Hard Cheese

Hard cooked pressed cheeses are the richest and most concentrated forms of cheese, the lowest in moisture content and the largest in size. They are also the longest-keeping of all cheese types. Traditionally made from late spring to early autumn, when pastures were lush and there was plenty of rich milk, and they were formed into large wheels that could be stored to provide sustenance over winter. Hard cooked cheeses are traditionally made from raw milk, but because the cut curds are heated in the whey, they are sometimes considered to be equivalent in bacteria reduction to cheese made from pasteurised milk. Cooking the curd also helps to caramelise the remaining lactose, leaving the cheese with a characteristic sweetness. Hard cooked cheeses can be broken down into those with granular texture or smooth. Popular cheeses that include farmhouse cheddar, manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gruyère, Comté and other Alpine style cheese.