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Styles of Cheese

Fresh Cheeses Soft-ripened Cheeses Semi-hard Cheeses Washed Rind Cheeses
Semi-soft Cheeses Surface-ripened Cheeses Hard (Aged) Cheeses Blue Cheeses

Buying cheese is one of the most exhilarating yet often most intimidating food-buying experiences imaginable. It doesn't have to be. All you have to do is learn the Eight Basic Styles of Cheese and you'll be on your way to a worry-free cheese-buying experience.

The Eight Basic Styles of Cheese consist of fresh, semi-soft, soft ripened, surface-ripened, semi-hard, aged, washed rind, and blue cheeses. If you understand what each of these terms means, and how that translates to the flavor profile of each style of cheese, you will automatically have a window into the flavors of many cheeses without ever having tasted them. That makes buying cheese a cinch. Here is a brief description of each type of cheese along with their primary characteristics.