Semi-Soft and Semi-Hard

Semi-soft cheeses have a smooth and mostly creamy interior with little or no rind​. Like fresh cheeses, these usually have high moisture content and are often pungent​. They can be quite mild​. Raw milk and pasteurized milk are both used in this category​. Semi-soft cheeses include Baby Swiss, Colby, farmer, Fontina, Gouda, Havarti, Monterey Jack and Muenster.

Semi-hard cheese ages well and imparts flavor, body and texture changes over time​. Cheese makers produce the firmer semi-hard cheeses by cutting the curds small and cooking them at higher temperatures​. Semi-hard cheeses include cheddar, Colby, Edam, Gruyere and Swiss.

Two popular options for purchasing semi-soft and semi-hard cheeses are shredded and pre-sliced. Shreds may combine semi-soft cheeses such as Monterey Jack, semi-hard cheeses like cheddar and pasta filata cheeses like mozzarella all in one package. The percentage of each cheese in a blend can determine the browning of a specific dish or pizza. Blends of shreds are available in regular, feather and fancy shreds to reach the needs of every consumer.

Pre-sliced products offer labor-saving convenience and cost-saving portion control. Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Swiss are commonly used sliced natural cheeses because of their distinct flavors. Cheddar products are expertly cured to develop a smooth, even-bodied cheese with outstanding eye appeal and a rich, nutty flavor. Monterey Jack presents a delicate taste with a soft texture for a unique bite. Swiss cheese, made with sweet dairy cream, offers a mellow, nutty flavor with a touch of sweetness and a distinctive look.

Recommended Applications

  • Use sliced products on cold or hot sandwiches for added appeal.
  • Sliced cheeses can be used to create appetizing fresh fruit and vegetable trays.
  • Blend cheese in casseroles, omelets and quiches for a distinguishing taste.
  • Shredded products are great for salads and salad bar applications.
  • Serve melted shredded cheese on top of french fries, baked potatoes, nacho chips and Mexican entrees.
  • Add shreds to soups for increased flavor and new recipe ideas.