Soft cheese is unripened cheese, while hard cheese has had time to ripen. The more ripe the cheese, the harder it is. Soft cheese is made by coagulating milk proteins, called casein, with acid. Hard cheeses are made with... More » Food Food Facts Cheese

Cheeses harden because the aging process depletes moisture. The longer a cheese is aged, the harder it is. Hard cheeses may be aged or ripened by bacteria or mold. More » Food Food Facts Cheese

Fresh cheeses are soft and moist, while aged cheeses are hard and dry. The color varies as well, with fresh cheese tending to have a whiter, more milk-like appearance than the darker colors that come with aging cheese. More »

Aged gouda is a fine example of a hard cheese, defined as one with a texture ranging from elastic at room temperature to hard enough to grate, according to the American Cheese Society. A Dutch specialty, gouda has a shar... More »

Soft cheeses begin to grow mold within one week of being opened. Semi-soft cheeses, such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack and feta, last about two to three weeks without mold. Firm cheeses, such as Cheddar, Colby and Swiss, ... More »

The term "hard cheese" refers to a wide range of cheeses with tastes that vary from mild to pungent. Generally manufactured from pasteurized or raw milk, these aged cheeses are ideal for grating or crumbling. More »

While hard cheese can stay out of the refrigerator and get warm without any safety issues, soft cheeses require more refrigeration. Cheeses such as ricotta and mozzarella should not be left out of refrigeration for more ... More »