What this is: A summary of cheeses that love to be eaten as soon as they’re made.
Who it's for: The cheese for the impatient and those that love that fresh bite.
Perfect for the impatient cheese lover, these cheeses are meant to be eaten right away so their...well, their fresh and bright flavors keep their quality! These cheeses have no rind and can be bright, lemony, and refreshing.
The bright&fresh Cheese Type
If you ever wanted to try to make your own cheese, this is the type you should try first. Because if you take a ride on our How Cheese Is Made Subway you’ll see that bright&fresh cheeses are made without washing, cooking, or aging. So they are quick, easy, and rewarding, and you don’t even need a cheese cave!
But, in addition to being easy to make at home, these cheeses are also delicious and, because the brightness of this cheese type makes it a perfect pairing partner, they can be magic on a cheese board. Think of the versatility of fresh chèvre, and you’ll get an idea of all the different ways you can use bright&fresh cheeses. Some ideas:
- Use as the base of mini phyllo onion tarts
- Pour pepper jam over it and slice into rounds
- Roll small balls of it in crushed candy bars for a cheesecake-like taste
- Mix in your favorite seasoning blend to make a spread
- Substitute for cream cheese on bagels with lox
It seems like every culture has its own favorite bright&fresh cheese, which means this is a great opportunity to think outside the box and do some culinary fusion: sprinkle feta on tacos or throw Paneer on some pizza. You can even grill halloumi (it doesn’t melt!) and serve it like a vegetarian burger!
Cheeses in this category include:
- Farmers cheese
Texturally, this category can go from smooth to crumbly, and the flavors can be milky, lemony or salty. Because there’s so much versatility in this type, you can play with the flavor profiles, making your cheeseboard insanely delicious. And, they are very well suited for a fun and easy summer cheeseboard when you don’t feel like cooking.
Favorite Flavor Profiles
The bright&fresh category pairs very well with Sweet and Salty flavor profiles.
Think about pairing your bright&fresh goat cheeses with anything citrus, like candied lemon, lemon crackers, lemon cookies, and even lemon curd! Grill up some marinated halloumi and toss with halved cherry tomatoes and top with any smoked salt and add to your next backyard barbecue cheeseboard.
Favorite Wine Profiles
We suggest the following types of wine:
- Sparkling (Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Lambrusco)
- Dry White (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Grüner Veltliner, Albariño)
- Rosé (Grenache, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah)
- Light Red (Pinot Noir, Gamay)
The most important thing to keep in mind here is the light and brightness of the wine should match the light and brightness of the cheese. And, grab your favorite Sauvignon Blanc if you are having any goat cheese—trust us.
How to Shop for bright&fresh Cheese
This is one of the cheese types that doesn’t age as well as its firmer cheese cousins do. For the freshest cheese, check the “Sell By” date, and if the package is vacuum packed, eat it soon after breaking the seal.
On a Cheese Plate
First, we should say that, while we suggest cheese is out for about 60 minutes before serving, bright&fresh cheese usually benefits from being a little colder, so feel free to take this out last. Chèvres spread well and don’t need to be cut, but those cute little sliced circles sure look fancy. If your board is looking boring, try rolling the chèvre in balls that are then rolled in herbs or something sweet. Halloumi can be pre-grilled and served in a bowl with a marinade or vinaigrette. Feta cubed and piled high with cukes and cherry tomatoes is a gorgeous addition—stick with the Mediterranean theme and add toasted pitas cut in triangles.
Consider the options. Above we talked about 5 different ways you can use chèvre. Pick another kind of bright&fresh cheese and come up with 5 different ways to use it on a cheese board. If you’re not feeling terribly creative, let Google and Pinterest give you a hand. Once you have your list, think about how you’d build out the rest of your cheese board and what beverage you’d serve alongside.
Click the icons to download a pdf of this lesson and our two handy guides: How Cheese is Made and Cheese and Pairing Types.