Semi-hard cheese includes all-time favorites like Cheddar, Gouda, Havarti & Gruyère.
A perfect balance of moisture and aridity, these cheeses provide a firm, slightly springy texture with a delicate blend of savory and tangy flavors. 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 molds, 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 one and six months depending on type.
Having aged less than half a year, semi-hard cheeses are characterized 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 lineup 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 cleaner 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 flavor towards the exterior.
A roster of adored classics, semi-hard cheeses show their full beauty when served beside vibrant flavors 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 two months to over two years. Depending on the age, Cheddar can be found with a diverse range of textures and tastes. Some are even mixed with chili, 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-colored body made using milk from either sheep, cows or goats. It has a sweet and nutty flavor, often with a light and mild aroma. As it ages, flavors become more piquant and the texture crystallizes.
Pair with a slightly bitter beer or a deep red wine.
This gentle Danish cheese is easily recognized by its interspersed holes and near-white interior. Loved for its creamy consistency, it offers a smooth and subtle flavor. 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 flavors from rich cow’s milk. The texture is flaky and granular with age, with younger variants being denser. Revealing full-bodied, fruity tones, the flavors 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 gin and tonic, or a fruity and sweet white wine? Explore our guides and find the perfect choice of drink for your next party!