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Types of cheese for pizza

There are many types of cheese for pizza. Pizza is not just a layer of mozzarella under other toppings. The best pies are made with a variety of cheeses. Here you will find all types of cheese for pizza:

Asiago cheese

Asiago Cheese

Originally made near Venice but now made across North America, this cow's milk cheese has a taste reminiscent of creamy Cheddar but is sometimes used as a substitute for Pecorino or other hard cheeses. There are now hundreds of types of Asiago: from the fresh, oily Asiago pressato to dry and crumbly Asiago d'allevo. For pizza making, seek out drier versions; they're better for grating. Wetter, softer versions of Asiago can melt too quickly and run across the pie.

Brie cheese

Brie Cheese

Originally a French cheese, named for its eponymous region, this soft, cow's milk cheese is now made in several locations across North America. The creamy cheese is encased in an edible white rind. For pizza making, however, the rind should be removed so that the soft inner cheese can be spread on the crust. While the cheese is still cold, slice off the top rind with a knife; then set the cheese aside to come to room temperature for several hours before scooping out and spreading the runny cheese with a rubber spatula.

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar Cheese

Although true Cheddar is the most popular cheese in the United Kingdom, accounting for more than 50 percent of the nation's total cheese consumption, this white, grainy, aged cheese is a rarity in the United States, where it has been replaced by the familiar orange block, sold in a taste spectrum of "mild," "medium," "sharp," and "extra- sharp." Indeed, it is this American variety that is called for in this page. For the best taste, use a medium flavored Cheddar.

Danish blue cheese

Danish Blue Cheese

Also known as "Danablu," this aged, creamy, blue cheese was originally developed in Denmark by cheese maker Marius Boel as competition for French Roquefort. Danish blue is perhaps the mildest of the blue cheeses commonly found in supermarkets and also the saltiest. It is spreadable if left at room temperature for 3 or 4 hours.

Edam cheese

Edam Cheese

This pale, mild, slightly sweet cheese is sometimes used as a substitute for Emmental, Cheddar, Gouda, or even Gruyère. It is far milder in taste than any of these, offering a slightly nutty aftertaste. It is also often softer than those other cheeses, primarily due to its lower fat content.

Emmental cheese

Emmental Cheese

Also called "Emmentaler," "Emmenthal," or "Emmenthaler," this mild, semi firm cow's milk cheese with its characteristic holes is probably the original Swiss cheese. Little of it is now made in Switzerland except high end, aged varieties that would be great for a cheese plate but inappropriate on pizza. Most commercial Emmental suitable for pizza is made elsewhere or subcontracted out by Swiss firms.

Feta cheese

Feta Cheese

Made from goat's, sheep's, and/or cow's milk, this Greek cheese is actually a form of cheese curd, rather than a fully formed block of cheese. It is crumbly, white, and slightly sour, although its flavor can vary widely depending on the cheese's quality, acid content, and age. It's best stored in brine or a whey mixture because it dries out quickly at room temperature. Buy the block and store it in your refrigerator in its brine or whey solution for up to 3 months.

Fontina cheese

Fontina Cheese

This moderately high- fat cow's milk cheese from Italy comes in several varieties, from a soft cheese reminiscent of Taleggio or Brie to a hard cheese that can be grated like Parmigiano-Reggiano. Use a moderately firm version for the pizzas in this book. Look for the name "FONTINA" stamped on the rind along with a picture of the Matterhorn.

Goat cheese

Goat Cheese

Often called chèvre, French for "goat," there are hundreds of varieties on the market - some aged and hard, some fresh and soft. In standard North American cooking parlance, "goat cheese" refers to a soft cheese, often sold in small, cylinder- shaped pieces, sometimes under the brand name "Montrachet," a section of Burgundy, France. Although goat cheese is sometimes herbed or peppered, buy only the fresh plain, creamy variety for pizza making.

Gorgonzola cheese

Gorgonzola Cheese

This Italian blue cheese is made by lacing the cow's milk with a strain of penicillin, then inserting metal rods into the formed cheese to create holes into which the blue mold can bloom during aging. Gorgonzola actually comes in several varieties: soft, aged (and thus firm), and even a sweetened version, sometimes used for dessert. Use the soft version for these pizzas; it should have the texture of Camembert or room- temperature Brie.

