What is Soft Cheese? – Everything you Need to Know

What is Soft Cheese? – Everything you Need to Know

As we know, there are lots of very different styles of cheese out on the market. In this article, we look at the category of soft cheese and what features typically make it.

What is Soft Cheese?

Semi-soft cheese is created when milk proteins are combined with moulds and has a fat content of around 30%. Soft cheese is ripened for no longer than one month and therefore has a higher moisture content, between 35-45%, preventing it from drying out. It also does not keep for a long time, due to bacteria growing and thriving in moist damp conditions. The interior of such cheese is neither pressed nor cooked.
It is typically made with raw (also known as unpasteurised) milk.

Categorising Cheese:

Cheese can be categorised through moisture content or firmness. It can also be categorised by mould type.

Examples of Soft Cheese with Bloomy Rind:

Brie and Camembert:

Although technically different cheeses, Brie and Camembert are put together here as two French-style kinds of cheese. Most commonly used on cheese boards and therefore the most recognised. Brie and Camembert are popular cheeses known for their rich, buttery and creamy textures, as well as for a little indulgence (60% fat). They are matured for longer than fresh cheeses, usually 4-6 weeks.

Brie and Camembert are also known as white mould cheeses, whereby the mould is left to grow on the rind, creating a soft, bloomy cheese as it ripens.

What is soft cheese
Variety of white mould cheese such as Brie

Example of Soft Cheese with Washed Rind:

Other styles of semi-soft cheese can be washed rind. Examples include Tallegio and Munster. These are rich, intense, buttery cheeses usually continuously washed in brine. This gives them an edible rind, and are often pungent, stinky and packed with flavour.
The interior of washed-rind cheeses may be slightly denser, due to the removal of curdled milk before the cheese is moulded. It is left to mature for 2-4 months.

These two rind types may also be combined (known as a mixed rind). A mixed rind cheese is washed with brine at the beginning of the maturation process and then left to ripen on its own. This creates a , light creamy cheese in the middle, with a stronger flavour enhanced from the rind.