All About the (Fresh) Cheese: The Many Fresh Dairy Types Explained

Image by Диана Лаврова from Pixabay

Did you ever stand in front of the fridge in the supermarket and were overwhelmed by all the different types of dairy? Well, the choice in Scottish supermarket is sometimes even much smaller than in Continental ones. Here is a list of all the different fresh cheeses that are common in the Continental kitchen and how you can use them.


Soured Cream Products

Sour Cream

Let’s start with explaining what normal sour cream is before describing other soured cream products. Sour cream is made by adding a bacteria culture to normal cream so that it becomes thicker and get its sour flavour. Sour cream doesn’t quite like hot temperatures – once it’s too warm it flocculates quickly. That’s why it’s best to use sour cream for cold dishes such as dips.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Dips (nachos for example), tacos, salad dressings, desserts


Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraiche is similar to the classic sour cream but has a higher fat content and tastes less sour. It won’t flocculate once you cook it, so it’s great to use in hot dishes.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Sauce and soup thickener, Desserts, Dips, Topping (Flammkuchen for example)

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Flammkuchen 🍕😍 #soulyummy

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Smetana

Smetana, also called Śmietana or Schmand, contains a little less fat than crème fraiche but won’t flocculate in heat, too. This type of dairy is very common in Central and Eastern Europe as Smetana is a perfect allrounder for the kitchen. It’s often used for desserts or sides because of its creaminess and mild flavour.

Interesting language fact: The German word for butterfly (“Schmetterling”) was inspired by the Slavic word Smetana as it was a common belief that butterflies like dairy. So they just called them “Smetana Creatures”. The same applies to the English language as people noticed that the insects were attracted to the churning of butter. Thus, they called them butterflies.

Where to find it:

Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Desserts, Spread, Cheesecake, Soups


Other Fresh Cheese Sorts

Quark

Quark is made from milk that was given lactic acid bacteria culture. Compared to other fresh cheese, its crumbly and not as creamy. It gets its consistency from the filtration process in which the quark is continuously stirred. Its high rations of protein and low-fat content makes quark a healthy snack that fills you up quickly.

Where to find it:

Morrisons, Lidl

Uses:

Spread (best with some chive), muesli, desserts, dip, cakes, pastries


Twaróg

If you translate Twaróg, it will come up as quark. Both products are very similar, but still have subtle differences. For example, some twaróg products can be higher in fat than quark which is naturally low in fat. Twaróg can also be firmer than quark, so you can slice it better and put it on sandwiches.

Where to find it:

Morrisons, Big Tescos, Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Sandwiches, cheesecake, pierogi, voreniki, spread (twarozek), desserts


Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese, also called Hüttenkäse, has a similar consistency like quark. It’s slightly crumbier then quark and is higher in fat and sugar. It’s very tasty if you add it to your muesli in the morning.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Salads, muesli, lasagne


Ricotta

This cheese is from Italy and is made from sheep, cow, goat, or Buffalo milk. It’s a bit drier than cottage cheese and crumblier but its flavour is very similar. It contains more fat and calories, and its production is a bit different from cottage cheese.

Where to find it:

Bigger supermarkets

Uses:

Lasagne, desserts, Pastiera, sauce thickener


Mascarpone

This creamy cheese has probably the highest percentage of fat with 80%. Once opened, you need to use it quickly cause it’s quite a perishable good.

Where to find it:

Pretty much every supermarket

Uses:

Desserts (for example Tiramisu), risotto, cheesecake

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Miałam to zdjęcie wstawić jutro, ale do jutra to nawet nie zostanie ślad po tych pysznościach 😂🙊🙊🙊Wiecie, że nie pamiętam kiedy robiłam TIRAMISU? A to jest przecież takie dobrrree 😍🤩 Wiadomo, deser nie nalezy do tych z serii fit, ale wiem, że są osoby, które również poszukują takich prostych i szybkich deserów na wyjatkowe okazje 🙂 Może komuś sie przyda pomysł na jutrzejszy dzień🙂 Korzystajcie 👌😁✅opakowanie biszkoptów podłużnych ( dokladnie zużyłam 16sztuk na moją formę) ✅ 250ml śmietany 30% lub 36% ✅ ✅ksylitol sproszkowany lub cukier puder wg uznania słodkości ✅2 żółtka ✅250g serka mascarpone ✅kakao do posypywania ✅ mocna kawa zaparzona ok 1 szkl. Buszkopty moczymy doslownie chwilę w kawie i ukladamy w naczyniu. Ubijamy śmietanę na sztywno, dodajemy stopniowo mascarpone. W osobnej misce ucieramy żółtka ze słodzidłem po czym łączymy je z resztą kremu. Mieszamy do połączenia. Na biszkopty nakladamy krem, posypujemy kakao orzez sitko. Znów moczymy kolejną warstwę biszkoptów i ukladamy warstwą tak jak wcześniej. Na wierzch obsypujemy kakao. Schladzamy w lodówce ok 1-2godz i już 😁 #tiramisu #deser #słodkachwila #slodycze #slodkosci #cośsłodkiego #cosdokawy #czasnakawe #dokawki #wmojejkuchni #lubiegotowac #deserek #kawa #mascarpone #kremmascarpone #wloskideser #wloskiesmaki #szybkideser #dzienmamy #ciasto #ciastobezpieczenia #słodycze #słodkości

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Cheese that doesn’t contain cow milk

Bryndza

In case you are lactose intolerant, then bryndza is a good alternative to cottage cheese. It’s made from sheep milk and has a crumbly consistency as well as a salty flavour.

Where to find it:

Polish, Russian, or other Eastern European food shops

Uses:

Gratin, Polenta, Spread, Bryndzové halušky


Brousse du Rove

The name already suggests the origin of this cheese. It’s a French fresh cheese that was named after the village La Rove in southern France. The cheese is made from the milk of the Rove goats that have pretty long, twisted horns. The Brousse du Rove is very fine and creamy, and tastes quite mild.

Where to find:

Unfortunately, it quite hard to find the cheese in Scotland, but there are a few alternatives in fresh goats cheese. They might not be from the Rove goats, but the cheese is still tasty. It should be available in every supermarket.

Uses:

Salads, Quiches, Spread, Topping (honey and walnuts go very well with it)


Hopefully, this article shed some light on all the different types of fresh cheese. If there is a cheese or common recipe we missed out, please let us know in the comment section below.  

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