American cheese is a mild, processed, Cheddar-type cheese often sold in slices. Americans have long loved this cheese on top of their favorite burgers.


Blue cheese is a sharp cheese that has an aromatic and pungent flavor that increases with age. The blue or green color and characteristic flavor come from bacteria that are injected in creamy cheeses. Blue cheese is often used in salad dressings.


Brie cheese is a creamy French cheese with an edible white rind. It has a mildly tangy flavor and very creamy to runny texture. Brie is often used in cooking and for snacking.


Cheddar cheese is a firm white-to-orange cheese with a flavor ranging from mild to sharp. Named after an English village, it is great shredded over a salad, melted over fresh green vegetables, or used in sauces.


Colby cheese is the Wisconsin-made version of Cheddar. It has a mild and sweet flavor. Colby is lighter, softer, and more open-textured than Cheddar. It is often used in cooking, for snacking, or on sandwiches.


Cream cheese is a smooth, spreadable, unripened fresh cheese made from cow's milk. Neufchatel is the lower-fat and usually softer version. Cream cheese is most often used for baked cheesecakes. It is also used for dips and spreading.


Feta cheese has a tangy, sharp, and salty flavor. It is made from goat's milk. Very common in Greek cooking, feta is used for snacking and topping salads.


Goat cheese is made from pure goat's milk. Chèvre is its French name. It has a tart, tangy, mild flavor. With age, the flavor is stronger and the texture is drier. Goat cheese is a great topping for salads and is also good for snacking.


Monterey Jack cheese gets its name from Monterey, California. It is a mild, buttery, semisoft cheese made from cow's milk. It is sometimes flavored with peppers and garlic and often used in Tex-Mex cooking.


Mozzarella cheese is a mild, stringy cheese made from cow's milk. Factory-produced mozzarella is semisoft and chewy with a mild flavor, while the fresh variety has a soft texture and a sweet, mild flavor. It is commonly used on pizzas and in lasagna.


Muenster cheese is pale yellow with very small holes and an orange rind. American Muenster is mild in flavor, while European Muenster is more pungent. Kids love it as a snack or as a sandwich topping.


Parmesan cheese is an Italian hard cheese usually aged to a dry, crumbly texture. Parmesan is pleasantly sharp with a salty flavor. It is excellent for grating over pasta sauce or salads.


Provolone cheese is a firm Italian cheese with a mild, smoky taste. It is great for cooking and snacking.


Ricotta cheese is a soft, fresh, white Italian cheese with a sweet, mellow taste. It is often baked in cheesecakes, lasagna, and manicotti.


Swiss cheese is a generic name for a group of pale yellow cheeses with large holes. They have mild, nutty flavors and firm, slightly dry textures. Swiss is often used in cooking and is a much-loved sandwich topping.


Source: Debby Ward's cookbook