Cooked Pressed Cheese
While most pressed cheeses are heated, Thorpe considers anything that gets above 110° cooked. You don’t have to be a cheesemonger to tell a cheese’s temperature, though; you can actually taste the difference. “Cooked cheeses actually taste cooked," says Thorpe. "Like roasted nuts, browned butter, or even scalded milk.” You may notice that some of the artisan cooked pressed cheeses that have become increasingly revered are a rich yellow or burnt orange in color. These small-batch favorites get their coloring from cows feeding on a diet of grass, which makes their milk orange (thanks to the beta carotene) and results in cheese's deep colors.
Cooking also removes even more moisture, so these cheeses tend to be firmer and can hold their own with heftier foods than your average cheese plate. Try pairing them with spiced nuts, grilled vegetables, tangy vinegars, cured meats, or fruity white wines like Rieslings.
Appearance: Alpine-style cheeses (like Swiss) are smooth, whereas grana-styles (we're talking cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano) can be craggy.
Texture: Firm, although Alpines tend to be elastic and chewy, while Granas can have a crunchy and crystalline bite.
Flavor: Cooked milk, hazelnuts, and even butterscotch or bourbon.
Aroma: From fruity to nutty.
What to buy: Alpine-style cheeses like Gruyere, Emmenthal, Jarlsberg, Beaufort, and Comte, or Grana styles like grana Padano or pecorino Romano.