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Food glossary

Soft cheese

Cheese, soft

Bath Soft

A creamy soft white locally produced cheese made by Graham Padfield from unpasteurised cow's milk at Kelston near Bath. Bath Soft is a vegetarian cheese and is similar to a mellow Brie, it is made and sold in 225g squares, which are packed in parchment with a distinctive red wax seal. Young Bath cheese has a mild flavour and supple texture. Mature Bath Soft has a creamier texture and stronger flavour. Bath Soft Cheese is available from the service counter at the Gillingham (Dorset), Witney, Westbury Park (Bristol), Stroud and Cirencester branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve with biscuits such as cream crackers or Bath Oliver biscuits which were originally from the same city.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Blue cheeses

A blue cheese is a creamy white-coloured cheese which has blue veins running through it. The veins are formed when a mould culture is added to milk at the beginning of the cheese-making process. Blue cheeses have a tangy, piquant, spicy and peppery flavour. Blue cheese is made from pasteurised milk and is available prepacked or from the service counter at Waitrose. Soft Blue cheeses include:

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Cashel Blue

A rich and creamy mild full fat soft cheese with a mellow, sweet tang of blue and a layer of natural mould on the surface. Cashel blue is made by Jane and Louis Grubb using milk that is pasteurised from their own herd of Friesian cows on their farm in Tipperary on the west coast of Ireland. It is suitable for vegetarians and can be used instead of Gorgonzola or Stilton, find it on the service counter at Waitrose. Cashel Blue won a bronze medal at the 2001 British Cheese Awards.

Uses: Serve with a selection of Irish cheeses on a cheeseboard with grapes, pears or apples or with oat cakes or soda bread for lunch or supper.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Dolcelatte

A mild, creamy and slightly sweet blue-veined cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy. Dolcelatte is available pre-packed or from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Dolcelatte is delicious spread over warm crusty bread, crumbled in salads, salad dressings or over pasta dishes. It can also be used in cooking and melts into sauces and soups.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Gorgonzola

Gorgonzola is a traditional Italian blue cheese. Its greenish-blue mould imparts a sharp, spicy flavour and provides an excellent contrast to the rich, semi-soft creamy cheese. It ranges in colour from white to straw-yellow pierced with the unmistakable marbled green or bluish-green mould. The taste of Gorgonzola ranges from mild to sharp, depending on age.Organic Gorgonzola is also available. It is made from pasteurised milk and is available prepacked from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Use uncooked in salads and dips.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Oxford Blue

A creamy full fat soft vegetarian cheese which is well veined. It is made from pasteurised milk and has a distinctive tang of blue and an aromatic and spicy flavour with a hint of tarragon. Oxford Blue was a gold medal winner at the 2001 British Cheese Awards and is available from the service counter at 45 branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve with celery and grapes as a dessert cheese or break into pieces and stir into cooked pasta with a little olive oil and some crisp cooked bacon for a quick supper.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Roquefort

One of the most famous blue cheeses, this popular cheese is produced in the French village of Roquefort sur Soulzon and is made from unpasteurised milk from specially bred sheep. The cheese is left to mature in naturally damp limestone caves where the mould Pencillium rouqeforti causes the characteristic blue veining. It has a creamy white appearance and a sweetish flavour, the blue veining gives a distinctive metallic tang to the cheese. Waitrose sell Papillon Organic Roquefort cheese and regular Roquefort which is produce by the Roquefort société in Roquefort sur Soulzon. Roquefort is available prepacked or from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: A tasty addition to a cheeseboard, Roquefort can also be included in dressings, salads, pasta dishes or quiches.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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St Agur

A medium-strong creamy blue cheese, made from pasteurised cow's milk in the Auvergne region of France. It has a very strong and spicy taste when it ripens. It can be used instead of Gorgonzola. St Agur is available prepacked at Waitrose.

Uses: Great on bread for a snack or in a salad.

To eat: If serving in a salad or on a cheeseboard remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Boursin

Boursin is a modern, creamy, fresh cheese and is produced in a cylindrical shape without a rind and was first made by Monsieur Boursin in 1957. It is often flavoured with garlic and herbs or coated with crushed black peppercorns and has a rich, sweet flavour with a hint of acidity. Boursin is made from pasteurised milk and is available prepacked from Waitrose.

Uses: For spreading and baking.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Brie

Brie is the one of the best-known cheeses originating from France, but now also made in the UK. It is a soft, creamy coloured, smooth, plump and glossy cheese with a thin edible white mould rind and is made in large flat wheels. Brie has a full fruity and mildly tangy flavour with a hint of mushrooms from the rind. Waitrose sell several different varieties, these include:

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Cornish Organic Brie

A full fat soft vegetarian cheese with a pleasant creamy flavour. Cornish Organic Brie is made from pasteurised milk and is available pre-packed or from the service counter at the Okehampton, Saltash and Sidmouth branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Use uncooked and serve with crusty bread or biscuits for lunch or supper. Brie is often served as a dessert cheese with fresh fruit, such as grapes or slices of melon.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Pentland Brie

A mild and creamy brie named after the Pentland Hills in Scotland which overlook the farm where the cheese was first made. Pentland Brie has a rich, soft texture and a soft curd and earthy, mushroomy flavour. It is made from pasteurised milk, is suitable for vegetarians and is available from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Serve with warm crusty bread or oat cakes for a light lunch.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Somerset Brie

A mild and creamy organic Brie that has a creamy 'set custard' texture. It has a subtle mushroom flavour with a hint of grass and a pleasant acidic tang. Two varieties of Somerset Brie are available from Waitrose, both are suitable for vegetarians and are made from pasteurised milk. Choose from Somerset Organic Brie, available from the service counter or Somerset Ripe Brie, available prepacked.

