“If you’re new to cheeses, this one’s confusing because you might think all cheese is fresh,” says Thorpe. Here, fresh means young (think of a fresh mozzarella versus an aged Parmesan). These cheeses tend to be very high in moisture and very perishable — so eat them as soon as you buy them.
Fresh cheeses are making a huge resurgence thanks to more organic, grass-fed dairies popping up around the country, and an increased interest in eating local. They tend to taste pretty mild, making them solid additions to salads (like a caprese) or even desserts (like a ricotta cheesecake) where other flavors are supposed to stand out.
Appearance: Smooth and bright white.
Texture: Wet, creamy, or crumbly, with no rind on the outside.
Flavor: Fresh cheese's flavors vary based on the type of milk used (cow’s milk tends to be sweet and mild, whereas goat or sheep’s milk can be tangy or lemony).
Aroma: Milky and mild.
What to buy: Goat cheese (chevre), feta, ricotta, cottage cheese, mascarpone.