Whether you prefer the nutty and intense notes of Zamorano or the savory and aged perfection of Zanetti Grana Padano, these cheeses that start with the letter Z promise to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
Zamorano is a Spanish cheese that hails from the region of Castile and León. It is made from raw sheep’s milk and is aged for a minimum of 6 months. This hard cheese has a firm and compact texture with a natural rind that develops during the aging process. The cheese is known for its rich and buttery flavor, which intensifies as it matures. Zamorano cheese is often compared to its Italian counterpart, Parmigiano Reggiano, due to its similar texture and flavor profile.
2. Za’atar Burrata
Za’atar Burrata is a variation of the traditional Italian burrata cheese infused with za’atar seasoning. Burrata is a fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has a delicate outer shell made of mozzarella and a creamy interior filled with stracciatella, a mixture of shredded mozzarella and cream. The addition of za’atar to burrata adds a unique Middle Eastern twist, enhancing the cheese’s flavor with the aromatic herbs and spices. The combination of the creamy, milky burrata and the earthy, herbaceous za’atar creates a delightful flavor experience. The cheese is produced by Fiore di Nonno in Massachusetts, United States.
3. Ziege Zacke Blue
Ziege Zacke Blue is a cheese with a playful name produced by LaClare Farms in the United States. It is a blue cheese made from goat’s milk and has a crumbly and creamy texture with distinct blue veins running throughout. The flavor is robust, tangy, and slightly earthy. This cheese pairs well with fruits, honey, or as a standout ingredient on a cheese platter.
4. Zelu Koloria
Zelu Koloria (a Basque Blue) is a cheese that originates from France. It’s a cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and aged for a minimum of three months, allowing it to develop a firm and slightly crumbly texture. The cheese has a rich, buttery flavor with hints of nuttiness and a tangy undertone. Its natural rind contributes to its distinct appearance and adds to the complexity of its flavor. Zelu Koloria is often enjoyed on its own or paired with crusty bread, fruits, or cured meats.
5. Zigljen Iz Mosta
Zigljen Iz Mosta is a cheese originating from the island of Pag in Croatia. It is a semi-hard cheese made from a combination of sheep’s and cow’s milk. The name “Iz Mosta” refers to the location where the cheese is produced. Zigljen Iz Mosta has a smooth and creamy texture with a slightly elastic consistency. It offers a balanced flavor profile, combining the mildness of cow’s milk with the distinct tanginess of sheep’s milk. This cheese is often sliced and served on cheese platters, melted into sandwiches, or used as a topping for grilled vegetables.
Zimbro is a cheese that hails from Portugal. It is a soft cheese made from raw sheep’s milk. Zimbro cheese has a bloomy rind and a creamy, dense interior. The cheese is typically aged for a short period, allowing it to develop a mild and slightly tangy flavor. It offers a rich and buttery mouthfeel with subtle earthy undertones. Zimbro is commonly enjoyed spread on bread or crackers, accompanied by jams or honey. Its origin in Portugal reflects the country’s long-standing tradition of sheep’s milk cheese production.
Zwitser, produced by Rockhill Creamery, is a distinctive variety of Gouda cheese. Made from cow’s milk, this semi-hard cheese undergoes careful aging for a minimum of one year. The result is a cheese with depth and character, boasting a delightful combination of nuttiness and a slightly sweet tang. Zwitser Gouda cheese offers versatile enjoyment, suitable for both slicing and melting. Its rich flavor and creamy texture make it a delectable addition to cheese platters, pairing beautifully with fruits, crackers, and artisanal bread.
3. Zanetti Grana Padano
Zanetti Grana Padano is a high-quality Italian cheese originating from the Po River Valley in northern Italy. It is a hard, aged cheese made from cow’s milk. The cheese follows a strict production process, adhering to the traditional methods established centuries ago. Zanetti Grana Padano is aged for a minimum of 9 months, resulting in a crumbly texture and a golden-yellow color. Its flavor is nutty, savory, and slightly sweet. This cheese is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, grated over pasta, or used as a topping for salads and soups.
