Calories(per 100 gm): 98 , Carbohydate: 3.4 g, Fat: 4.3 g, Protein: 11 g

  • It has a very low fat content,much lower calories.Hence extensively used in keto diet.
  • Cottage cheese is protein rich, accounts for 70% of calories.
  • High in Selenium, this mineral has been shown to increase antioxidant protection in blood.

7. Brie

Fresh Brie cheese and a slice

Known for its fluffy white rind and smooth texture, Brie is named after its place of origin, in France. Brie is known as ‘The Queen Of Cheese’, its prepared from both pasteurised and unpasteurised cow’s milk. Best enjoyed at room temperature, Brie is served withcrackers, biscuit, bread, fruits, nuts and baguette slice. Melted Brie chunks are used in sauces, flat breads, pizzas and sandwiches.

Texture: Soft and Creamy

Calories (per 100 gm): 334, Carbohydate: 0.5 g, Fat: 28 g, Protein: 21 g

  • Brie is a nutrient dense cheese variant, contains plenty of proteins along with calcium.
  • It has a considerably minimal amount of lactose, hence making it a good dietary source for those with lactose intolerance.

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