Cheese is a good meat stretcher in a tight family budget and provides for a good source of protein in a balanced diet.
Cheese is nutritious food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. Around 4000 years ago people have started to breed animals and process their milk. That's when the cheese was born.

Kinds of Cheese:
Nutritional Cheese: Made from cow, sheep or goat milk or cream; usually cured or aged to develop flavor.

    Soft Cheeses
    Brie (bree): French origin. Edible crust. Mild to pungent. Appetizer, dessert.
    Camembert (kam'-em-bear): Pungent. Appetizer, dessert.
    Club: Canadian origin. Usually flavored. Appetizer, sandwich, dessert.
    Cottage: Large or small curds, dry or creamed. Salad, snack,cooking.
    Cream: US origin. Very mild. Chill slightly. Salad, snack, dessert.
    Gourmandise: French origin. Cherry brandy flavor. Appetizer, dessert.
    Liederkranz: US origin. Edible crust. Pungent. As an appetizer, for dessert.
    Ricotta (rih-kah'-tuh) Italian origin. Mild. Curd or dry. Cooking, dessert.

    Semisoft Cheeses

    Bel Paese(bel-pah-ay'-ze): Italian origin. Mild. As an appetizer, for dessert.
    Brick: US origin. Mild to sharp flavor. Firm to soft. As a snack or in sandwiches.
    Monterey Jack: California origin. Mild appetizer, cooking, sandwich.
    Mozzarella, Scamorze: Italian origin. Mild. For cooking, as a snack.
    Muenster (mun'-ster): German origin. Mild to sharp. Appetizer, sandwich.
    Port du Salut (por-du-sa-lu): French origin. Mild to robust. Appetizer, dessert.
    Bleu: Probable French origin. Tangy sharp. Appetizer, salad, dessert.
    Cheddar: English origin. Mild to very sharp. Snack, cooking, dessert.
    Cheshire: English origin. Crumbly texture. Snack, cooking (Welsh rarebit).
    Edam, Gouda: Dutch origin. Inedible casing. Mild. Appetizer, dessert.
    Fontina (fahn-tee'-nah) Italian origin. Mellow. Appetizer, dessert.
    Gjertost (yate'-ohst): Norwegian origin. Caramel flavor. Sandwich snack.
    Gorgonzola: Italian origin. Piquant flavor; crumbly. In salads, for dessert.
    Gruyère:(gree-air'): Swiss origin. Nutty, sharper than Swiss. Cooking, dessert.

    Very Hard Cheeses

    Kashkaval (kotch-kah-vaih') Yugoslavian origin. Salty. Appetizer, snack, dessert.
    Noekkelost (nee-ke-lohst): Norwegian origin. Mild. Seeded. Sandwich, snack.
    Provolone (pro-vo-lo'-nee): Italian. Smoked. Mild to sharp. Cooking, snack.
    Swiss: Mild, nutty, sweet flavor. Appetizer, sandwich, cooking, dessert.
    Parmesan: Italian origin. Inedible casing. Sharp. Usually grated for cooking.
    Romano: Italian origin. Piquant. Granular. Usually grated, also as a snack.
    Sapsago (sap-say'-go): Swiss origin. Clover flavor. Usually grated.
    Sbrinz: Of Swiss origin. Medium to sharp. Often grated, also a snack.

Pasteurized process cheese: A blend of one or more lots of cheese, processed using heat, water and emulsifier.
Cheese food: A mixture of one or more cheeses, processed using milk solids, salt, emulsifier.
Cheese spread: Higher in moisture and lower in milk fats than cheese food. Sometimes flavored with pimento, olives or other ingredients.
Cold pack (club) cheese: One or more kinds of natural cheese, mixed without heat or emulsifier.

Buying Cheese

    Domestic cheese is frequently cheaper than imported cheese of the same kind and quality.
    Pasteurized process cheese usually costs less than mild natural cheese.
    Mild natural cheese often cost less than sharp, aged cheese.
    Process cheese loaves are less that spreads.
    Blocks of cheese are generally less that sliced or shredded cheese.

Storing Cheese

    All cheeses need refrigeration. Store soft cheese (Camembert, cream cheese, cottage cheese) tightly covered. Cottage cheese keeps 3 to 5 days; other soft cheese keeps for 2 weeks. Hard cheese (Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan) keeps for several months. Store unopened in original wrappers. After opening, cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
    If you find mold on natural cheese, cut it off. If mold has penetrated the cheese throw it away.
    In mold ripened cheese (Bleu, Gorgonzola) the mold contributes distinctive flavor and color.

Cooking Cheese

Keep cooking temperatures low and avoid over cooking to prevent stringiness and toughness in cheese. Add the cheese to other ingredients in small pieces so it will spread evenly and cook in a shorter length of time. To further shorten cooking time use the microwave.

For some fun you can Behold the Power of Cheese and take a test that gives your Cheese Profile at:
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Excerpted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook