Guide To The 5 Most Common Types of Cheeses In Our Test Kitchen (+a quiz!) April 16, 2018

by Eat

Say cheeeeeeeese (times five) as we break down the most popular types of cheeses in the HelloFresh test kitchen, then assess your super scientific cheese IQ with a quiz. 

types of cheeses-HelloFresh

Looking for a way to tie your meal together? Cheese. Need a supporting, added “oomph” ingredient? Also cheese. Craving a stellar star of the show? You guessed it…cheese. Grated or cubed, melted or fried, creamy or not — cheese clearly does it all. And today, we’re breaking down five of the most popular types in the HelloFresh test kitchen to help you navigate the big (and sometimes overwhelming) world of cheese.

Pin or print the handy guide below, then continue reading for a more in-depth look at each type of cheese, and bask in your dairy dream-come-true.

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1. Parmesan

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-parmesan-cheese

Type: Semi-soft, artisan, cow’s cheese

Flavor profile: Strong, savory, nutty

Pairs well with: Pears, balsamic vinegar, honey, walnuts, figs, hazelnuts

Use in: Pasta, soups, risottos

Cooking characteristics: Best shaved

Melting properties: Hardly melts (180ºF)

Did you know? While most US Parmesans are aged about 10 months, Parmigiano-Reggianos from Italy are aged at least two years for a more complex flavor and granular texture.

Recipe: Crispy Parm Chips

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-crispy-parmesan-crisps

Ingredients:

  • 4 Ounces Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Flaky Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF, then line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Combine grated Parmesan with flour and thyme.
  3. Drop 1 Tablespoon-stacks of cheese onto the sheet (with enough space between so they won’t touch when baked).
  4. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and ground pepper.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes, then cool 5 minutes before eating.

2. Monterey Jack

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-monterey-jack-cheese

Type: Semi-soft, creamy, cow’s cheese

Flavor profile: Soft, spicy, sharp

Pairs well with: Apples, dried fruit, nuts, olives, tortillas, crackers

Use in: Quesadillas, hamburgers, lasagna

Cooking characteristics: Best baked or cooked

Melting properties: Melts easily (130ºF)

Did you know? The name Monterey Jack came about because production was initially centered in Monterey County, California.  

Recipe: Turkey Chiles Rellenos with Poblano Peppers and Chipotle Sauce 

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-turkey-chiles-rellenos

3. Mozzarella

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-mozzarella-cheese

Type: Semi-soft, brined, cow’s cheese

Flavor profile: Soft, fresh, milky

Pairs well with: Roasted red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, olives

Use in: Pizza, salad, pasta, lasagna

Cooking characteristics: Best baked or fresh

Melting properties: Melts easily (130ºF)

Did you know? When mozzarella is shaped in small balls (and marinated in olive oil and herbs), it’s known as boconccini.

Recipe: Winner Winner Chicken Orzo Dinner with Cheesy Roasted Zucchini and Tomato 

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-chicken-orzo-cheesey-roasted-zucchini-tomatoes

4. Feta

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-feta-cheese

Type: Soft brined, sheep or goat’s cheese

Flavor profile: Strong, salty, tangy

Pairs well with: Chickpeas, garlic, lemon, olives, watermelon, pita bread, red onion

Use in: Salad, pizza, savory pie

Cooking characteristics: Best baked, raw, or pickled

Melting properties: Doesn’t melt

Did you know? Feta is one of the world’s oldest cheeses and has been made in Greece and other Balkan countries for centuries.

Recipe: Citrusy Herb-Marinated Feta

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-citrus-herb-marinated-feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 Red Fresno Peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Peppercorns
  • Bundle Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 1 Block Feta Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Pieces Toast

Instructions:

  1. Assemble seasoning mix in a small bowl by combining lemon zest, fresno peppers, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and chili flakes.
  2. Cut feta into cubes, add about 1/3 to a jar, then add 1/3 of the seasoning mix.
  3. Cover with a layer of olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Repeat until jar is filled. Marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or up to 2 weeks.
  5. Enjoy on toast or in salads.

5. Halloumi

types of cheeses-halloumi

Type: Semi-soft, artisan; cow, sheep, or goat’s cheese

Flavor profile: Strong, salty, savory

Pairs well with: Watermelon, citrus fruit, za’atar, harissa, pastry dough, eggplant, hummus, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds

Use in: Stir-fries, salads, appetizers, toasts

Cooking characteristics: Best fried or grilled

Melting properties: Hardly melts (180ºF)

Did you know? Mint is often added during the making of halloumi, which explains why some describe its flavor as minty.

Recipe: Crunchy Halloumi Sticks

types of cheeses-HelloFresh-crunchy-halloumi-sticks

Ingredients:

  • 8 Ounces Halloumi Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 20 Grams Flour
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • Pinch Ground Pepper
  • 50 Grams Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • Paper Towels

Instructions:

  1. Cut halloumi into sticks the size of a finger.
  2. Whisk egg in a shallow dish. Measure flour onto a plate and mix in rosemary and pepper. In a separate plate, add panko.
  3. Coat slices with flour, then dip into egg. And finally, roll in panko.
  4. Fry slices of halloumi in olive oil 3 at a time until crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and dry on a plate lined with paper towels.

Now that you’re well schooled on these five types of cheeses, put your knowledge to the test by taking this quiz.

Craving cheese now? Thought so. Fortunately, these four perfectly melty grilled cheese recipes are here to rescue you.

And if you know of anyone that (sadly) can’t eat dairy, tell them not to worry. We’ve got a handy list of ingredient swaps for dairy-free meals.

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