Gouda cheese

Gouda Cheese

Again not one thing but many, this pale yellow, mild, cow's milk cheese originally from the Netherlands is made by washing the curd with water to remove some of the lactic acid, thereby producing a sweeter cheese. The orange, rubbery varieties, often sold under the same name in the United States, are knock- off imitators. That said, they are perfectly acceptable on a pie if they are the bottom cheese, the one on which the other ingredients sit. These knockoffs are less acceptable as the top cheese because of their too mild taste and oily when melted texture. Aged Gouda, like Boerenkaas, is a specialty best saved for a cheese plate.

Grana Padano cheese

Grana Padano Cheese

Like Parmigiano-Reggiano ,Grana Padano is an Italian cheese made in large, cylindrical wheels from partly skimmed cow's milk. It has a grainy texture (thus, grana in Italian; "Padano" refers to the region around the Po River). Compared with Parmigiano- Reggiano, Grana Padano is slightly sweeter and definitely milder, perhaps a better choice when kids are going to have part of the pie. The name should be clearly stamped on the hard rind.

Gruyère cheese

Gruyère Cheese

This pale, hard, mild, salty Swiss cheese is made from partially cooked cow's milk. It is the cheese used atop French onion soup; it is also a favorite in all sorts of cooking because it complements, rather than overpowers, other flavors. Although available in a wide variety, Gruyère is usually sold in the U.S. in two versions: mild (sometimes labeled doux-French for "sweet"), which has been aged for 5 months or less, and réserve, a little stronger and aged for up to 10 months. Either will do for these pizzas, although the mild/doux is more eco nom ical.

Provolone cheese

Provolone Cheese

This Italian, aged, semi hard cow's milk cheese originated in southern Italy but is now made almost exclusively in the northern part of the country. It has a slightly stronger, more pungent taste than standard mozzarella, for which it is often a substitute to go with more fiery or herbaceous tomato sauces. There are multiple varieties from the very sharp piccante to the sweet dolce. A less flavored, more neutral provolone is better for pizza.

Jarlsberg cheese

Jarlsberg Cheese

Often thought of as a Norwegian version of Emmental,Jarlsberg is nonetheless more buttery, somewhat more pliable, and definitely sweeter. Made from cow's milk, the cheese has an inedible rind and a characteristic,waxy sheen. In the late 1980s, a so- called "light" version was developed,one with less of that characteristic bitterness but also (of course) somewhat less fat. Either is good for the pizzas in this website.

Manchego cheese

Manchego Cheese

This mild, nutty, pale white or pale yellow sheep's milk cheese from Spain is available in three forms: fresco (fresh, like fresh mozzarella), curado (aged 3 to 6 months), and Viejo (aged at least 1 year). Only the latter two are acceptable for these pizzas and curado is less expensive than viejo, which is best reserved for eating on its own. Look for a semi firm cheese, not quite as hard as Parmigiano-Reggiano but certainly shreddable, even gratable. The rind is inedible.

Monterey Jack cheese

Monterey Jack Cheese

Franciscan monks in Monterey, California, once made this white cheese. It received its current name from its first promoter and marketer, David Jack, and was originally called "Jack's cheese." It is quite mild, best used in cooking where its fat content carries other flavors. For these pies, do not use any flavored Jack cheese (pepper Jack, etc.) or any aged Jack, hard like Pecorino and best for grating over salads.

Montrachet cheese

Monterey Jack Cheese

See Goat cheese. Montrachet is a branded version of one form of soft goat cheese.

Pecorino cheese

Pecorino Cheese

This is the name for an entire group of Italian sheep's milk cheeses, almost all quite hard like Parmigiano-Reggiano but with a stronger, sharper, and saltier taste. The name "Pecorino" is usually paired with a second word to indicate the place of origin-for example, Pecorino Romano ("Roman Pecorino," which these days is mostly made in Sardinia or Tuscany).

