This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
There is a cheese for every taste. The housekeeper should know the ways in which various kinds of cheese are used and choose the variety best suited to the need of the moment. The intensity of flavor desirable in a cheese depends, among other things, on the food with which it will be served. Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Limburger and related types will satisfy many people better than the milder cheeses. Strong, old Cheddar cheese may be served with ginger snaps. From the chemist's standpoint, there is no basis for the statement often made that the highly flavored cheeses of strong odor have undergone putrefactive decomposition.
Cheddar, American, or Standard Factory Cheese is the most common cheese in use. It is a hard cheese and varies greatly in flavor and texture. It may be white or yellow, old or fresh. A mild cheese is green and not cured; a strong cheese is old and cured. A Cheddar cheese should have a smooth texture and be plastic enough to slice well. Mold on the outside is no indication of the quality of the cheese. Cheddar cheese is useful in general cooking. Unless made into special dishes like cheese wafers, it is not so good to serve with salads as some cheese of more distinctive flavor. In recipes which call for cheese, without specifying the kind, Cheddar cheese is the variety meant.
Long Horn, Young America, Daisy and Flat are Cheddar cheeses of varying shapes and sizes.
California Jack is the Cheddar cheese of California.
Brie is a soft cheese, ripened by molds from the outside. The cheeses have a red coloration on the surface and vary in size from six to fifteen inches in diameter and from two to three inches in height. The largest weighs from five to six pounds. The interior varies in consistency from waxy to semi-liquid and has a very pronounced odor and a sharp characteristic taste. The cheese is dipped out of the container with a spoon. It is used as a dessert with coffee and wafers or it may be added to salad dressing.
Caciocavallo is a hard Italian cheese shaped something like a gourd and weighing three to five pounds. It is white in color and is so hard that it is necessary to grate it. It is served in small dishes to be sprinkled in soup, spaghetti, etc. It is also added to these dishes, during the cooking.
Camembert is a soft cheese, ripened by molds from the outside, so it belongs to the same group as Brie. It has a felt-like rind, one-sixteenth to one-eighth inch in thickness, composed of molds and dried cheese. A typical cheese is about four and one-quarter inches in diameter and three-quarters to one inch in thickness. It is sold wrapped in paper and enclosed in a wooden box of the same shape. Well-ripened cheeses vary from nearly fluid to the consistency of moderately soft butter. It is dipped out of the container with a spoon. It has a strong odor and flavor and is used in the same way as Brie. The entire cheese is eaten by those who like a moldy cheese.
Cheshire is the English Cheddar cheese. It is yellow, grainy, highly colored and highly salted and often more highly flavored than American Cheddar. It is used practically in the same ways as American Cheddar cheese.
Cream Cheese. See Neufchatel.
Club Cheese is usually made from strong, well-ripened Cheddar cheese which is ground and mixed with butter and condiments. It spreads easily, and therefore is often used in sandwiches.
Edam is a hard cheese. It is put on the market in the form of red balls, weighing from three to four-and-one-half pounds, wrapped in tin-foil. Its texture is solid, close and free from pores. It is rather dry and crumbly. It is mild in flavor and pleasantly saline.
It is usual: in this country to cut off a section of the top to serve as a lid, and to scoop out the inside as it is needed. It is served with salads, with crackers, with pie, etc. The cheese may be set in a silver holder or wrapped in a folded napkin on a plate. It is seldom cooked but often thrifty housewives, after the greater part of the cheese has been removed, stuff the hollow shell with cooked and seasoned macaroni, rice, or something similar and bake it. Edam cheese may be used in rarebit.
Gorgonzola is a semi-hard cheese, resembling Roquefort in that it is streaked throughout with a blue-green mold. The surface is heavily coated with a substance resembling clay. The cheeses are cylindrical in shape, about twelve inches in diameter and six inches in height. It may be crumbly or waxy in texture, and has a flavor resembling that of Roquefort. It is usually served uncooked as dessert, with wafers and coffee, or in salads, or it may be added to the salad dressing.
Liederkranz is a small Limburger cheese.
Limburger is a hard cheese. It is wrapped in waxed paper and then in tin-foil. Each cheese weighs about two pounds. It has a very strong and characteristic odor and taste. The odor, which is disagreeable to some people, may be decreased by removing the rind and exposing the cheese to the air before bringing it to the table. Because of its strong flavor, it is always served uncooked, in sandwiches, with pie, or with wafers and coffee.
Neufchatel and cream cheese are very similar, Neufchatel being made from milk containing four per cent, fat and cream cheese from milk containing six per cent. fat. Neufchatel cheese has a clean, sour-milk or lactic-acid flavor. In texture, it is smooth and free from holes. It is served with crackers or in salads and in sandwiches.
Parmesan is a hard cheese, known in Italy as "Grana" because of its granular appearance when broken. The hardness of the cheese makes cutting it practically impossible. It has small holes or eyes. It is used in cooking, principally. It is grated and added to soup, macaroni, spaghetti and similar dishes.
Pimiento Cheese is a cream, Neufchatel or ground Cheddar cheese to which pimientos have been added. It is used chiefly for sandwiches.
Pineapple Cheese is an old, very hard Cheddar cheese. It gets its name from its shape. It is bright yellow and vanished on the surface. It is so hard that it is necessary to grate it. It has a stronger flavor than ordinary Cheddar cheese but is used in practically the same way.
Provolona is a very hard Italian cheese resembling Caciocavallo, the main difference being in the shape. It is used in the same way.
Roquefort is a semi-hard cheese made from goat's milk. It is ripened by a green mold which gives it a mottled appearance throughout. It is found on the market in cylindrical form about seven and one-quarter inches in diameter and three and one-quarter inches thick, also in rectangular form and in small wedge-shaped portions. The pieces are without a definite rind and are wrapped in tin-foil. They must be kept cold. Roquefort has a strong odor and taste and is best served with highly flavored foods. It may be served in salads or with wafers and coffee.
Ricotte is a very hard Italian cheese. It is similar to Caciocavallo and Provolona, except in shape and in being made from albumen whey instead of milk, and is served the same way.
Stilton is a semi-hard cheese having a very characteristic wrinkled or ridged skin or ring. When cut, it shows blue or green portions of mold which give it its characteristic piquant flavor. It belongs to the Roquefort group. It is served as Roquefort is, in salads or as dessert with wafers and coffee, or with pie.
Swiss Cheese is variously known as Gruyere, Emmenthal, Sweitzer and true Switzerland. The peculiar Swiss-cheese flavor is often called a hazel-nut taste. It is a trifle sweet and very tempting. The typical Switzerland cheese has evenly distributed eyes or holes about the size of a cherry, with a dull shine on the inner lining, but the cheese is now packed in small cakes without rind and without holes. The imported Switzerland is yellow in color; the American Swiss is white. Switzerland cheese may be cooked, but is often served in sandwiches or as dessert with pie or with wafers and coffee.