Semi-firm or semi-hard cheese Most semi-firm cheeses are pressed during production to remove moisture. As they age, they become even firmer and more pungent and crumbly.
Most of these cheeses are great for snacks and sandwiches, and many can be cooked without becoming rubbery or oily.
Semi-firm cheese tend to have a longer shelf life than softer cheeses. Many can last about 1-2 months in the refrigerator if the package isn't opened, 3-4 weeks if opened, and 2 weeks if sliced.
* Denotes cheeses that we do not carry but their substitutions are available.
Abondance This French raw milk cheese has a subtle, nutty flavor. It's a good melting cheese. Substitutes: Gruyere OR Fontina OR Appenzell
Appenzell This is a creamy and pleasantly stinky cheese. Substitutes: Emmentaler OR Gruyère OR raclette OR Fontina
Asiago fresh Don't confuse this with aged Asiago, which is a firm grating cheese. Substitutes: Provolone OR other semi-firm cheese
Beaufort This semi-firm cheese is slightly sweet and has a nice texture. It's a great melting cheese, so it's often used in fondues. Substitutes: Emmenthal OR Gruyère OR Fontina OR Tomme OR Reblochon
* Caciotta This mild Italian cheese is made with a blend of sheep's milk and cow's milk cheese.
* Caerphilly This Welsh cow's milk cheese is crumbly and a good melter. Substitutes: Cheddar
*Cantal This French cheese is sweet when young but earthy and grassy when aged. It's a reliable party-pleaser--mild but complex. Substitutes: Cheddar OR Gruyère OR Monterey jack OR Lancashire
Cheddar The curds of many English cheeses are "cheddared" or cut them into slabs and stacked to allow whey to drain off. Some cheddars have more lactose in them, making them "sharp" or acidic. Less sharp cheddars are often labeled "mild" or "medium." England supplies many fine Cheddars, as does Vermont and Tillamook, Oregon. Substitutes: Colby OR Cheshire OR American cheese OR "Tofu Rella" Amber (a soy-based cheese substitute; use in melted cheese dishes) OR nutritional yeast OR white miso
Cheshire Said to be England's oldest cheese that is a good cooking cheese it has a dense and crumbly. Cheshire is produced in the English county of Cheshire, and four neighbouring counties. Blue Cheshire is a blue-veined version. Substitutes: Cheddar
Chevre (aged) Don't confuse this aged goat cheese with the far more common chevre frais (fresh chevre). Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. Substitutes: feta
Colby This Wisconsin cheese resembles a mild Cheddar but does not undergo the cheddaring process. Colby is a softer, moister, and milder cheese than Cheddar because it is produced through a washed-curd process. Substitutes: Cheddar (sharper flavor) OR Tillamook OR American
Comte = Comté = Gruyère du Comté = Comte Gruyere This excellent French cow's milk cheese dates from the time of Charlemagne. It has a mildly sweet, nutty flavor, much like Gruyère. It's a very good melting cheese. Substitutes: Gruyère OR Fontina OR Beaufort OR Emmentaler
* Coon Substitutes: Cheddar (not as sharp as Coon)
* Danbo Pronunciation: DAN-boh Substitutes: Samsoe OR Cheddar
Derby This is a mild, semi-firm cow's milk cheese with a smooth, mellow texture and buttery flavour. It has a pale, golden orange interior with a natural or waxed rind. It is quite similar in taste and texture to Cheddar and ripens at between one and six months Substitutes: Cheddar OR Vermont Sage (for Derby Sage)
Edam Dutch cheese that is traditionally sold in spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat of red paraffin wax. Most "young" Edam cheese sold in stores has a very mild flavor, is slightly salty or nutty, and has almost no smell when compared to other cheeses. As the cheese ages, its flavor sharpens, and it becomes firmer. Substitutes: Gouda (similar, but with a higher milkfat content) OR fontina OR Leyden cheese
Emmental This Swiss cheese is riddled with holes and has a mild, nutty flavor. It's an excellent melting cheese, and a key ingredient in many fondues. Substitutes: Jarlsberg (similar) OR Beaufort OR Gruyère OR Swiss OR raclette
