Semi-hard cheese includes all time favorites like Cheddar, Gouda, Havarti & Gryuère.
A perfect balance of moisture and aridity, these cheeses provide a firm, slightly springy texture with a delicate blend of savoury and tangy flavours. Usually dense in consistency, the cheese is often made by compressing curds into a solid, draining them of any remaining whey in the process. Taken directly from their moulds, some cheeses (i.e. Gouda, Edam and Jarlsberg) receive a coating of wax, thus avoiding the need for brine. Typically, semi-hard cheeses are aged anywhere between 1 and 6 months depending on each specific type.
Having aged less than half a year, semi-hard cheeses are characterised by their relatively mild taste and aroma. Due to the lack of moisture, the fragrance rarely pronounces itself too strongly. Semi-hard cheeses often are characterized by soft touches of hazelnuts and seared butter, along with a diverse line-up of mellow nuances. Semi-hard cheese melts and spreads evenly when grated, with firmer and slightly older cheeses guaranteeing neat slices every time. Opting to grate the cheese yourself delivers a clearer palate than shop-bought variants, which tend to be a mixture of multiple types.
Often wearing a wax or cloth coating, semi-hard cheeses with natural rinds are edible all the way through, intensifying in flavour towards the exterior.
A roster of adored classics, semi-hard cheeses show their full beauty when served beside vibrant flavours of fresh fruit or a deep red wine.
Hardly ever in need of introduction, this English treasure has become a permanent resident in global cuisine. Cheddar has a maturity anywhere between 2 months to over 2 years. Depending on the age, Cheddar can be found with a diverse range of textures and tastes. Some are even mixed with chilli, black pepper and onion.
Pair with a dry red wine, zesty pear and roasted nuts.
Sharing a name with its town of origin, Gouda features a lightly beige-coloured body made using milk from either sheep, cows or goats. It has a sweet and nutty flavour, often with a light and mild aroma. As it ages, flavours become more piquant and the texture crystallises.
Pair with a slightly bitter beer or a deep red wine.
This gentle Dane is easily recognised by its interspersed eyes and near-white interior. Loved for its creamy consistency, it offers a smooth and subtle flavour. As it ages, its profile increasingly resembles that of Cheddar - both in taste and texture.
Pair with a light white wine or a simple pilsner beer.
A cheese plastered in history and tradition, Gruyère acquires its flavours from rich cow’s milk. The texture is flaky and granular with age, with younger variants being denser. Revealing full-bodied, fruity tones, the flavours slowly journey towards nutty and earthy with a mild finish.
Pair with berry jam, sliced pear and grapes.
Curious about the world of cheese? Here's everything you need to know about how to store, serve and cut cheese!
Not really sure what to serve with your cheese? Lucky for you, cheese is a great match for a lot of different drink types - how about a dark stout, a G&T or a fruity and sweet white wine?
Explore our guides and find the perfect choice of drink for your next party!