Everybody loves fresh cheese. That beautiful, unblemished creamy skin. And that texture – soft and spreadable, or delicate and crumbly. Sure, fresh cheese will never have the character of aged cheeses or the staying power – its youthful prime may only last a few days. But lightness, fluffiness, tang, and creamy goodness? Fresh cheese delivers that in spades.
In Wisconsin, we'll pick an aged cheese when we want a deep conversation about life's complexity. But when we want the flash and beauty and bright sizzle of youth, we'll always find a fresh cheese to friend.
Wisconsin cheesemakers whip up mountains of fresh cheese every day. Here are a few of our favorites:
Mozzarella is the most popular cheese in America thanks to our national devotion to pizza. Fresh mozzarella is delicate and creamy, while standard mozzarella is firmer and springier. While both are great melters in their own right, striking the perfect blend, will deliver optimal results!
Burrata is a cheesy double feature – meaty mozzarella on the outside, buttery, fresh, and creamy cheese on the inside.
Feta, a super tart and briny fresh cheese, it's firm and crumbly and often quite moist.
Hispanic-style cheeses like queso fresco, oaxaca, cotija, and queso quesadilla are all varieties of fresh cheese or farmers cheese that add tangy flavor and creamy goodness to any dish.
Cheese curds are freshest of fresh cheese and the unofficial state cheese of Wisconsin. These tiny morsels of cheesy goodness make a little squeak when you bite into them. Fried cheese curds are a staple in every Wisconsin burger joint and county crossroads restaurant.
Ricotta is a light and fluffy, snowy white cheese made from leftover whey that's great in everything from lasagna and manicotti to cannoli and pound cake.
Mascarpone is a slightly sweet and spreadable fresh cheese that adds velvety texture and creamy oomph to pasta dishes and desserts.
Quark is a fresh, slightly tart spreadable cheese that is a cross between sour cream and ricotta.
Fresh cheese is cheese that has spent very little time aging, and is intended to be eaten soon after its made. The taste, though milder than aged cheese, is usually creamy, salty, and tangy. Fresh cheese can range from creamy and spreadable to soft and stretchy to delicate and crumbly.
The taste of fresh cheese is typically milder than aged cheese, which develops more pungent and piquant flavors as it ages. While fresh cheese tends to be soft and pliable, aged cheese loses its moisture as it ripens, giving it a firmer texture. Young cheese tends to be better for melting, while aged cheese is usually better for slicing and grating. We add fresh cheese to a dish to give it a creamy texture, while we add aged cheese to give a dish more flavor.
Get Pairing Ideas, Cheese Recipes, Cheese Facts, Wisconsin Cheese Awards delivered straight to your inbox.
Sure, you could get your feta from Greece, your mozzarella di bufala from Italy or your queso fresco from Mexico. But why would you want fresh cheese from abroad (and really, how fresh could it be if it's crossing the Atlantic or the Rio Grande?) when you can get fantastic fresh cheese from Wisconsin?
Our cheesemakers are fresh cheese masters, winning truckloads of awards for these milky white beauties. And with 175 years of cheesemaking experience under our collective belt, it's no surprise that they've got this fresh cheese thing down.
That's why, the next time you want to sprinkle queso fresco on a taco, shred mozzarella on a flatbread or just take a bite of burrata with a little fig jam and honey, you want to make sure you've got Wisconsin fresh cheese on tap.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
Check out the world’s largest cheese platform.
View our Current Issue
Need help? Say Hello
In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.