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Here you’ll find more information on different types of cheese, the cheese making process, the contents of cheese and much more.

If you have any questions not answered in the glossary, you can send an e-mail to info@champignon.de. Here are the answers to the most interesting questions:


With increasing maturity, cheese gains in character. An example: our range of soft cheeses. With the best milk, carefully selected cultures and skilled care in our maturing room, our master cheesemakers create the aroma. As the consumer also have a hand in the decision-making. If you like a mild, fresh cheese flavour you’ll enjoy the ROUGETTE or CAMBOZOLA, Mirabo or Käserei Champignon. If you prefer a more spicy flavour then let our soft cheeses mature slightly longer for a more intense taste and creamy consistency.

Blue Culture Cheese

A blue cheese is part of the semi-hard cheese family. ‘White/Blue’ cheeses, on the other hand, are soft cheeses: a typical, delicate white mould rind with a blue veiny interior and mild flavour. Their blue cultures optimise the maturing process and aroma. (Source: Association of the Bavarian Dairy Industry)

CAMBOZOLA classic is a specialty that we are particularly proud of. We add blue culture to the milk. The typical blue mould patterning is created by piercing the cheese wheel with needles. This allows oxygen into the cheese and causes the accumulation of blue mould. The special creamy texture and subtle flavour of the CAMBOZOLA blue culture is unmistakable. Allowing the cheese to mature for longer adds a slightly sweet note.

Brine cheese

... is a cheese that is aged for several weeks in brine. Brine cheese is whitish, usually crumbly, sometimes elastic or even spreadable. Its hallmark is a fresh, pleasantly sour flavour. Brine cheese goes well on its own with bread, but is frequently used diced for Mediterranean salads and in warm dishes, such as omelettes.

Product Tip: For the international market, we make the delicious and varied brine-specialties from Fitaki.


Gibt man Lab oder Milchsäure zur Milch, gerinnt das Casein: Die Milch dickt zur sogenannten Gallerte oder Dickete ein. Dabei trennen sich die festen Bestandteile der Milch von der flüssigen Molke. Damit die Molke abfließen kann, wird die Gallerte mit der Käseharfe (einem Instrument mit feinen, parallel angeordneten Drähten) in kleine Bruchstücke geschnitten. Je kleiner dieser Bruch, desto fester wird später der Käse.


This soft cheese with characteristically small, round loaves (80 to 400g) matures with the Penicillium camemberti or Penicillium candidum cultures. A delicate white mould covers the outside of the cheese and the inside is a white to creamy yellow colour. When matured for longer it becomes smooth and creamy and begins to form small holes. Younger Camembert has a mild taste and a spicy aroma when matured fully.

Over 100 years ago, the Allgäuer cheesemaker Julius Hirschle developed the Champignon Camembert, the Käserei Champignon’s flagship product: A Camembert with a whole new flavour that still maintains its fresh mushroom aroma today.


The name of several proteins in milk.


…is always made of cow's milk. If cheese is made ​​from – for example ,sheep, goat or buffalo milk – this must be indicated.

Cheese knives

Connoisseurs use different knives:

  • Knife with perforated blade: You can use it to cut softer cheeses (soft cheese, semi-solid cheese) accurately without them sticking to the blade.
  • Cheese wire: This fine sharp wire cuts blue cheese without smearing or crumbling. Classic cheese knives: Suitable for cutting semi-hard and hard cheeses. If they have an etched blade, they can cut semi-soft cheese.
  • Classic cheese knives: Suitable for cutting semi-hard and hard cheeses. If they have an edched blade, they can cut semi-soft cheese.
  • Cheese cleaver: With its short, high blade it penetrates the rind of hard cheese easily.
  • Cheese slicer: Ideal for cutting thin slices of hard cheeses - such as for casseroles or as a decorative crown on salads.
Cheese types / groups

Worldwide there are about 4,000 types of cheese. They can be distinguished, for example, by the milk used (cow's milk, sheep's or goat's milk, raw milk, whey, etc.). Similarly, water content: (from cream cheese to hard cheese), fat content (from low fat to double cream), or culture (white, blue and red mould cultures). Some examples: CAMBOZOLA is a soft cheese with blue mould cultures, ROUGETTE Landkäse is a soft cheese with red cultures, Montagnolo a blue cheese with blue veins and grey mould.


