All About Cheese
The Wisconsin Cheese and Wine Chalet is synonymous with high quality Wisconsin Cheese, from cheddar to mozzarella, and hundreds of unique specialty Wisconsin cheese varieties.
When people think of cheese, they think of Wisconsin. Research confirms it. The nation’s top cheese producer, Wisconsin is home to classics such as Cheddar and Colby and also is America’s leader in specialty and artisan cheesemaking. With more than 600 varieties, types and styles of Wisconsin cheese, you’re sure to find the perfect Wisconsin cheese you’ll love.
Generally describes a cheese that has been cured longer than six months. Aged Wisconsin cheeses are characterized as having more pronounced and fuller, sometimes sharper flavors than medium-aged or current-aged cheeses.
Pale yellow color. Available young (mild flavor; soft texture); and aged (buttery/nutty, piquant flavor; hard, granular texture). Grate over potato dishes, tossed salads, steamed vegetables, pasta dishes, rice, Serve Asiago cheese "as is" with fresh fruit, and wine.
Pale yellow color. Made from whole milk, for buttery, mild creamy flavor. Soft, Silky texture. Smaller eyes than traditional Swiss. Baby Swiss cheese is also available smoked. Slices and melts well. Shred on salads into potatoes. Serve with egg dishes. Slice on sandwiches. Serve "as is" with fresh veggies.
Ivory color marbled with blue/gray veins. Piquant flavor, firm crumbly texture. Use Wisconsin Blue cheese on salads, in dressings and sauces. Blend into potato dishes, pasta or egg dishes. Serve as a condiment on pizza, hamburgers, and salads.
The liquid which remains after churning butter from cultured cream. The liquid remaining after churning sweet cream is sweet cream buttermilk used to make Buttermilk cheese. Also a cultured skim milk.
Can be white, golden or marbled cheese. Rich, nutty, creamy flavor becomes more complex, pleasingly sharp with age. The cheddar cheese smooth, firm texture becomes granular, crumbly with age. Available smoked. Available mild (aged 10 days to 4 months); medium (aged 4 to 10 months); or Sharp (aged 10 months or more). Sculpture, add to soups, bake into breads and pastries. Use in egg dishes or classic Mac'n Cheese. Serve "as is" with fruit and wine.
Their flavor is mild with about the same firmness as cheese, but has a springy or rubbery texture. Fresh curds squeak against the teeth when bitten into, a defining characteristic. Cheese curds are sometimes referred to as "Squeaky cheese".
A Wisconsin cheese with an original mild flavor. Open texture, softer, more elastic than cheddar. Golden color, sometimes marbled. Colby cheese is available with added flavors and ingredients-hot peppers, vegetables, sausage. Slices well. Serve cubed with fruit. Shred into biscuit batter. Add to Mexican dishes. Slice for hot or cold sandwiches.
Coldpack or Cheese Spreads
Naturally cheese blended without the aid of heat. Soft, creamy texture. Smooth appearance, similar to the cheese from which it's made. Cheese spread flavor varies with types of cheese used and added flavorings or ingredients. Melt with a little milk for a sauce. Pipe as garnish, or over French fried potatoes. Blend into polenta, Spread over bread for sandwiches, and over tortillas for Mexican-style specialties.
Gouda & Edam
Gouda: made with whole milk; creamier. Edam: made from part skim milk, firmer. Pale yellow, smooth texture. Buttery, nutty flavor is mild when young, more intense with age. Available smoked. Slices and melts well. Cube for cheese and fruit kabobs. Blend with beer and seasonings for a dip. Slice for sandwiches, julienne for salads, shred into soup.
Wisconsin Gorgonzola Cheese is made from unskimmed cow's milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a 'bite' from its blue veining.
Wisconsin Gruyere Cheese is related to Swiss cheese, but no holes. Nutty, full-flavored; piquant aroma. The classic cheese for fondue, quiches and melted on onion soup.
Havarti cheese has a buttery aroma and can be somewhat sharp in the stronger varieties, much like Swiss cheese. The taste is buttery, and from somewhat sweet to very sweet, and it is slightly acidic. Wisconsin Havarti cheese is typically aged about three months, though when the cheese is older it becomes more salty and tastes like hazelnut. When left at room temperature the cheese tends to soften quickly.
Limburger cheese is most-well known for its very pungent odor which is caused by bacteria that live in the rind. In its first month, the cheese is more firm and crumbly, similar to the texture of feta cheese. After about six weeks, limburger cheese becomes softer along the edges but is still firm on the inside and can be described as salty and chalky. After two months of its life, it is mostly creamy and much smoother.
Muenster cheese is a smooth textured cheese with an orange rind and a white interior. This washed-rind cheese is made from cows’ milk. The orange color is derived from vegetable coloring. Wisconsin muenster cheese usually has a very mild flavor and smooth, soft texture.
A descriptive term for light, unpronounced flavors. Mild also refers to young, briefly-aged Cheddars.
Yellow/Ivory color. Sweet, nutty flavor intensifies with age. Granular texture, hardens with age. Parmesan cheese is made with part-skim milk, then aged for 10 months or more. Serve fresh grated over pasta, soup, salads, pizza, egg dishes, Blend into stuffing's, pastry, bread and pizza dough.
Natural cheese blended with the aid of heat. Smooth, elastic textured; pliable. Appearance and flavor similar to the natural cheese from which it's made. Flavor varies with added fruits, vegetables, meats or spices. Melts, and slices well. Use on hot and cold sandwiches. Roll around pickles or cold cuts. Melt over potatoes. Shred into soups.
Wisconsin Pepper Jack Cheese is a derivative of Monterey Jack that includes spicy hot peppers for flavor. Spicy, delicate and buttery, pepper jack cheese is semi-soft and open textured with a slightly tart flavor.
A descriptive flavor term referring to the fully developed flavor of aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Provolone and some Blue-veined varieties. The flavor is actually sharp and biting, but not excessively acrid or sour.
Cheese that has been smoked in a process similar to smoking meat. Methods for smoking cheese include the addition of liquid smoke to the brine or smoking over woodchips. Smoked Cheddar, Swiss and Provolone yield a unique flavor.
Natural variety: Wheels with brown rind or black wax.
Processed variety: cylinders with brown edible rind. Beige interiors. Creamy, hearty flavor. Great for party platters.
Ivory color. Buttery, nutty, mellow flavor. Firm texture. Dime-size holes, called "eyes". Usually made with part-skim milk and aged. Slices and melts well. Serve with egg dishes, breads, vegetables. Swiss cheese is excellent for sandwiches made with ham, beef or poultry.
Prior to airtight shrink bags, cheesemakers would wrap their cheese in cheesecloth and dip in wax for preservation. Many wax colors denote some attribute of that cheese. For example, with Cheddar: yellow = mild, red = medium, and black = aged or sharp.