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A cheese style, traditionally a 22-pound wheel of Cheddar, coated with wax and cheesecloth.


Any less-than-ideal quality factor in a cheese, often due to improper manufacture, handling or contamination. Defects can refer to packaging, finish, surface, texture or taste.

Degree of Hardness

Categorizing cheese by the degree of hardness is the most universal method used. Federal Standards of Identity dictate the tolerances of moisture and milkfat that can be contained in cheese. Since the amount of moisture and fat in cheese significantly controls the properties of the cheese, using degrees of hardness stands on a legal definition.

Deli or Mini Horn

Basically the same style as a cylinder of cheese. Most often you will find this style in Cheddar, Colby, Colby-Jack and Pepper Jack varieties.


Very small cubes. Mozzarella is diced as an additional style for foodservice operators. It is easier to portion control diced cheese versus shredded cheese.

Direct Set

A cheese in which lactic acid culture instead of rennet is used to “direct set” or coagulate the milk.


A cheese in which lactic acid culture instead of rennet is used to direct-set or coagulate the milk.


A cheese set in a disk style, such as Brie or Camembert. This style allows for quick aging of the cheese, from the outer edges to the inner core.

Double Cream

The French term for cheese containing at least 60 percent butterfat in the cheese solids (dry matter).

Dry Matter

All the components of cheese (solids) excluding moisture (water). Dry matter includes proteins, milkfat, milk sugars and minerals.


A classification of cheese varieties that share similar characteristics, such as in methods of manufacture, consistency, texture, smell or taste, with cheeses produced in the Netherlands. Edam and Gouda are considered Dutch-type cheeses. Tilsit may appear under this classification, although it is not produced predominantly in Holland.