Muenster cheese

Muenster Cheese

This is the name for an entire group of Italian sheep's milk cheeses, almost all quite hard like Parmigiano-Reggiano but with a stronger, sharper, and saltier taste. The name "Pecorino" is usually paired with a second word to indicate the place of origin-for example, Pecorino Romano ("Roman Pecorino," which these days is mostly made in Sardinia or Tuscany).

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

This hard, skimmed cow's milk Italian cheese is most often finely grated with a microplane or shaved into strips with a cheese plane. Buy small chunks that have been cut off larger wheels; these chunks should have as little rind as possible to cut down on waste. The rind should be stamped with the cheese's name and origin for authenticity.

Raclette cheese

Raclette Cheese

This semi firm, salty, creamy cheese originated in Switzerland but is now almost exclusively associated with a dish served in the French Alps on either side of the border, a dish of potatoes and melted cheese to which the cheese gives its name. Raclette melts exceptionally well; remove the rind before using on pizza. Ricotta. Ricotta is made from whey, an often discarded by- product of cheese making. It's sort of like cottage cheese but creamier. Because it is made from whey, rather than milk itself, there can be regular, low- fat, and even fat- free versions of ricotta. As a health note, fat- free versions will work here in deep- dish pies but will turn too runny when placed on a standard crust.

Roquefort cheese

Roquefort Cheese

This blue cheese is made from sheep's milk, not cow's, and is renowned for its pungent, stinky, sour taste. Originally, it was made in certain French caves that were hosts to naturally occurring penicillin colonies. Bread was left in the caves for 6 to 8 weeks to mold and be almost fully consumed by the bacilli; the resulting mass was dried, ground, and bored into the cheese wheels to produce the characteristic blue mottling. The process today is much simpler; the result, a little less complex but still quite odoriferous.

Soy Mozzarella cheese

Soy Mozzarella Cheese

Soy cheese is made by forming soy curds (much like tofu) into blocks (much like cheese). There are sometimes additions of artificial or natural flavors. Soy cheese will not melt like milk cheese; it has a more plastic, rubbery texture. That said, soy cheese is an acceptable substitute for dairy cheese if the soy cheese is put under other ingredients on the pie where their naturally released moisture will improve its texture dramatically.

Mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella Cheese

The classic pizza cheese bears little resemblance to fresh mozzarella. This is a semi hard, waxy, grating cheese, often used as the bottom cheese on pizzas, the cheese on which everything else lies. It allows the flavors of the other ingredients to be more present, thanks to its mild flavor and moderately high fat content. It is often sold pregrated check the label to make sure you're buying cheese, not an imitation product. Fresh mozzarella, by contrast, is a pure white, mild cheese, usually formed, sold, and consumed on the same day. Buffalo mozzarella (mozzarella di bufala) is made from the milk of a certain type of water buffalo; other fresh mozzarella is made from cow's milk. The cheese maker stretches and shapes the cheese, about like kneading bread, and then cuts off sections for sale. Fresh mozzarella is sometimes available in a brine bath at the supermarket salad bar-but beware: that brine can turn it untenable rubbery and salty. Instead, search out fresh mozzarella at small Italian markets or better- quality cheese counters at supermarkets.

Havarti cheese

Havarti Cheese

This buttery, semi soft, rindless Danish cheese turns quite soft if left at room temperature for an hour or so. Although aged versions exist, it's best for pizzas in its soft, creamy, young state.

Swiss cheese

Swiss Cheese

This generic name is given to any white to pale yellow, shiny cheese with holes. A knock off of Emmental, Swiss is certainly an economical if less tasty substitute..

Ricotta salata cheese

Ricotta Salata Cheese

This is a dried, salted, and pressed version of ricotta, often sold in cones. It can be grated like Parmigiano- Reggiano or Pecorino; in fact, it is most often a milder, sweeter substitute for these cheeses.

Queso Blanco cheese

Queso Blanco Cheese

This soft Mexican cheese is made by pressing the whey from cottage cheese, making it similar to farmer cheese. Queso blanco is white and lacks any rind. It is most often crumbled onto pizzas like feta.

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