4. Zanetti Parmigiano Reggiano
Zanetti Parmigiano Reggiano is another notable Italian cheese produced by Zanetti, a renowned cheese-making company. Parmigiano Reggiano is a protected designation of origin (PDO) cheese, meaning it can only be produced in specific regions of Italy using traditional methods. It is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and aged for a minimum of 12 months, resulting in a hard and granular texture. Zanetti Parmigiano Reggiano has a robust and complex flavor, characterized by notes of nuttiness, fruitiness, and umami. It is a versatile cheese used in various culinary applications, such as grating over pasta, shaving over salads, or enjoying as a table cheese.
5. Zanetti Pecorino Toscano
Zanetti Pecorino Toscano is an Italian cheese that originates from the region of Tuscany. Made from 100% sheep’s milk, it is a traditional pecorino cheese with a rich heritage. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 3 months, allowing it to develop a firm yet slightly crumbly texture. Zanetti Pecorino Toscano has a distinct, sharp flavor with savory and nutty undertones. Its aroma is often described as earthy and herbaceous. This cheese is commonly enjoyed on its own, shaved over salads, or paired with honey or fruit for a delightful combination of flavors.
6. Zanetti Provolone
Zanetti Provolone is an Italian cheese known for its distinctive pear shape. Originating from the southern regions of Italy, Zanetti Provolone is made from cow’s milk. The cheese undergoes a lengthy aging process, typically lasting 3 to 12 months, depending on the desired flavor and texture. Zanetti Provolone has a smooth and creamy texture with a mild and slightly tangy taste. It melts beautifully, making it an excellent choice for sandwiches, pizza, or as a table cheese for snacking. The longer-aged varieties tend to have a sharper and more pronounced flavor.
7. Zanetti Stravecchio
Zanetti Stravecchio is an Italian cheese produced by Zanetti, known for its high-quality artisanal cheeses. While “stravecchio” translates to “very old” in Italian, it is not a specific type of cheese, but rather a term used to denote an extra-aged version of various Italian cheeses. Zanetti Stravecchio refers to the aged versions of their cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano. These cheeses are aged for an extended period, usually 24 months or more, resulting in a crumbly texture and a concentrated flavor profile. Zanetti Stravecchio cheeses are often sought after for their complex and intense nutty flavors.
8. Zanetti Taleggio
Zanetti Taleggio is an Italian cheese that originates from the Lombardy region in northern Italy. It is a semi-soft cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Zanetti Taleggio has a distinctive square shape with a pinkish-orange rind. The cheese undergoes a short aging period of approximately 4 to 6 weeks, during which it develops a creamy and supple texture. The flavor of Zanetti Taleggio is characterized by its mild, tangy, and slightly salty taste. It has a pleasant aroma with hints of earthiness. This cheese is often used in cooking, where it melts beautifully in dishes like risotto, pasta, or served on a cheese board paired with fruits and nuts.
9. Zanetti Toma Piemontese
Zanetti Toma Piemontese is an Italian cheese originating from the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. It is a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk, and its production follows traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. Zanetti Toma Piemontese has a smooth and supple texture with a pale yellow interior. The flavor is mild and creamy, with hints of butter and fresh milk. It is a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed on its own, melted in sandwiches or gratins, or used as a topping for pasta dishes.
10. Zanetti Valtellina Casera
Zanetti Valtellina Casera is a cheese that holds the protected designation of origin (DOP), ensuring its authenticity and adherence to traditional production methods. It comes from the Valtellina valley in Lombardy, northern Italy. Made from cow’s milk sourced from the region, Zanetti Valtellina Casera DOP is aged for a minimum of 70 days. It has a smooth and elastic texture with a slightly savory and tangy flavor. This cheese is highly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways, including melting it on polenta, grating it over risotto, or adding it to cheeseboards for a taste of the Valtellina region.
11. Zanetti Valtellina Bitto
Zanetti Valtellina Bitto is a unique and traditional Italian cheese originating from the Lombardy region, specifically the Valtellina valley. It is a semi-hard cheese made from a blend of cow’s and goat’s milk, with the goat’s milk making up at least 10% of the mixture. Zanetti Valtellina Bitto is aged for a minimum of 70 months, resulting in a firm and crumbly texture. The cheese boasts a complex and robust flavor profile, with notes of fruit, nuts, and spices. It is highly regarded for its rich taste and is often grated over pasta, used in regional dishes, or savored on its own.