Fresh or unripened cheeses are very moist cheeses, which generally have a moisture content of over 60%. Eg. fromage frais, Petit-Suisse, fromage blanc.
Soft-ripened cheeses with bloomy rinds or mould rind cheeses are made from a predominantly lactic curd with a short mechanical procedure to speed up the draining of the curd. A soft layer of bloom or mould, which is most commonly white, covers these cheeses, hence the name 'bloomy or mould rind'.
Eg. Normandy Camembert, Brie de Meaux.
Soft-ripened cheeses with washed rinds are produced in the same way as mould rind cheeses, but are covered with a reddy orange surface smear resulting from frequent washing of the cheese throughout the ageing period.
Eg. Maroilles, Munster.
Blue cheeses, also known as blue-veined cheeses have the distinctive feature of being streaked with blue mould. When the cheese is being moulded, a penicillin culture is introduced into the curd. During maturing, the cheese is spiked with needles to facilitate the penetration of air and encourage the mould to develop.
Eg. Roquefort, Fourme d’Ambert.
Uncooked or semi-soft pressed cheeses are made from a rennet curd which is only slightly heated before pressing in order to conserve enough moisture to allow 3-6 months' ageing.
Eg. Morbier, Saint-Nectaire.
Cooked, or hard pressed cheeses are made from rennet curd which is heated at high temperatures (up to 55°C) to obtain higher drainage. These cheeses are moulded in large pieces which require many months of ageing and generally keep for a long time.
Eg. Comté, Beaufort.
Processed cheeses are a mixture of pressed and cooked cheeses (often from cheese wheels which have been rejected), butter and salt which are heated and melted together.
Eg. Cream of Gruyère, cheeses blended with nuts.
Curd cheeses are made from whey which is heated to condense proteins left un-coagulated by the rennet after the initial cheese-making process.
Eg. Ricotta, Brocciu, Sérac, Greuilh.
Cancoillotte is made by melting Metton (a type of curd cheese) together with butter.
All of the previously mentioned categories of cheese can be found in the form of goat's cheese, depending on the producer's method.
The most traditional type of goat's cheese is produced like a fromage frais and served fresh or dried. Goat's cheeses can also be matured and develop a natural, feathery and creased rind over time. Some are even covered with a layer of ash in keeping with an ancient tradition.