25 Different Types of Soft Cheese

Cheese is one of the most popular dairy foods on the planet. There are many cheese varieties to choose from. There are tasty soft cheeses such as brie, burrata, or feta cheese and ripened soft cheeses such as Camembert. The list of soft cheeses also includes popular types such as ricotta, goat cheese, and mascarpone consumed by millions of people every day.

Although all cheese varieties use common ingredients, the way cheese is processed determines the cheese’s texture, taste, and look. Some types of soft cheese taste mild and buttery, and others have sharp, nutty flavors.

Table of Contents

Important Cheese Criteria to Understand

For each soft cheese in this list, we’ll talk about the following features:

Type of milk: Cheese always contains milk, but the animal it comes from can make a big difference in the final flavor. Cow’s milk is creamy and has a sweet flavor. Sheep’s milk has a mild flavor with a slight tang and less sweetness than cow’s milk. Finally, goat’s milk has the strongest flavor with a grassy touch to it.

Aging: Most cheeses are aged for some time in a temperature-controlled environment. During this process, moisture evaporates for a more intense flavor. Bacteria slowly start digesting proteins and converting the cheese texture from grainy to smooth and creamy. Bacteria also play a role in developing a rind and enhancing flavor.

Tasting Notes: Here, we’ll discuss flavor and what to expect when you eat the cheese.

Best Uses: Here, we’ll discuss the best soft cheese pairings and serving recommendations. Some cheeses are more suited to cooking, and others are best enjoyed fresh with a glass of wine.

Types of Cheese


This one is the most popular soft blue cheese in France. Roquefort is made from sheep’s milk and aged in the caves in Roquefort-Sur-Soulzon in Southern France. The naturally occurring bacteria in the caves give Roquefort its distinctive taste. This soft cheese is smooth, intensely creamy with a slight tang. You can use it in salads, quiche, and sauces. It also pairs well with pears, so check out this tasty recipe for hot pears with Roquefort.


This soft cheese is from a town called Epoisses in Burgundy, France. It is an unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese with a creamy and soft texture. It features a grappa-like Marc de Bourgogne as the primary ingredient. This spirit gives Epoisses its characteristic orange, edible rind. It has a pretty pungent aroma, but the taste is pleasant and spicy. It is a fabulous soft cheese to have with bread or crackers. Just leave it an hour at room temperature before eating.

Buffalo Mozzarella

This soft cheese uses the milk of Mediterranean water buffalo. It is softer than regular mozzarella. It is not a good choice for cooking, so try it on a bruschetta with olives and tomatoes.


Brie is a product of Northern France. It uses unpasteurized milk and has a creamy texture. This intense soft cheese is a perfect choice for your cheeseboard. Some Brie-style cheeses are also suitable for cooking, as they melt easily.

Traditional Greek Feta

Traditional Greek feta has sheep’s milk or a combo of sheep and goats’ milk. This soft cheese is aged in brine and has a very salty taste. Further maturation occurs in wooden barrels and steel bins, giving it a complex flavor and softer texture. Feta is ideal for salads, and we love this recipe for feta omelet.


This cheese has a soft, edible rind and is a product of Normandy, northern France. It uses unpasteurized milk and has a chalky texture through the center. If you want to eat Camembert on its own, you can let it mature at room temperature overnight or slowly in the fridge. This helps develop a more creamy texture and depth of flavor. You can also melt this cheese in its wooden box in the oven. The best use of Camembert is as a dip with breadsticks or toast.


This soft cheese originates from Cyprus and contains sheep and goats’ milk. It’s a brined soft cheese and is very salty. It’s perfect for cooking because it can hold its shape to give a crisp exterior and melting center. You can fry, bake or grill Halloumi. Serve it with roasted vegetables and salads. You can also make delicious Halloumi fries.


This soft blue cheese is from the Lombardy region in northern Italy. It’s made from cow’s milk and is creamy, rich, and tangy. Also, this cheese is named after the town of Gorgonzola. Just take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes before eating, or try it with broccoli in a quiche.

Goat Cheese

As the name suggests, this cheese has goat’s milk and is one of the most popular dairy foods. People enjoy goat cheese all across the globe. Goat cheese has many varieties with different flavors and textures. These include crumbly and salty aged cheese to creamy and super moist spreadable cheese.

Goat cheese is rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein. Try making herbed goat cheese butter, goat cheese stuffed chicken, and goat cheese cheesecake bites if you want to enjoy goat cheese at home.

Quese Fresco

This Mexican cheese contains cow’s milk and is handmade. It’s a mild, soft, and slightly tangy white cheese that’s a staple in Mexican kitchens. It’s easily crumbled, so you can use it on soups, grilled corn, tacos, and burritos.

Unlike other Mexican cheeses like cotija, this soft cheese has a light milky flavor and isn’t as salty.


The word ‘burrata’ means buttery in Italian. This semi-soft cheese has a rich, thick cream in the center. It’s an artisan cheese made of cow or buffalos’ milk. It originated in Puglia in the south of Italy, though it’s now available in many other countries. It’s not ideal for cooking, so only serve it naturally with olive oil and salads.


