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This OER enables you to:

  • explain cheese as a product of milk
  • explain the steps in cheese making
  • explain the types of cheese and their specific uses in cookery
  • name some well-known cheeses and their country of origin


Following are pictures of certain food items. Some of them contain cheese as one of the ingredients. Drag & drop the pictures into the correct boxes given below:

cheese drag and drop.swf After the above exercise you must have realized that cheese is a part of many dishes. Have you ever wondered what it is and how it is made?

What is Cheese?

Emmental Cheese 1.jpeg
Cheese is a high-fat, high-protein dairy product.Cheese is prepared from the milk of animals such as cows, goats, sheep, buffalo, asses, camels, yaks, reindeer and mares.But the most used milk is cow’s. Along with protein and fats, it is a good source of calcium and phosphorus increasing its nutritional value. It has a longer shelf life than raw milk and because of its solid formit is portable and storable.

Types of Cheese

Many different types of cheeses have been used to prepare the above dishes. Some of the cheeses have been shown below.

Cheese may be broadly classified as per the following types:
Types of cheese.png

Characteristics of different types of Cheese

Characterstics of cheese.png

Steps in Cheese Making

The milk used could either be raw or pasteurized depending on the type of cheese to be made. Thebasic cheese making process is described below:


The milk is first tested for acidity and then made sour by adding a starter culture i.e. bacteria which converts lactose to lactic acid.


Rennet; an enzyme from the stomach of calves is added to the milk which causes the milk to curdle.Non-animal sources of rennet are available for vegetarians. Rennin is the active enzyme in rennet, and when introduced to milk, it causes it to separate into solid curds, leaving whey behind.


The curds are stirred, or cut using a knife or tool resembling a rake and allowed to settle. The liquid whey is then run off. Generally, smaller the curds are cut, the harder is the cheese. Soft cheeses are hardly cut at all. Harder cheeses may further be cooked as cooking changes the texture, making it tender rather than crumbly.


The curds are ground and salted. Salt adds flavor and also acts as a preservative so that cheese does not spoil during the long months or years of ageing.


The cheese is put into a container or mould to form it into a specific shape and a skin or rind is allowed form. If a hard cheese is being made, further pressure is applied in order to squeeze out more of the whey

Ripening or Curing (Optional):

When set, the cheese is removed and kept in a special room where temperature and humidity is controlled in order to mature and develop flavor. This is known as ripening or curing or ageing. For some cheeses mould is introduced, either by spraying onto/ injecting into the cheese. However many cheeses are not aged ex. cream cheese, cottage cheese.

You click on the following link and study the diagram on the process of cheese making.

You may also watch videos on cheese making by clicking on the following links.

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Uses of Cheese in Cookery

Cheeses are used for:

  • Sandwich fillings
  • Dips
  • Salads
  • Sauces
  • Souffles
  • Topping for Pizza, Pasta
  • Garnish for Soups
  • Desserts
  • Or eaten by itself

The type of cheese would also decide the use of the cheese.

  • Cream cheese is a soft cheese which is not aged or ripened and is meant to be eaten fresh. It is soft & creamy and used in savoury snacks, cheesecakes and salads. Other soft cheeses which have a mild flavor can be used in omelettesor even as pasta fillings and in dips.
  • Semi- hard cheeses have a stronger flavor and may be used in casseroles and for certain kinds of meat. Mozzarella is used particularly as toppings for pizzas.
  • Hard cheeses such as Parmesan can be grated and used as a topping for pasta.
  • Cheeses and their Country of Origin

Different cheeses originate in different countries and the specific flavor of the cheese depends on the country of origin.

  • Thefamous Swiss cheeseis originally from Switzerland and it is characterized by holes known as eyes.
  • Feta cheeseis a cheese basically from Greece and is made with a combination of goats and sheep milk which is ripened for several months and has a salty and tangy flavor.
  • Cheddar cheese originated in the village Cheddar in England.


Given below are the names of some of the famous cheeses of Europe. Drag & drop the names of the cheeses according to their country of origin.


Cheese is a product prepared from milk by curdling milk with acid, bacteria or rennet enzyme and then undergoing further processing. There are many different cheeses as a result of the variation in the making and curing of each variety after initial curdling has taken place. They are generally classified into 4 categories – Soft, Semi-hard, Hard, and Blue vein Cheeses. Cheese is used in a number of dishes in cookery- in fillings, sauces, salads as a garnish and as a component of many dishes. There are hundreds of different types of natural cheeses and each is made using the same basic principle of coagulating the milk protein to form curds and separating the curds from whey. Typically the milk is acidified by addition of an acid or of a starter culture of bacteria which convert lactose to lactic acid . Then the enzyme rennet may be added which causes coagulation of milk. The solids are separated and pressed into the final form. Some cheeses have moulds on the rind or throughout. The different types of cheeses arise from the variations in the type of milk, amount of fat, bacterial culture used, whether they are ripened or unripened and the processing conditions. Cheese has a better shelf life than milk and
1. What type of cheese is the following


Blue vein

2. Edam Cheese is from

3. The process of keeping cheese in special rooms with controlled humidity and temperature in order to mature and develop flavor is

4. Soft cheeses which are not aged such as cream cheese
Have a shelf life of only one day
Have a shelf life of several days
Have a shelf life of a few days
Have a shelf life of several months

5. Parmesan is an example of
Soft Cheese
Blue vein cheese
Hard Cheese
Semi-Hard Cheese

Score =
Correct answers:

Inkpot.png Assignments

   1.	Find out 3 products, each prepared from cheese, in the following categories:      
      *  Salads
      *   Main Course
      *   Desserts
   2.	Visit the following websites and identify 10 different cheeses which are not included here. Find the texture, colour, flavor,  and the country of origin and present in a tabular format
    3.	Find the nutritive value of the selected cheeses.