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Every person is a cheese person, if you visit Orrman’s enough.

Choosing the correct cheese can be an overwhelming venture when you don’t know what to look for. Read below or visit our store for everything you need to know about cheese, & a little bit more!

Types of Cheese

The styles of cheese can be classified in a number of ways, but grouping them into families is one of the simplest. Families we typically highlight are:

Click here for more on how to care for your cheese.

Fresh cheeses

Also considered unripened or uncooked (and often uncultured) cheese; these are usually very mild and moist cheeses that typically carry the flavor of the dairy source they were made from and can have a slightly chalky texture. Fresh cheeses are best consumed within a few days of purchase.

Examples: Chèvre or fresh goat cheese, Tea Rose, Cheese Curds
Storage Lifespan: about 4-7 days

Bloomy-rind cheeses

They’re known as such because of their downy, thin and edible rinds formed by a mold that grows during the aging process. The mold is, of course, perfectly safe, and we highly recommend consuming it to add an earthier flavor to these soft, delectably creamy cheeses.

Examples: Carolina Moon Brie, Truffle Brie, Fromager d'Affinois
Storage Lifespan: about 7 days

Washed-rind cheeses

You can spot washed-rind cheeses from the peach-orange color of the rind and/or their characteristic “stinky feet” aroma. This comes from the exterior of these cheeses being washed with brine, beer, wine, or another (typically alcoholic) liquid while aging.

Examples: Lissome, Grayson, Walden, Raclette
Storage Lifespan: about 7 days

Semi-firm cheeses

Semi-firm cheeses fall somewhere between the softer, creamier cheeses mentioned above and the harder, more-aged cheeses shown below. They are mostly aged less than six months and have a texture that is perfect for slicing.

Examples: Coppinger, Manchego, Emmentaler, Alp Blossom
Storage Lifespan: about 12 days

Hard cheese

This family of cheeses are longer aged and more intense in flavor than most cheeses. Due to the long aging, many will develop tyrosine crystals giving the cheese a pleasant crunch.

Examples: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Stompetoren, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Norwood
Storage Lifespan: about 24 days

Blue Cheeses

These are easiest to recognize, as the marbled blue-green mold is unmistakable as a blue cheese. Blue cheeses are handled very carefully in production to create just the right environment for the blue mold to “bloom” during the aging process.

Examples: Shakerag Blue, Gorgonzola Dolce, Roquefort
Storage Lifespan: about 24 days

Flavored or Blended Cheeses

Any cheese that is flavored with a specific additive, like herbs or truffles, falls into this category.

Examples: Juliana, Sottocenere al Tartufo, Barely Buzzed
Storage Lifespan: varies

There are numerous other ways to categorize cheese including methods of production (blued, cooked, pressed, etc.), aging characteristics (fresh vs. aged), and even geographic origin (French, Italian, Croatian, etc.). Every cheesemonger may have a different method, so keep asking questions and always approach cheese with an open mind – you never know what you may discover next!

Let us help you build a beautiful cheese board!

Cheese is our love language

Whether it is a board for an intimate dinner party or a larger soirée, Orrman’s has all of the items you need for your next event. Offering not only cheese, we’re stocked with the perfectly-paired charcuterie and accoutrements that will leave you fully equipped for your next gathering.

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How to Care for (& Enjoy!) Your Cheese

Wrapping Instructions: 

  • Cheese paper is preferred. All of our cheeses are wrapped in specially lined paper perfect for storing cheese. 
  • If you need to store your cheese in plastic wrap, it is better to have a layer of wax paper in between the cheese and the plastic. This will help keep the paste of the cheese tasting fresh. 
  • Keep fresh cheeses in a sealed container, limiting their contact with air.

How to Store:

  • Cheese prefers to be in a higher humidity area, like the meat or vegetable drawers of your refrigerator - away from drafts. 
  • Mold growth on the rind is natural and harmless. If the rind begins to grow on the paste of the cheese, we recommend giving the cheese a gentle scrape . 

Enjoy to the Fullest:

  • Cheese is best enjoyed at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge at least 45 minutes (sometimes longer) before serving. 
  • Unwrap cheeses right before serving so they don't dry out while they come to temp. 
  • Most cheese rinds are edible! We highly recommend eating the rind on bloomy-rind cheeses, but eating rinds is completely a personal preference. 
  • We recommend only buying as much cheese as you’re able to consume within the suggested storage lifespan. Storing cheeses longer than suggested can lead to a loss of flavor, drying out and/or unwanted mold growth.