Types of Cheeses
Did you know that cheese is an ancient food? In fact, it is so old that no one knows for sure exactly where and when it originated. The only thing known for sure as regards the history of cheese is that the cheese industry was already sophisticated by the time the Roman Empire rose into power. And just as no one knows for sure how cheese first came to be, we may also never find out exactly how many types of cheese there are in the world. However, if you’re a cheese lover, it may be enough to learn at least a few things about this milk-based product.
Most Popular Cheeses
Ranker.com currently has a running survey asking people what their favorite cheese is. The purpose of the survey is to find out what the world’s most popular types of cheese are. As of this writing, the top five most popular cheeses are:
- Mozzarella – This type of cheese originated from Southern Italy and is traditionally made from Italian buffalo milk. In 1998, the European Union gave this cheese a Traditional Specialties Guaranteed certification, which requires all manufacturers that plan to sell mozzarella in the EU to follow the traditional recipe.
2. Parmigiano Reggiano – Commonly known as Parmesan cheese, this type of cheese is hard and granular. Italian law states that only cheese produced in the Provinces of Parma, Bologna, Mantova, Modena, and Reggio Emilia may be labeled “Parmesan.”
3. Sharp Cheddar – This is cheddar cheeses aged 6 to 9 months. It is nuttier and tangier than freshly-made cheddar, and is also a bit harder and less smooth.
4. Gruyère – This hard yellow cheese is named after Gruyères, Switzerland. It is generally sweet, but is also slightly salty, and has a flavor that changes as the cheese ages. There was controversy in the past involving French cheeses that were also labelled Gruyère, until the cheese received official appellation as a Swiss cheese in 2001.
5. Brie – This soft cheese is made from cow’s milk and named after the French region where it originated from. It has a pale color with a grayish tinge and a rind of white mold.
Cheeses for Pizza
Whenever people talk about cheese, they almost always mention pizza as well. That is because pizza is among the world’s most popular treats, and it is never complete without cheese. Without a doubt, mozzarella is the best cheese for pizza, but that’s not to say you can’t use other types of cheese as well. Here are five other cheeses you can use for pizza:
- Asiago – With its tangy and nutty flavor, this cheese is particularly great with vegetable pizza. If you choose to use this with your pizza, be sure to look for a fresh block instead of the aged version, which is much harder.
- Fontina – When melted, this cheese has a mild flavor and a silky texture. It goes very well with pizzas that have toppings with strong flavors, such as spinach and anchovies.
- Goat Cheese – Although this type of cheese does not melt the way most cheeses used for pizza do, it is often a good idea to break it into small chunks and then sprinkle it on your pizza. You’ll be sure to love the burst of delicious cheese in every bite you take of your favorite pizza.
- Gouda – This type of cheese goes very well with pizzas that have shredded barbecue chicken or pulled pork as toppings. You can’t go wrong, whether you choose straight gouda or smoked gouda.
- Gruyère – Of all the cheeses on this list, this is perhaps the most versatile, as you’ll be sure to enjoy it with whatever pizza flavors you may choose. That may be because this type of cheese melts wonderfully and has quite a dominantly savory flavor.
You can enjoy pizza with the classic mozzarella or any of the cheeses listed above, plus your favorite pizza toppings. Alternatively, you may enjoy pizza with a combination of mozzarella and the above cheeses. Even without other toppings, an all-cheese pizza is still delicious pizza, right?
Of course, you don’t have to be in the mood for pizza to enjoy a bite of cheese. The types of cheese that go well with pizza go well with your favorite drinks as well. You may have to experiment with various combinations until you find the ones that work best for you. But one thing’s for sure: Cheese and pizza will always be among the world’s favorite foods. Happy eating!