What is hard cheese?

The characteristic qualities of a hard cheese are determined by the climate in the ripening cellar, the ripening duration, treatment during ripening, the ripening temperature and, last but not least, the region which the milk comes from. All hard cheeses spend several days in a salt bath. Emmental for example ripens at 20-28°C for the first four weeks, which results in the hole formation typical for this type of cheese. Although they may vary considerably in their shape and appearance (hard cheese is available in loaf, block and cylindrical form, with and without holes), a common factor is the widespread production from raw milk. They all mature in special ripening cellars or caverns for at least 3 months and up to 4 years in some cases (e.g. several Parmesan cheeses).

100 litres of milk produces 8 kilogrammes of hard cheese on average which contains 45% fat in dry matter which equates to an absolute fat content of around 28 per cent. The nutritional value is approximately 400 kilocalories per 100 grammes. As well as its good taste and ability to be stored for long periods, hard cheese also has the virtue of being easy to digest.

It is best to store hard cheese in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. A special cheese container which is not air-tight is suitable as a container.

Well-known types:
Emmental, Cheddar, Chester, Mountain Cheese, Gruyère, Lindenberger, Manchego, Sbrinz, Comté, Illertaler, Allgäutaler