What Makes a Cheese Mild, Medium or Strong?


Packets of hard and semi-hard cheese such as cheddar come in different strengths. Some supermarkets use a 1 to 5 strength grading system, but most labels describe hard cheese as mild, medium or strong.

The Facts

Types of Cheese

  • Mild cheese typically matures for up to three months. Strong cheese, on the other hand, needs at least a year to reach its full flavor. Some extra-strong cheeses mature for at least two years before they are ready to eat.


  • Manufacturers add salt to cheese to help the curds mature and to enhance flavor. Strong cheese contains more salt than mild cheese because it matures for a much longer period. Too much salt is unhealthy, so consumers should look at the list of ingredients to see how much salt each cheese contains.

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  • Photo Credit Cheese. Cheddar , cream , and feta cheese on a plate image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com Yellow cheese image by Plamen Yanev from Fotolia.com cheese plate image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com
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