Cheese NameFlavorColorTextureDescription & Uses
AckawiMildWhiteSemi-firmMiddle Eastern-style cheese, good as is, with fruit (see also Ackawi under Fresh Cheeses).
AsiagoSharpLight yellowFirm to very firmItalian-style cheese with sharp, rich flavor. Used for eating and cooking. Harder, more aged versions used for grating in ways similar to Dry Jack or Parmesan.
Baby SwissMedium sharp to sharpWhiteSemi-firmSimilar to Swiss cheese but with smaller holes. Use as is, for snacks and sandwiches, and in cooked dishes. Comes in lowfat variety.
CarmodyMedium sharpLight yellowFirmA firm, flavorful, smooth-textured table cheese that also melts well. Typically aged four to six months.
CheddarRanges from mild to extra sharpLight yellow to orange; may also be whiteFirmCheddar describes a family of cheeses — very popular and versatile cheeses available in a range of flavors from mild to very sharp. Good as is and in sandwiches. Melts well and is very good in cooked foods or shredded and sprinkled on top. Also available in an organic version.
Cheddar (raw milk)Sharp, agedWhiteFirmUnpasteurized (raw) milk plus aging gives Cheddar a delicious sharpness. Eaten as is, with crackers, bread or fruit.
ChantalenoSalty, flavorfulWhiteSemi-firm to firmHispanic-style cheese similar to Cotija. It is used the same way as Cotija in cooked foods.
ColbyMild, similar to CheddarPale yellow to orangeSemi-firmLike Cheddar, but somewhat milder and softer. It is used as is for snacks and in cooked foods.
Colby/JackMild to medium sharpWhite and yellow/orangeFirmA blend of Colby and Jack used for eating, especially snacks and sandwiches. Also called CoJack and Calico.
CotijaSalty, pungentWhiteSemi-firm to firm, crumblyHispanic-style cheese similar to Feta. Crumble and sprinkle over cooked dishes, soups, beans and salads. Also called Queso Anejo (aged cheese). Some types may be very dry and hard (see Very Hard Cheeses section).
EdamMildYellow with wax coatingFirmSimilar to Gouda, Edam is very tasty as is, with crackers or other snacks.
EnchiladoAged, slightly spicy coatingRed spice coating, white interiorFirm, dry, crumblySlightly aged Hispanic-style cheese with mild red chili or paprika coating. When aged longer (Anejo-style) may be quite hard. Heated, it softens but does not melt. Crumble onto Mexican foods, soups and salads.
FetaSalty, pungentWhiteDry, firm to hard, crumblyGreek and Bulgarian-style cheese used in many Middle Eastern dishes. Good in many cooked dishes, including pasta, or topping soups and salads. Comes in fat-free variety.
FontinaMild, nuttyLight yellowFirmMild, pleasant cheese for snacking and sandwiches, similar to Gouda and Edam. (A variation, Fontinella, is firmer and drier.)
Frying CheeseMild, slightly saltyWhiteFirmA Middle Eastern-style cheese typically cut into slices and fried. Holds shape when hot. Top with sauces or salsa. Used for saganaki.
GoudaMild, nuttyYellow with wax coatingFirmA popular mild cheese, eaten as is for snacks, also in cooked foods, salads and sandwiches. Similar to Edam.
Gouda (raw milk)SharpLight yellowFirmA Dutch-style cheese also called Boere Kaas. Has a sharper, more complex flavor than most Goudas due to use of raw milk and aging. Used for eating and cooking.
HavartiMild, slightly tangyPale yellowSemi-firmMild cheese similar to Edam and Gouda. Used both for snacks and in cooked foods and salads.
LonghornMild to sharpLight yellow to orangeFirmA form of Cheddar. Used as is and in cooked foods.
ManchegoMellow, nuttyWhiteSemi-firm to firmThis California interpretation of a traditional Spanish cheese uses cows' milk to create a tasty table cheese. Eaten as is or in sandwiches. Melts well when used for cooking.
Marble CheddarMild to sharpOrange and whiteFirmDistinctive-looking blend of orange and white Cheddars, typically mild to medium sharpness. Uses are same as for Cheddar.
MenonitaMildWhiteSmooth, semi-firmHispanic-style cheese similar in taste and uses to Gruyere or Gouda.
Monterey JackMildWhiteSemi-firm to firm (Also a high-moisture form with buttery texture)A very popular, versatile cheese that was created in California. Popular as a snack, also good in sandwiches, salads and cooked foods. Also available in an organic version.
Mozzarella (low moisture, part skim)MildWhiteSemi-firmCommonly used in cooking, especially pizza, because of its excellent melting properties. While technically a fresh cheese, this Mozzarella is commonly grouped with semi-hard cheeses because of its firm texture.
OaxacaMildWhiteSemi-firmHispanic-style cheese similar to Mozzarella but with distinctive braided appearance. Use as is, in sandwiches, or melted on cooked foods, including pizza and nachos.
Port Salut (also Port du Salut or St. Paulin)MildLight yellowFirmA French-style cheese similar to Gouda or Edam in taste and appearance. Eaten as is, but also good for cooking.
ProvoloneMild to sharpLight yellowSemi-firm to firmItalian-style cheese eaten as is or on sandwiches, also used in cooked foods.
Queso BlancoMild, slightly tangyWhiteSemi-firm to firm, creamyHispanic-style cheese similar to mild Cheddar to tangy Jack. Used in cooked foods and fondues. Also good as is.
ScamorzaMildIvorySemi-firmMild, Italian-style cheese similar to Mozzarella (low moisture, part skim). Traditionally tied with string at top, which gives it a distinctive pear-shape.
St. GeorgeMedium sharpLight yellowFirmPortuguese-style table cheese with a rich, medium sharp flavor.
StringMildWhiteSemi-firm, chewyA popular snack, especially with children who enjoy the chewy, stringy texture. Also used in cooked foods.
Syrian (Armenian String)MildWhiteFirmA Syrian-style String cheese, similar to regular String cheese. Also for snacks and in cooked foods.