There are countless ways to classify cheese. We've adapted our categories from others and presented them in the way we think works best. At Antonelli's Cheese Shop, we group cheese into seven major styles, according to the most defining characteristic of a cheese. (Note that in many cases a cheese can be categorized in more than one style due to numerous variables including maturation and mold influences.)

  • Fresh: rindless cheeses meant to be consumed in a short period of time [ex. ricotta, fresh chevre, fresh mozzarella]
  • Soft-Ripened/Bloomy Rind: generally cheese with a Penicillium Camemberti or Geotrichum Candidum white molded rind [ex. Brie, Bonne Bouche, Humboldt Fog]
  • Washed Rind: orange-colored, wet-looking cheese with a distinct aroma and flavor due to the presence of Brevibacterium linens, a result of regular washing in a brine or other solution [ex. Epoisses, Red Hawk, Munster]
  • Semi-Soft: pliable in texture, great melters [ex. Tomme Crayeuse, Fontina, Menage]
  • Firm: dry, yet smooth paste that snaps when bent [ex. Comte, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar]
  • Hard: driest cheese that crumbles and shatters when broken [ex. Parmigiano Reggiano, aged Gouda]
  • Blue: cheese with pencillium roqueforti in it; often has visual blue veins or coloring [ex. Rogue River Blue, Roquefort, Gorgonzola]

It's important to re-iterate that there is no definitive way to separate cheese into styles. This is, however, the method that we found to be the most convenient when helping us group cheese by major characteristics, as well as in helping guide us to finding a cheese to fit your mood or purpose.