Types of Cheese


Fresh Cheeses  

Moist and soft, this cheese has a mild, delicate and pleasantly tangy flavor. Because it is unaged, it has no rind or surface mold. Examples include mascarpone, mozzarella, ricotta and Frommage Blanc. AnnaVail’s ricotta, cream cheeses, Notch Mountain and Meadow Mountain are fresh cheeses.


Semi-Soft Cheeses

These cheeses have a smooth, generally creamy interior with little or no rind. They are generally high in moisture content and range from very mild in flavor to very pungent. Mild semisoft cheeses ripened by bacteria or yeast include Colby, Fontina, and Havarti.


Bloomy Rind Cheeses

Creamy, earthy, rich and runny, these cheeses are mild to medium-strong with edible rinds. This cheese ripens from its surface toward the interior and includes Brie and Camembert. AnnaVail's Baamoozola is a bloomy rind (with blue cultures) cheese.


Washed Rind Cheeses

Savory, nutty and salty, these strong to very strong cheeses are distinguished by their strong aroma and pinkish or orange-colored rinds, and typically semi-soft texture. Examples include Epoisses, Muenster and Taleggio. AnnaVail's Tomme deVail is a washed rind cheese.


Blue Cheeses

Marbled with bluish-green veins that develop after the cheese is pierced and air is allowed to enter, delightfully earthy, salty and pungent, blue-veined cheeses are ripened by Penicillium molds. This group includes Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Stilton.


Semi-Hard Cheeses

These cheeses are longer-lasting. The group includes medium-strong cheeses that have buttery, earthy and fruity flavors—favorites such as Cheddar, Fontina, Gouda and Gruyère. Other familiar names are Baby Swiss, some blues, Colby, Emmentaler and other Swiss cheeses.


Hard Cheeses

These are aged for the longest period—from one year to more  than four years. They have grainy textures and are primarily intended for grating. They are salty, nutty and sharp, medium-strong to very strong cheeses. Examples include Asiago, Grana Padano, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano.

Bloomy Rind Cheese

Fresh Cheese

Washed Rind Cheese

Semi-Hard Cheese

Cheeses produced in the United States are made from cow's, goat's, sheep’s milk, or a blend there of. 

Federal Department of Agriculture regulations require that any cheese aged fewer than 60 days must be made from pasteurized milk; however, those cheeses aged beyond 60 days may be made from non-pasteurized “raw” milk.


There are hundreds of cheeses made in the U.S. and all over the world.

Below are some of the broad categories of types of cheese:


Semi-Soft Cheese