This rich cream cheese is like eating thick, buttery cream. That’s because it uses butter rather than milk. Use this soft cheese to enrich risotto, pasta sauces, cheesecakes, risotto, cheesecakes, and tiramisu. This cheese is famous all around the world for its bold and delicious flavor.


Paneer is a fresh, unsalted soft cheese from India. It uses buffalo’s milk, though now it’s normal to add cow’s milk. It’s widely available in many other countries and is very easy to make at home. This cheese keeps its shape during cooking, so you can add it to curries, fry with spices, and skewer for the barbecue.   

Farmer’s cheese

This cheese is like cottage cheese without the fatty dressing. It’s hung in cheesecloth or pressed to make a crumbly and soft mass. Different countries have unique versions of farmer’s cheese. For example, the American style has salt, the Mexican style is spongy, and the Indian style is like dry cottage cheese.


Boursault is a triple-cream cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk and is popular in the French region of Val-de-Marne. This cheese contains a high amount of fat, making it one of those melt-in-the-mouth kinds of soft cheeses. It has a rich, moist, and creamy consistency and a buttery taste. The ideal combo of the jelly-like soft texture and unique taste makes it a favorite dessert cheese.


This version of soft cheese is not that popular in the United States but is a dietary staple in Germany and Israel.

It’s a smoother, low-fat version of cottage cheese without the curds. In Germany, quark is smooth and like yogurt but slightly drier. Israel’s version is smooth and creamy, while in Poland and Russia, quark is sold as soft, pressed cakes that are broken up and mixed with other products for fillings in pierogi and blintzes.


This is a lighter and fluffier cousin of cottage cheese. It’s made using the whey leftover from making other cheeses. Some people also add milk to increase yield. Ricotta differs from other cheeses because it is processed using acid. It takes its name from the Italian word for recooked.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is high in fat and spreadable. It gets its tang from lactic acid bacteria. This soft cheese is as American as apple pie. It was created in the 1800s when a New York producer of the French-style soft cheese called Neufchatel added some cream to the process. The cream cheese variant that is popular in Italy and France is called Petit Suisse. Cream cheese is an essential ingredient in the most delicious cheesecakes, and it pairs with a bagel like nothing else.


This is a raw-milk goat cheese originating from the Loire Valley, France. The use of goat’s milk gives Buchette cheese an exotic flavor. The best way to eat Buchette is when it’s fresh and creamy. It also has a strong, pungent aroma. The texture of this cheese is gooey, making it easily spreadable on crackers, bread, and other similar foods.

Interestingly, this cheese’s creamy texture and hazelnut-like taste get even stronger as the cheese gets older.


Boursin contains pasteurized cow’s milk. It’s creamy and crumbly in texture, making it easy to spread on toast. Boursin cheese is tasty as a spread on crackers because it has many herb- and spice-infused varieties. It has a consistency that resembles cheese dips, so you can also serve it as a dip with fresh vegetables. Finally, you can add these versatile soft cheeses to salads and pasta.

Feta Cheese

Feta is a popular Greek cheese loved by people around the world. Traditional feta contains 30% percent goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. You can also find cow’s milk feta cheese at a farmer’s market. Feta cheese can range from soft and creamy to dry and salty. The cheese can be grated, sprinkled on a Greek salad, or melted over pizza or pasta.


This cheese is very popular for its heart shape and contains pasteurized cow milk. It is also one of France’s oldest types of cheese, dating back to the 7th century.

Neufchatel cheese has a soft and crumbly texture. Its aroma and taste are similar to that of mushrooms. Some people also describe its flavor as a little nutty and creamy, making it ideal to go over crackers and toast.


This cheese is artisanal and unpasteurized and comes from a region in France called Quercy. Chevre has a salty, spicy flavor with a soft, smooth, and creamy texture. This cheese is hand-molded into the shape of a heart. It has a rich, succulent consistency, making it easily spreadable on a variety of different foods.

The best way to serve Chevre is to wrap it in a chestnut leaf and enjoy it with red wine or sparkling white wine.

Havarti cheese

Havarti is a type of mild-tasting soft cheese from Denmark with a light yellow color and creamy consistency.

Havarti is also available as an aged cheese that has a salty flavor but retains its smooth buttery consistency. When it comes to choosing a delicious and healthy cheese option, Havarti is similar to cheddar cheese. Eating this cheese in reasonable amounts can give you plenty of calcium and protein.

You can also pick a healthier type of Havarti called Light Havarti cheese. This one has a much lower fat content.

Danish Blue

Danish Blue is the most famous blue cheese from Denmark. It is similar to Roquefort but contains cow’s milk instead of sheep’s milk. This results in a strong-tasting cheese that has a creamy white color with streaks of blue running through it.

Danish Blue has a milder taste than Gorgonzola but a sharper flavor than Roquefort.

Crumbling Danish Blue on salads or enjoying it on crackers are the best ways to use this aromatic type of cheese.

