Uncooked Pressed Cheese
Hard cheeses aren’t just hard in texture — they’re hard to classify. “Unlike blue, bloomy, or washed-rind cheeses, there aren’t very many visual cues,” says Thorpe. Instead, the main difference comes from the way they’re made. Aging and pressing the cheese helps remove the moisture, but the uncooked variety stay semi-firm. In the cheese world, Havarti blistered with jalapeños or aged cheddar filled with grainy, crystal-like repositories are gaining traction.
Grab some apples or cranberries, and bitter or spicy nuts like cashews dusted with cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lime to accompany this kind of cheese. If you're using them to make mac and cheese or a pasta salad, you might also find these diverse cheeses complement spicy pesto or peppers well. To drink, wash them down with pale ales or stouts (or sparkling cider, if that's your thing).
Appearance: A thick and crusty rind encasing a pale yellow interior.
Texture: Semisoft to firm, ranging from pliable gouda to chunky cheddar.
Flavor: Lemony, earthy, or sweet.
Aroma: Quite diverse; varying from straw to rye.
Try: Gouda, Havarti, Edam, cheddar, Cantal, monterey jack.