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Hard Cheese

Hard Cheese

The family of hard cheeses include Parmesan, Pecorino, Manchego & Grana-Padano.

Hard cheese

As the name suggests, hard cheese is firm. Often savoury, it can be divided into two categories: hard (such as  Parmesan), and semi-hard (such as Gouda). Production involves separating and draining most of the whey before pressing the curd, which is then either brined to create a hard rind or waxed. Finally, the cheese is aged for between 2 and 36 months, and in some cases even longer. Aging determines the intensity of the flavour. A well-aged cheese will be more flavourful, less creamy and grainier in texture.

 

Dense, savoury, firm

Dense, complex and often with strong notes of hazelnut and sautéed butter, hard cheeses bring depth and savour wherever they go, often favoured for their moreish umami taste, like that of a rich broth or slowly cooked stew. Gently opening with a mild tang, flavours linger on the palate, calmly followed by a sharp and aromatic finish. Still maintaining a sense of smoothness, the texture is granular and firm, often forming natural salt crystals with age, and in turn producing a crumbly body, perfect for running through a cheese grater.

Most hard cheeses develop a natural and tough rind, amassing an abundance of flavour over time. Too hard to eat on their own, the rinds add decadence and strata when mixed into soups, sauces and stews.

Types of hard cheese

The family of hard cheeses has members aged both in history and maturation. Their rounded and tangy nuances work wonders in dishes and salads, offering a wholesome experience when enjoyed on their own.

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Crowned the king of cheeses, this Italian pure-blood is sharp, intense and full-bodied in taste. The texture is firm when young, becoming granular and crystallised as it ages. Aged for at least 12 months, the secret to its iconic flavour lies in its maturation. 

Pair with walnuts, zesty pear and champagne or sparkling wine.

Pecorino

This Italian classic, made using fresh milk from sheep, has been produced in the same way for over two millennia. Slightly milder than Parmigiano-Reggiano, notes of spice and caramelised butter stretch its palate in union, offering a savoury and full-bodied profile.

Pair with fresh figs, honey and white wine.

Manchego

Residing in the heartland of La Mancha, Manchego cheese is as much a native as it is a product of the region. It is nutty, with light touches of sweet fruit and spice. The use of sheep’s milk allows for a richer, creamier consistency that grows granular and flaky as the seasons pass.

Pair with honey, figs and roasted walnuts.

Grana-Padano

The texture, taste and appearance of Grana Padano is often mistaken for that of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Even so, this mighty Italian cheese certainly holds its own against its close relative. Slightly milder, the body is less granular, only requiring 9 months of maturation.

Pair with fresh apples, figs and honey.

Grana Padano

Grana Padano

Grana Padano
Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano
Parmesan

Parmesan

Parmesan
Drink Pairing Guides

Not really sure what to serve with your cheese? Lucky for you, cheese is a great match for a lot of different drink types - how about a dark stout, a G&T or a fruity and sweet white wine? Explore our guides and find the perfect choice of drink for your next cheeseboard!

How to pair White wine & Cheese

How to pair White wine & Cheese

White wine is close to the perfect match for cheese – and generally far better than red wine. The freshness of the white wine, the perfumed notes and the combination of sweetness and acidity suit many cheeses.

How to pair White wine & Cheese
How to pair Beer & Cheese

How to pair Beer & Cheese

Beer goes surprisingly well with cheese – better, in fact, than wine, according to many. Beer’s freshness, carbonation and complex taste notes make it perfect for serving with a cheese platter.

How to pair Beer & Cheese
How to pair Red Wine & Cheese

How to pair Red Wine & Cheese

Before popping open that expensive bottle of red wine for your cheese platter, check out these tips for what red wine to serve with cheese.

How to pair Red Wine & Cheese
How to pair Champagne & Cheese

How to pair Champagne & Cheese

Sparkling wines like champagne, cremant and prosecco aren’t just festive – they also go extremely well with cheese.

How to pair Champagne & Cheese