The History of Cheese

Cheese is an ancient food, and the evidence of the cheesemaking process goes back as far as 8000 BC. Some archaeological finds may show that cheesemaking is even older than that.

The actual place of the origin of cheese and cheesemaking is unknown. The process is closely related to the domestication of milk-producing animals, including goats and sheep. The cheese was possibly discovered by the practice of storing milk in containers made from animal stomachs. An enzyme called Rennet found in the stomach of ruminant animals would cause the milk to coagulate, separating into curds and whey. Another explanation for the discovery of cheese stemmed from the process of salting curdled milk for preservation purposes.

Cheese was never a worldwide phenomenon in its early history. Many of the popular soft cheeses we eat today like Brie, mascarpone, and farmer’s cheese are relatively new to the cheese story and appeared within the last 500 years.

How do cheese types differ from each other?

Whether you’re looking for the best cheese for homemade pasta dishes or authentic pizza, it’s important to know what makes each type of cheese unique. Because cheese types are categorized by firmness, moisture levels play an essential role in the selection process. High moisture content creates a softer cheese, while lower moisture content results in a harder cheese. Some cheese types are freshly made and eaten the same day, and other cheeses are left to age for years! The longer a cheese ages, the more complex and strong the flavors become.

While this aging process occurs, a hard coating forms around cheese known as a rind. This rind becomes thicker and more flavorful as the cheese ages or is washed with a vinegar brine. Depending on the rind’s thickness, it develops a more toasty and smoky flavor than the creamier inside of the cheese.

Fast Facts On Cheese Types

  • “Cheese-flavored” food is not a cheese type.
  • Many aged cheese types are high in sodium and fat, but the benefits may outweigh their disadvantages.
  • Natural, low-fat, and low-sodium cheese can make a great addition to most diets.
  • Anyone with a lactose allergy should avoid any cheese, but some cheeses may be suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
  • Cheese is a standard addition to popular foods like burgers, pizza, salad, Mexican dishes, and sandwiches.
  • Cheese can also be a snack or an appetizer. You can add cheese to soups, sauces, pastries, and many other dishes.
  • Cheese types range from mild to mature in flavor and low- to high-fat in composition.
  • Whole-milk cheese types contain between 6 and 10 grams (g) of fat per ounce (28 g).
  • Low-fat cheese contains 2 percent milk. Non-fat cheese contains skim milk.
  • Fresh cheese types are cheeses that haven’t aged or matured. They usually have a higher moisture content, softer texture, and milder taste than other cheese types. Examples include Roquefort, cream cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, and mascarpone.
  • Aged cheeses are firmer in texture. They have concentrated or sharp flavor. Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan, and Gruyère are examples of aged cheeses.
  • The American cheese society doesn’t categorize processed cheese, such as American cheese or cheese spread, and cheese-flavored products as cheese. These are shelf-stable products containing ingredients such as flavor enhancers and emulsifiers.
  • Non-dairy cheeses, such as Daiya and soy cheese, are suitable for lactose intolerant people who don’t consume dairy products.

How to Store Soft Cheese


Soft cheese needs to have some air exposure, so it doesn’t become too moist and watery. Wrapping a soft cheese in plastic wrap essentially smothers the cheese, trapping excess moisture that will destroy the rind and the flavor and texture of the cheese.


Preserve your cheese by covering it in wax paper or aluminum foil. This keeps your cheese from drying out and allows it to breathe. Once you’ve wrapped your cheese, place it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

Soft cheeses will last several weeks if wrapped in wax paper under proper conditions.


Ammonia smell is a natural by-product of soft cheese, but most cheeses develop unpleasant flavors if they never get to release it. Wrapping cheese too tightly prevents it from releasing the ammonia smell and moisture. When wrapping your cheese in aluminum foil or wax paper, you should leave room for it to breathe.


Keep your cheese fresh and free from harmful bacteria by replacing the wrapping paper after each use. This also helps maintains the natural moisture balance and ensures that your cheese stays flavorful for as long as possible.


Place wrapped soft cheese in a vegetable drawer that will shield the cheese from your fridge’s dehydrating airflow.


You can also use a bell jar or cheese dome to cover soft cheese in the refrigerator. Soft cheese stored under a dome creates a favorable climate, ensuring proper moisture every time.

Related Questions

How can I tell if my cheese has gone bad?

Ammonia smells, black mold, and slimy surfaces are all good indications that your cheese may be too old for consumption.

How many types of cheese are there?

Because cheese is an ancient food prepared in different ways, it isn’t easy to know how many types of cheese are out there. We can say that there are thousands of cheese types and some people estimate that there are over 10,000 distinct varieties of cheese!

What is the country of origin of Gorgonzola cheese?

Gorgonzola is a type of soft blue cheese made in Italy. It has a reputation for amazing quality that makes it much sought after.

What is the difference between Brie and Camembert?

Brie and Camembert are both soft cheeses made from exactly the same recipe. The difference lies in their shape and flavor. Camembert has a narrower, taller wheel, and brie has a wider and flatter wheel. Both of these cheeses.

Leave a Comment