Fontina This well-regarded cheese is mild but interesting, and it's a good melter. Substitutes: Gruyère OR Emmental OR Beaufort OR Edam OR Gouda OR Bel Paese OR Appenzell OR provolone OR rablochon
Gamonedo This expensive Spanish cheese is made from the milks of cows, sheep, and goats. It's smoked, giving it a very complex flavor. Substitutes: Cabrales (very similar)
Gjetost This tastes a bit like caramelized American cheese. Substitutes: Mysost (very similar)
Gloucester Pronunciation: GLOSS-ter Notes: This orange cheddar-like cheese comes from England. Varieties include Single Gloucester, which is ripened for only two months, and Double Gloucester, which is more highly regarded and flavorful. Huntsman cheese contains layers of Gloucester and Stilton. Substitutes: Cheshire OR Cheddar
* Greve Substitutes: Swiss
Gruyere These are excellent melting cheeses, and they're commonly used to make fondues, soufflés, gratins, and hot sandwiches. Varieties include Swiss Gruyère, Beaufort, and Comté. Substitutes: Emmentaler OR Jarlsberg OR Appenzell OR raclette OR Swiss cheese
Idiazabal This salty, sharp and crumbly Basque cheese is made with raw sheep's milk. It's usually smoked and aged before it hits the stores. It's a good cheese to grate in salads, melt on meats, or eat with crackers. Try serving it with sherry.
Jarlsberg This is a Norwegian knock-off of Emmentaler. It's mild, buttery, nutty and slightly sweet and has large holes. Substitutes: Emmentaler OR Gruyère OR Swiss OR raclette
Kashkaval This is a Bulgarian version of Italy's Caciocavallo cheese. It becomes much firmer as it ages and turns into a good grating cheese. Substitutes: Caciocavallo OR Provolone OR Scarmorza OR mozzarella OR Kashkaval OR Kaser
Kasseri This salty and tangy Greek cheese is made from sheep's milk. It's great on pizza. Substitutes: Kefalotyri (in fried cheese recipes) OR Caciocavallo OR Provolone OR Scarmorza OR mozzarella OR Kashkaval OR Kaser
Lancashire This is a rich, tangy, and crumbly cow's milk cheese produced in Britain. It's a good melting cheese. Substitutes: Cheddar
Leerdammer This Dutch cheese is mild, a creamy white texture and was made to be similar in appearance and flavor to Emmental or Jarlbergbut it is rounder in taste. It has a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor that becomes more pronounced with age.
Leicester This is an English cheese that's very similar to cheddar. Substitutes: Cheddar cheese (Not as moist as Leicester.)
Leyden This Dutch cheese is flavored with cumin and caraway seeds. Substitutes: Gouda OR Edam
Manchego Don't confuse this with aged Manchego cheese, which is firm and yellow, and typically used for grating. Younger Manchego cheese is sweet and nutty. It melts nicely and is often used in quesadillas. Substitutes: Monterey jack OR mozzarella OR cheddar
* Mysost This is a Scandinavian cheese made from cow's milk which has a soft spreadable texture providing a semi-sweet taste. Substitutes: Gjetost (very similar)
* Nøkkelost This Norwegian cheese is seasoned with caraway seeds, cumin, and cloves. Substitutes: Leyden (a very similar Dutch cheese)
Raclette People often melt this Swiss cheese and dip new potatoes into it. Substitutes: Emmental OR Morbier OR Gruyère OR Swiss OR Jarlsberg OR Reblochon
Saint Nectaire This French cheese has a rich, nutty flavor. Substitutes: Tomme de Savoie OR Tomme Crayeuse
Swiss This popular cheese is an American knock-off of Switzerland's Emmentaler cheese. This difference is that our domestic version usually has smaller eyes (making it easier to slice) and is made from pasteurized milk. Emmentaler has a richer, nuttier flavor. Substitutes: Emmentaler OR Gruyère OR Jarlsberg OR raclette
* Tete de Moine This is a very pungent Swiss cow's milk cheese.
* Vasterbotten This is a cheese from the Västerbotten region of Sweden. It is a hard cow's milk cheese with tiny eyes or holes and a firm and granular texture. Strong in flavour, its taste is described as somewhat like Parmesan.
Wensleydale This is a fairly mild English cheese. Substitutes: Cheddar
Yak cheese Substitutes: Swiss cheese