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Cubes of Bulgarian sirene white brined cheese

Brined cheese, also sometimes referred to as pickled cheese for some varieties, is cheese that is matured in brine in an airtight or semi-permeable container. This process gives the cheese good stability, inhibiting bacterial growth even in warmer climates.[1] Brined cheeses may be soft or hard, varying in moisture content, and in colour and flavour, according to the type of milk used; though all will be rindless, and generally taste clean, salty and acidic when fresh, developing some piquancy when aged, and most will be white.[1]

Washed-rind cheeses are periodically cured in a solution of saltwater brine and/or mold-bearing agents that may include beer, wine, brandy, and spices, making their surfaces amenable to a class of bacteria Brevibacterium linens (the reddish-orange "smear bacteria") that impart pungent odours and distinctive flavours, and produce a firm, flavourful rind around the cheese.[2]


Many varieties of brined cheeses are produced. Varieties of brined cheese include feta, halloumi, sirene and telemea, a variant of brinza.[1] Brined cheese is the main type of cheese produced and eaten in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.[3]

Brined feta cheese
Traditional Oscypek
During the aging process, Saint-Nectaire is twice washed in brine and aged on rye straw.
Part of the process of making Swaledale cheese involves soaking the cheese in brine for 24 hours

Additional brined cheeses include:

  • Abbaye de Tamié – A soft cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk by the monks of Tamié Abbey
  • Akkawi – Palestinian white brine cheese
  • Alpujarra cheese – A Spanish cheese from the eastern region of Andalusia
  • Appenzeller cheese – A hard cow's milk cheese made in northeast Switzerland
  • Ardrahan Farmhouse Cheese – Two varieties of cheese made on County Cork, Ireland
  • Some varieties of Asiago cheese – Italian cow's milk cheese
  • Balkánský sýr – A type of white brined cheese produced in Czech Republic and Slovakia
  • Beaufort cheese – A firm, raw cow's milk cheese from the Savoie region of the French Alps
  • Berner Alpkäse – A hard cheese produced in the Alps of the Bernese Oberland and adjacent areas of Switzerland
  • Bondost – A Swedish cow's-milk cheese, also made in the United States
  • Cantabrian cream cheese – Cheese made from the milk of Friesian cows in Cantabria, in northern Spain
  • Caprino di Cavalese
  • Chechil – A brine string cheese that originated in Armenia
  • Cherni Vit cheese – A Bulgarian sheep milk cheese from the village of Cherni Vit
  • Corleggy Cheese – Cheese from County Cavan, Ireland
  • Dovedale cheese – British blue cheese from the Peak District
  • Egyptian cheese – Cheeses made in Egypt
  • Feta cheese – Brined curd white cheese from Greece
    • Hâlûmi resembles Cypriot halloumi, but is a different cheese. It may be eaten fresh or brined and spiced. The name comes from the Coptic word for cheese, "halum".[citation needed]
  • Some varieties of goat cheese, prior to the aging process
    • Chevrotin – A soft goat's milk based cheese from the historical region of Savoy, France
  • Gouda cheese – Mild yellow Dutch cheese made from cow's milk
    • Maaslander – A brand name for a Gouda, semihard cheese
  • Gruyère cheese – A hard yellow cheese from Switzerland
  • Halloumi – Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese
  • Herrgårdsost – A semi-hard Swedish cheese made from cow's milk
  • Ibores cheese – Spanish cheese made from unpasteurized goats’ milk in Extremadura
  • Leyden cheese – Semi-hard Dutch cow's milk cheese with cumin and caraway
  • Lighvan cheese – A brined curd sheep's milk cheese traditionally made in Iran
  • Mallorca cheese – A Spanish cheese made exclusively on the island of Mallorca
  • Maredsous cheese – A semi-hard loaf-shaped cheese made in Belgium from cow's milk
  • Maredsous Abbey cheese
  • Mozzarella – Type of semi-soft Italian cheese
  • Murcian cheese – A fatty goats' milk cheese from the Murcia region of south-east Spain
  • Murcian wine cheese – A fatty goats’ milk cheese from the province of Murcia in the south-east of Spain
  • Munster cheese – A strong smelling, soft cheese with a subtle taste, made mainly from milk from the Vosges, France
  • Nabulsi cheese – A Palestinian white brined sheep and goat's milk cheese
  • Oka cheese – A semi-soft washed rind cheese originally from Oka, Quebec
  • Oscypek – A smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk from the Tatra Mountains of Poland
  • Pallone di Gravina – A firm, cow's milk cheese from the regions of Basilicata and Apulia in south-east Italy
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano – Type of hard Italian cheese
  • Pasta filata – A technique in the manufacture of a family of Italian cheeses also known in English as stretched-curd
  • Pecorino Sardo – A firm sheep's milk cheese from the Italian island of Sardinia
  • Red Hawk cheese – A type of American triple-crème aged cow's-milk cheese with a brine-washed rind
  • Saint-Nectaire – A cheese made in the Auvergne region of central France
  • Svecia – A Swedish semi-hard cow's-milk cheese
  • Sulguni – A brined Georgian cheese from the Samegrelo region
  • Swaledale cheese – A full fat hard cheese produced in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, England
  • Telemea – A Romanian cheese traditionally made of sheep’s milk
  • Teviotdale cheese – A full fat hard cheese produced in the area of Teviotdale on the border lands between Scotland and England
  • Tulum cheese – A traditional Turkish goat's milk cheese ripened in a goatskin casing
  • Tzfat cheese – A semi-hard cheese produced in Israel originally from sheep's milk

See alsoEdit

  • List of cheeses – A list of cheeses by place of origin
  • Pickling – Procedure of preserving food in brine or vinegar


  1. ^ a b c A. Y. Tamime (2008-04-15). Brined cheeses. Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. p. 2. ISBN 9781405171649. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  2. ^ Washed Rind Cheese Archived 2011-03-22 at the Wayback Machine at Practically Edible Food Encyclopedia
  3. ^ A. Y. Tamime (1991-01-15). Feta and Related Cheeses. Woodhead Publishing, 1991. p. 9. ISBN 9781855732780. Retrieved 21 March 2011.

Further readingEdit

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