Hard cheese was traditionally a mountain cheese. It lasts longer, so mountain dwellers could eat cheese year-round, while their animals could only be milked part of the year. This longer lifespan comes from the cheesemaking process, which removes most moisture to make it harder for mold to develop.

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The process of making hard cheese

Hard cheese is made by taking fresh cheese and other ingredients and pressing them in a cheese press to remove moisture. Most harder cheeses are put under more pressure and for a longer time to remove as much moisture as necessary. This results in cheeses that are drier, but that won’t grow mold as easily, meaning they will stay delicious longer. Some hard cheeses will keep for as long as three years.

The advantages of hard cheese

Hard cheeses, besides their longer conservation time, have several other advantages. They are ideal for gratins. They grate easily, and their low moisture content will gratinate, instead of just melting. We market two delicious flavored Cheddar cheeses that can be eaten alone or in your salads and hot dishes: Barely Buzzed (rubbed with espresso and lavender) and Pour me a Slice (infused with premium whisky). They are also packed with calories, making them ideal for a snack during a hectic day, for example in a chicken sandwich. They’re also a great way to bring texture to your hot dishes and salads, they’ll stay better than soft ripened cheeses on skewers, and stand up on a cheese platter, once cut. If you want to choose a hard cheese that meets your needs, please take our cheese quiz, which will guide you toward the best hard cheese for you.