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Semisoft Cheeses

Semisoft Cheeses

Havarti
An extremely mild cow's milk cheese sold in blocks and without rind, peppered with small indentations. It is as mild as Monterey jack and just as adaptable for sandwiches and melting. Originally from Denmark but now made in the United States and elsewhere.

Monterey Jack
A soft, white, mild cow's milk cheese that originated in California, either with tiny "eyes" or smooth, depending on where it is made. Jack is often sold infused with hot red chilies and called "pepper jack." A dry version is also made, which was used by West Coast Italian Americans to replace Parmigiano-Reggiano when it was in short supply during World War II.

Muenster
When made in America, this cheese is very mild and smooth with great melting properties. French Muenster is fuller flavored with an odiferous rind and nutty overtones. German and Danish Muensters (or Münsters) fall between the two in terms of flavor and are formed into rounds, rather than rectangles.

Port-Salut
A mild French cow's milk cheese with a creamy, yellow interior.

Taleggio
An aromatic Italian cow's milk cheese with a pale brown rind, ivory interior and bold, nutty, fruity flavor.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion, (Time-Life Books, 2000).