During coagulation, the solids in the milk (protein, fat and some minerals) are separated from water. Coagulation is induced by the addition of curd (in the case of rennet cheese) or lactic acid bacteria (in the case of sour milk cheese). The result is the so-called jelly or curd. It is broken up into small pieces and the remaining milk is run off.


Once the cheesemaker has added rennet to the milk, the so-called curd forms. Depending on the type of cheese this is then portioned to different sizes, which is how curd is created. The curd is filled into appropriately shaped cheese moulds. The finer the curd has been portioned, the harder the cheese. The curd used to create hard cheese, for example, is pressed hard into the moulds. The whey escapes from the cheese.

Dry matter

... refers to all the ingredients of a cheese minus water: in other words, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins.

Edible mould / cultures

... refer to all cultures, that do not spoil food, but improve and enhance it. Edible cultures improve the ripening of the cheese and determine its flavour. A thick layer of mould on the cheese even prevents the spread of harmful moulds. We use special cultures for our soft cheeses to round off and accentuate the character of each special type perfectly.

Extra hard cheese

…or grated cheese is cheese which has matured and which is especially good for grating (e.g. Parmesan). It also tastes excellent on its own, such as a classic combination with good bread and wine. Extra-hard cheese has often matured for several years.

Fat content

In terms of fat content in dry matter.

  • Low-fat content (<10%)
  • Quarter fat content (≥ 10%)
  • Semi-fat content (≥ 20%)
  • Three quarter fat content (≥ 30%)
  • Fat content (≥ 40%)
  • Full fat (≥ 45%)
  • Single creams (≥ 50%)
  • Double creams (≥ 60%).
Fat content in dry matter

Cheese is made up of a so-called dry mass (protein, fat, minerals, vitamins) and water. When stored, its water content gradually evaporates. This also changes the total fat content. Which is why you always refer to the total fat content in dry matter (FDM).

A rule of thumb: If you multiply the fat content in dry matter (FDM) – which depends on the type of cheese with a specific factor – you obtain the approximate total fat content.

Cream cheese


Fat in dry matter


x 0,3 


= absolute fat content

Soft cheese

x 0,5

Semi-hard cheese

x 0,6

Hard cheese

x 0,7

Example: soft cheese with 50% fat content in dry matter - (FDM) has about 25%  total fat content.

You do not have to convert figures with our cheese specialities. We display the total fat content in the nutritional panel on all our packaging.

Grey mould

... is an edible culture, which improves the ripening process. Käserei Champignon uses grey mould to refine Montagnolo. This outstanding soft cheese specialty ripens for a very long time at low temperatures. During this cold ripening process, Montagnolo develops its unique flavour fully. Montagnolo is criss-crossed internally with fine blue veins. It gives the cheese its exceedingly fine spicy aroma and delicate creaminess. Grey mould influences the ripening process externally: it naturally prolongs the course of optimal ripening throughout. The master cheesemaker’s "Affine" seal guarantees craftmanship, diligence and care.

Hard cheese

Famous hard cheeses include Emmentaler, Gruyere, mountain cheese and Sennalp cheese. They are made from raw or pasteurised milk, and mature for several months. Their flavour is mildly spicy to full-bodied and often characterised by a fine nutty flavour. Hard cheeses are sold not only whole or cut, but are often coarsely grated or sliced ​​- for example, for salads or baked dishes.


How does cheese get its holes? Simple: while the cheese ripens, lactose turns into lactic acid and creates carbon dioxide. Since this so-called fermentation gas cannot escape through the rind, it creates elongated holes in the cheese.


This must appear on the cheese or on the packaging:

  • Cheese type or group (such as cream cheese, soft cheese, semi-soft cheese,
  • Fat content or fat content in dry matter (FDM)
  • Name and address of the manufacturer (by the way: the initials "BY" on the packaging let you know the origin of our Bavarian cheese specialties)
  • Ingredients
  • Net weight
  • Price

Milk contains many valuable substances: Milk protein promotes cell renewal, the sugar in milk helps digestion, milk fat protects cells, calcium and phosphate strengthen bones and magnesium supports muscle functions. The vitamins in milk - especially B2 and B12 - are important for growth. All these ingredients can be found in concentrated form in cheese.


