Published on : 05 September 20236 min reading time
When we talk about cheese, our minds think immediately of hard yellow types that come in multiple varieties with tons of different uses. However, do not overlook the allure and indulgence that soft cheeses bring to the culinary world. In fact, if you want to add some tray full of flavours to your next brunch or dinner, soft cheeses might just be what you have been seeking. While the difference between soft cheeses can be subtle, their distinct characteristics are undeniable for a discerning palate. However, not many people possess knowledge of taste, and there is a likelihood you will struggle to select the perfect soft cheese for your occasion. From Caprice to camembert, learning about these top 10 soft cheeses recommendations will not only enhance your culinary expertise but also open up a new world of mouth-watering flavours to incorporate into your next dishes.
Top 10 Soft Cheeses
Caprice des Dieux
When we talk about soft cheese types, a few can rival the sheer indulgence of caprice des dieux. Also known as caprice, this delicate creation comes with a creamy and silky texture, which earns it a rightful place at the helm of any soft cheese list. With a high butterfat content and an unmistakable rich flavour, caprice des dieux leaves a lasting impression on any culinary enthusiast who takes a bite. That is why it is typically used as a snack or added to dish salads.
Unlike caprice, saint-mercellin is a lesser-known French cheese. However, with its creamy, velvety texture and sweet flavour, we couldn’t get away with not adding this hidden gem to our list of top 10 soft cheese types. It is commonly accompanied by a loaf of crusty bread or crackers and a glass of wine. You can also pair it with crisp, fresh fruit for a more natural burst of flavour.
Although France takes the mantle when it comes to soft-cheeses, Greece dilutes its dominance with its world-famous feta cheese. This traditional Greek cheese is manufactured by mixing 30% goat’s milk with sheep’s milk (though you can also find cow’s milk feta cheese). You can grate and sprinkle feta cheese on salads or melt atop pasta or pizza.
Our list of top soft cheese types wouldn’t be complete without the bold addition of Roquefort cheese. This blue cheese is created by introducing mould into inoculated cut cud, which gives it captivating blue veins. Its colour and intense spicy flavour are a work of art that often resonates with adventurous cheese enthusiasts. Its unique characteristics combined with crumbly textures make Roquefort cheese a highly sought-after ingredient in dressings, salads and spreads.
Goat cheese is a perfect choice for those culinary enthusiasts searching for adventure out of the norm. As the name suggests, this work of art is crafted from goat’s milk and boasts a texture spectrum ranging from crumbly and textured to smooth and spreadable. It is a common addition to vegetable tarts, salads and soups (for its creamy texture).
Mascarpone is commonly referred to as Italian cream cheese and is known for its smooth, rich and fatty texture with the slightest sweetness. The cheese is manufactured by adding acid to heavy cream, giving it the consistency of whipped cream without the air. With its higher fat content and richer, creamier texture, mascarpone can grate its way into any dish.
Brie is arguably the most popular French-style soft cheese. It gets its name from the French region whence it originated from, Brie. Like many soft kinds of cheese, it is made from cow’s milk, which gives it its velvety texture with a white rind that envelopes a bust of flavour. The allure of this classic French delight lies in its unique and unlikely combination of elegant sophistication and rustic charm. Additionally, its flavour range, from rich creaminess to delicate sweetness, is a highly sought-after characteristic in the cheese world.
Boursin cheese is manufactured using pasteurised cow’s milk. It is known for its both creamy and crumbly yet spreadable texture. You can use Boursin for various culinary purposes, including as spread on bread or crackers. It can also be served as a dip with fresh vegetables, thanks to its almost cheese-dip-like consistency.
Ricotta cheese gets its name from how it is created – ricotta is an Italian word for recooked. The cheese is manufactured from the whey left over from the manufacture of other cheese. For that reason, ricotta is lighter, fluffier and, for many people, the most flavourless cheese. Its spreadable texture makes it a perfect option for adding freshness to pizzas and preparing quick pasta dishes.
Alongside brie, camembert is another popular French-originating cheese. It is known for its creamy, buttery and milky sweet flavour. The cheese is manufactured from unpasteurised cow’s milk, which gives it a soft texture and runny interior. Camembert is a versatile soft cheese and can be used as a substitute for milk or cream in dishes.
How to Handle Soft Cheeses
Unlike hard cheeses, which can last for months, soft cheeses last only weeks. That’s why it is essential to learn how to handle these cheese types correctly. Here are a few pointers for handling soft cheese:
- Do not wrap soft cheeses in plastics – instead, store them in a humid drawer within your fridge
- Store in original packaging, ideally wax paper
- If possible, avoid freezing as that can cause them to lose their creamy texture
- Use clean utensils when cutting to avoid contamination
- Remove them from the fridge 30 – 60 minutes before serving
How to Select the Best Soft Cheese for Your Occasion
Shop cheeses online, selecting the best soft cheese for your occasion can be relatively challenging. While it often comes down to personal preference, it is essential to keep these few pointers in mind when shopping for soft cheeses:
- Inquire about the type of milk used
- What foods and wines do you intend to pair with
- Consider the pricing
- Buy from a reputable seller
- Try before buying to determine flavours
It is essential to get cheese that suits your needs, so determine how you intend to use it before heading to the market.
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