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440.248.5222
28560 Miles Road, Solon, Ohio 44139

Soft-ripened

Soft-ripened or soft cheese: Cheeses in this category are often spread on bread or crackers to be served as snacks.  They’re usually not used for cooking.  Most soft cheeses should be used within a few days of purchase–they spoil faster than firmer cheeses. Varieties: * Denotes cheeses that we do not carry but their substitutions are available. Boursault This is a soft-ripened, triple crème French cheese that very rich and mild.  For best flavor, serve at room temperature.  Substitutes: Brillat-Savarin OR Caprice des Dieux OR St. Andre OR Excelsior OR Brie OR Camembert Brie This French cheese is rich, mild, and creamy, and it’s soft enough to spread easily on crackers or bread.  As with Camembert cheese, the Brie name isn’t protected so there are lots of mediocre knock-offs on the market.  Look for French Bries–they’re much better than their American counterparts.   The rind is edible.  For best flavor, wait until it’s perfectly ripe and warmed to room temperature before serving it.  Substitutes: Camembert  OR Explorateur OR Paglietta OR Carre de l’Est OR Coulommiers OR Reblochon Brillat Savarin cheese This soft triple crème French cheese is rich, buttery, and mild, though some find it a bit sour and salty.   Substitutes: Boursault OR Caprice des Dieux OR St. Andre OR Excelsior * Brinza cheese Look for this salty sheep’s milk cheese in Eastern European markets.  It’s spreadable when young, but becomes crumbly as it ages.  Like Feta, it’s good in salads or melted on pizza.     Substitutes: feta (saltier) Camembert This popular soft-ripened cheese is buttery rich and wonderful to spread on hot French bread.   The name’s not protected, so there are lots of Camemberts of varying quality on the market.  Try to get a French raw milk Camembert–our pasteurized domestic versions are bland in comparison.   Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.  Substitutes: Brie  OR Explorateur OR Paglietta Caprice des Dieux This oval French cheese resembles Camembert and Brie.   Substitutes: Camembert OR Brie OR Brillat-Savarin OR St. Andre OR Boursault * Carré de l’est This is a square washed rind, moderately stinky cheese from France.   Substitutes: Epoisses OR Pont-l’Evêque OR Maroilles OR Brie OR Camembert * Chaource cheese This French cheese is similar to Brie and Camembert, but creamier and more acidic.  It’s good with champagne.  Substitutes: Camembert OR Brie Coulommiers This soft-ripened French cheese resembles Brie and Camembert.  Substitutes: Brie OR Camembert OR Chaource * Crema Danica Camembert OR Brie Epoisses This well-regarded French cheese is a member of the washed-rind or “stinky” family of cheeses, but it’s a bit more subtle than Limburger, Livarot, or other siblings.  It’s a little runny when ripe.  The rind is edible–taste it to see if you like it.  Substitutes: Pont-l’Evêque OR Maroilles OR Muenster Excelsior Substitutes: Boursault OR Brillat-Savarin Explorateur This soft, creamy French cheese is rich and complex.   Substitutes: Brie OR Camembert Hand This German washed rind cheese is pungent and stinky.  It’s good with beer, but it would over-power most wines.   Substitutes: Mainz OR Harz OR Limburger * Harz Substitutes: Mainz OR Hand OR Limburger OR Maroilles OR Livarot OR Brick (milder) OR Liederkranz (milder) * Humboldt fog cheese This excellent soft-ripened goat cheese has a layer of vegetable ash running down the middle.  It’s an excellent table cheese.  The rind is edible, and fairly good.  Substitutes: Morbier OR Brie Kochkäse This German cheese is easy to spread.  It’s great on crackers and rye bread. * Liederkranz This cheese was invented by German-American Emil Frey, who wanted to make a domestic version of Limburger cheese.  It’s hard, and perhaps impossible, to find in the United States. Substitutes: Schloss (very similar) OR Brick OR Limburger (sharper) OR Maroilles OR Livarot OR Harz OR Mainz OR Hand * Livarot This excellent French cheese is in the washed-rind or “stinky” family.  Though pungent, it’s not as overpowering as Limburger.  The rind is edible, but it’s not for faint-hearted.  Substitutes: Maroilles OR Limburger OR Harz OR Mainz OR Hand OR Brick (milder) OR Liederkranz (milder) * Mainz Substitutes: Harz OR Hand OR Limburger OR Brick (milder) OR Schloss (milder) Notes: Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. * Manouri This Greek sheep’s and goat’s milk cheese is similar to feta, only creamier and less salty.  Substitutes: feta OR ricotta salata * Maroilles This is a stinky washed-rind cheese from France that smells worse than it tastes.  You probably don’t want to eat the pungent rind.  Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.   Substitutes: Livarot OR Pont-l’Evêque OR Reblochon OR Harz OR Mainz OR Hand OR Limburger Paglietta This soft Italian cheese resembles Brie and Camembert.  Use it within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.  Substitutes: Camembert OR Brie Pont-l’Evêque This ancient and well-regarded French cheese isn’t as stinky as other washed rind cheeses.   It’s best not to eat the rind.   Substitutes: Reblochon OR Camembert (not as stinky) OR Maroilles (stinkier) Reblochon This rich and creamy French cheese is quite mild for a washed rind cheese, but it’s complex enough to be popular with gourmets.  The rind is edible, but too pungent for many people.   Substitutes: Pont-l’Evêque OR Brie OR Beaumont OR Esrom OR Beaufort OR tomme (nuttier taste) OR raclette OR Port Salut OR fontina Ricotta salata This mild sheep’s milk cheese is used more for cooking than snacking.  It’s great in salads or in pasta dishes.  Look for it in Italian markets.  Substitutes: feta (more pungent) OR Manouri Ribiola lombardia There are different kinds of robiola cheeses; those made in the Lombardy region are washed-rind soft cheeses that are rich and mildly pungent.  Don’t confuse this with robiola Piemonte, a fresh robiola cheese from the Piedmont region that’s often used to top pizzas or melt into fondues.  Lombardy robiolas include Robiola Valsassina = Robiola della Valsassina  and    Substitutes: taleggio OR Reblochon Check out this great recipe for Cheese Fondue Schloss This Austrian cheese is a marvelous choice for people who like strong “stinky” cheeses.  It’s good with beer, but it would overpower most wines. Substitutes: Limburger OR Brie (not as stinky) Saint André cheese Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. Substitutes: Boursault OR Brillat-Savarin OR Caprice des Dieux Saint Marcellin A young version of this French cheese is so runny it’s sold in small pots; a more aged version is wrapped in leaves.  Both are rich and exquisite on French bread.  Substitutes: Banon OR * Stracchino This soft Italian cheese is mild and spreadable.  It’s great on pizza.  Use within a few days after purchasing and, for best flavor, serve at room temperature.  Substitutes: Taleggio (unripened version of Stracchino) * Teleme This is a California cheese with a mild, nutty flavor.  The rind is edible.  Substitutes: Camembert OR jack