…the thickened ...or "coagulated" milk.

Lactic acid bacteria

…ferment and turn lactose into lactic acid and partly into aroma.


In Germany approximately 15% of all people* suffer from lactose intolerance. In other words, they can not tolerate the lactose present in milk: their bodies do not produce, or produce insufficient enzyme lactase that breaks down the lactose in the blood. When cheese ripens, lactose is converted into lactic acid. Long-ripened soft, semi-hard or hard cheeses are therefore easier to digest.

Because Käserei Champignon’s cheese specialties are allowed to mature gently and naturally, the lactose content is always lower than the officially recognized values according to the German Society for Nutrition that are relevant to lactose-intolerant people. Which is why people with lactose intolerance can also enjoy our cheese.

* Source: National Association of The Bavarian Dairy Industry.


The Limburger (like its cousin, the Romadur), is a genuine Allgäu cheese. The soft cheese is refined with red cultures. Its characteristics are a rectangular shape, an orange-red rind, a strong aroma and a savoury-spicy flavour. Limburger is a traditional Bavarian cheese-snack, which can be enjoyed at home, in the pub or in the beer garden: served with homemade bread, boiled potatoes or marinated, for example. A hot dish classic is Allgäu Cheese Spaetzle with St.Mang Limburger.

Our hot tip: St.Mang Limburger and St.Mang Rahm-Limburger - the original Allgäu classic and its very creamy variant.



  • Soft cheese ripens from the outside inwards. If you cut open a German Camembert at the start of its multi-week ripening period, you can usually recognise a solid curd-like core. In the course of ripening the texture of the dough changes, the core disappears, and the dough remains soft through to the inside. This is referred to as a fully ripened soft cheese.
  • Semi-hard cheese and hard cheese ripens evenly through the whole body. Hard cheese ripens for several months, sometimes even years.

For soft and semi-hard cheese as well as for hard cheese, the same rule applies: the longer they ripen, the more intense their aroma.

Maturing holes

This is how cheese gets its holes: during the ripening of the cheese, lactic acid degrades due to fermentation and creates gas. Since this gas cannot escape through the solid rind, it creates different sized holes in the cheese.

Milk basics

To produce a kilo of soft cheese, we need about seven litres of milk, for a kilo of hard cheese approximately twelve litres.

Milk protein

The cells in our bodies consist mainly of protein. Protein is essential – particulary for building up muscles! The milk protein contained naturally in cheese is especially important. It contains all the essential protein components and is very similar to body protein.


To kill germs, our milk is pasteurised for about 15 to 30 seconds at 72 degrees Centigrade. Which is why pregnant women, for example, can also enjoy our cheese specialties without any worries!

Pregnancy and the enjoyment of cheese

Listeria are bacteria, which can be found on unwashed salads, in raw meat and unpasteurised milk. They usually cause no problems for healthy adults, but for pregnant women and their unborn children they are dangerous.

Pregnant women can eat Käserei Champignon products without any concerns. We make all of our cheese specialties ​​using pasteurised milk.

Processed cheese

… is made from grated cheese, liquid and smelting salt. It melts very well when heated, or when browning under a grill. Processed cheese can be made from various types of cheese. Usually it is sold as slices or as squares in shops. There are various processed cheeses, such as with herbs, spices or with ham.

Reader question: Brie

Martina V from Munich: “How exactly does Brie differ from Camembert?”

Both specialities are soft cheeses that mature with the Penicillium camemberti or Penicillium candidum cultures. The difference between the two lies in their weight: Unlike the ‘handy’ Camembert, Brie cheese wheels weigh between 1 and 2kg. They are cut into pieces like a pie and come in triangular shapes in the supermarket. The mildly spicy Brie is a classic for the cheese platter. In cooking they can be used to add to soups or sauces (without the rind).

Product tip: Striegistaler Zwerge Brie and Briette.

Reader question: Gluten

Karin L. from Munich asks: "Gluten is a grain product. Why do you point out that your cheese is gluten free?"

Gluten, consists of the protein components found in the grain kernel. Some people are allergic to gluten due to a metabolic disorder.

Our naturally produced and ripened soft cheeses, semi-hard and hard cheeses are gluten-free. Processed cheese may, however, contain starch - a carbohydrate that is primarily produced from corn (and potatoes). This may therefore contain traces of gluten.

Red mould cheeses, or red cheese spreads

Red mould cheeses are regularly sprayed with brine and rubbed with red cultures during ripening. These cultures impart a unique aroma - and give the rind a typical orange-reddish colour. In our product range we feature red mould soft cheeses with a fine-spicy flavour (such as ROUGETTE Landkäse) or savoury-spicy taste (e.g, St.Mang Limburger and Romadur).


Rennet is an enzyme that causes protein to coagulate, without allowing the milk to turn sour. Rennet is frequently derived from the stomach of calves. The alternatives are vegetable and microbial rennet.

Käserei Champignon produces its range of cheeses exclusively with microbial rennet. Which is why our specialties are a treat for vegetarians, kosher and halal food too.

Rennet cheese

… belongs to the largest group of cheeses. During production, the milk is thickened with rennet (curdled). Rennet cheeses include soft cheese, semi-hard cheese and hard cheese.


The rind is a kind of natural packaging. It forms when cheese is rubbed with salt during ripening. The salt removes so much water from the outermost layer of cheese that it forms (with soft cheese) a flexible rind or (with hard cheese) a very firm rind. The rind of a cheese can be eaten, too. It should only be removed if you want to melt the cheese for soups or sauces or in order to enhance the aroma.


Like Limburger, Romadur is an Allgäu red mould cheese with a long tradition. The two soft cheese specialties differ mainly in size. While a Limburger weighs in with an impressive 200 grams or more, Romadur is usually offered in a 100-gram pack and is ideal for smaller households or for a mixed cheese platter. Thanks to its smaller size, Romadur matures faster than Limburger, so it quickly develops its hearty, spicy flavour.

Product tip: St.Mang Romadur, the Allgäu-classic in the original classic version (40% fat), light (50% fat in dry matter) (9% absolute fat) and cream.

Before cheeses are stored in aging cellars, they are dipped into a brine bath. And even during maturing, cheese is always dipped in brine or brushed with salt – depending on the variety. The brine draws excess whey out of the cheese dough. The cheese becomes firmer and this dehydration creates the rind. The salt also influences the growth and type of micro-organisms (flora) and optimises the aging process, shelf life and flavour.
Semi-hard cheese

While soft cheese ripens from the outside in, semi-hard cheese ripens evenly through the whole body. Some semi-hard cheeses are made with red cultures, others are refined with herbs or spices, or are smoked. Famous semi-hard cheeses include Tilsit cheese (with many small, irregularly shaped holes) and Edam (with a few small holes).

Semi-hard cheese

While soft cheese ripens from the outside in, semi-hard cheese ripens evenly through the whole body. Some semi-hard cheeses are made with red cultures, others are refined with herbs or spices, or are smoked. Famous semi-hard cheeses include Tilsit cheese (with many small, irregularly shaped holes) and Edam (with a few small holes). Its water content lies between that of soft cheese and hard cheese. As the name suggests, it can still be cut, yet is extremely elastic. Mild butter cheese as well as savoury mountain cheese count as semi-hard cheeses.

Soft cheese

Soft cheeses have a higher water content than hard and semi-hard cheeses. Another special characteristic is that soft cheeses ripen from the outside inwards. The ripening is supported by mould cultures. The inside of a young soft cheese is white to pale yellow with a fairly firm core. With increasing maturity, it becomes softer, its colour and aroma becomes more intense. Connoisseurs love soft cheese specialties from Käserei Champignon because of their delicate creaminess and their wonderful taste.

Sour milk cheese

…is made ​​from skimmed milk and is not with thickened with rennet, but exclusively with lactic acid bacteria. Sour milk cheese such as the Harzer are waxy and amber coloured.


Cheese likes cool, dark and airy places. The vegetable drawer in your fridge is the best place to store cheese. Cheese is best stored in its original packaging.

Thumb test
Popular but not very reliable: the maturity of soft cheese can’t really be determined with the thumb test because they mature from the outside inwards. The outer part can, therefore, be soft while the inside is still firm.

Is the liquid part of the milk that separates after the curdling of the solid jelly. Whey is virtually fat free and, despite its low calories, it contains high protein, lactose, minerals and water-soluble vitamins. Our Alpavit factory makes high-quality whey products for baby food, confectionery, food and pharmaceutical producers.