Uses: Serve on a cheeseboard with a selection of West country cheeses such as Cornish Yarg, Cheddar and Dorset Blue Vinny or serve simply with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Camembert

One of the most well-known French cheeses, Camembert was originally produced in Normandy but is now made all over the world. It is a creamy, soft cheese with an aroma of mushrooms and a delicate salty taste. Camembert has a soft buttery texture and gets creamier over time (usually 2-3 weeks) and ripens from a mild to a rich pungent flavour. It is made in rounds and has a soft edible rind. A choice of Camembert is available from Waitrose including:

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Somerset Camembert

A full flavoured Camembert made from the whole milk of local Somerset farms. Somerset Camembert is made from pasteurised milk and is available prepacked from Waitrose in 220g rounds.

Uses: Camembert can be served simply with crusty bread and fruit or salad. It is also suitable for use in cooking - remove the rind (it is edible but does not melt during cooking) and add the cheese to sauces, pasta, chicken or fish dishes.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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St George Goat's Camembert

A creamy Camembert made in 275g rounds from pasteurised goat's milk. St George Goat's Camembert is locally produced at Nut Knowle Farm near Horam in East Sussex and is suitable for vegetarians. It is available from the service counter at the Crowborough, Brighton, Burgess Hill, Horsham, Chichester, Horley, Hailsham and Paddock Wood branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve in slices with grapes and chunks of melon or on a cheeseboard with a selection of English cheeses such as Little Derby, Swaledale and Dorset Blue Vinny.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Carrigaline

A semi-soft award-winning Irish cheese (it was a bronze medal winner at the British Cheese Awards in 2001) made by Pat O'Farrell in Carrigaline, County Cork from pasteurised Friesian milk. It is coated in a pale yellow wax jacket and has a full flavour with a rich buttery finish. Carrigaline has a sponge-like texture due to lots of little air holes within the cheese. It is suitable for vegetarians and is available from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Carrigaline is particularly good for melting serve it on toast or sprinkle over omelettes or baked potatoes or serve as part of a cheese selection with soda bread and fruit. It is also ideal for serving with after dinner port.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Carrigbyrne Farmhouse St Killian

A full fat soft Camembert-style vegetarian cheese produced in County Wexford, Ireland. St Killian has a smooth buttery taste and a soft melting interior. Made by Patrick Berridge at Carrigbyrne Dairy in distinctive 250g hexagonal shapes and using pasteurised milk, it is available from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Serve with a selection of biscuits and fruit.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Chaumes

This popular French pasteurised, cow's milk cheese from the Dordogne region has a mellow, nutty flavour with a rich and creamy, smooth springy quite rubbery texture. It has a distinctive bright orange rind which is made by washing the cheese in salt water in the early stages of production. The resulting colour gives the cheese its name, Chaumes is French for stubble and suggests the golden hue of harvested wheatfields! The rind has a pungent aroma but the taste is surprisingly mild. Try eating the rind and creamy interior together so that the two flavours combine in your mouth. Waitrose sell prepacked Le Petit Chaumes in 200g rounds and Premier Chaumes on the Service counter.

Uses: Chaumes can be served as a table cheese or it can be grilled or baked - try it in quiches, omelettes or to top pasta bakes.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Cottage cheese

A creamy, lumpy cheese that is a popular choice for dieters because of its low fat content (and high water content). It has a very mild flavour and is available plain or flavoured with herbs or fruit.

Uses: Most commonly used uncooked but sometimes cooked in savoury dishes or cheesecakes.

Cream cheese (soft cheese)

A fresh smooth cheese with a mild flavour and velvety texture. It is available plain or flavoured with herbs and garlic. Low fat cream cheese is also available.

Uses: It can be used cooked or uncooked in savoury pies and baking. It is also used in cheesecakes and other desserts.

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Curd Cheese

A medium fat fresh soft cheese made from cow's milk. It is a versatile cheese and can be included in sweet and savoury recipes and can be served cold or included in hot dishes. Curd cheese is available from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Spread curd cheese in sandwiches or on crackers or mix into a dip with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Curd cheese blends well to create creamy soups and sauces and can be used to make stuffings or fillings or included in curd tarts and cheesecakes.

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Feta

One of the most popular Greek cheeses, feta is semi-soft, but quite crumbly with some cracks. It is preserved in brine or oil and has quite a salty flavour - but the salt is not supposed to overpower the taste of the cheese. Feta is made from pasteurised milk and is available prepacked or from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Good uncooked or cooked in Greek dishes such as Greek salad or moussaka.

To prepare: Remove the cheese from the pack and drain well before use. If necessary, it can be soaked in cold water or milk for a few minutes to make it less salty. Feta can be bought ready cubed in oil.

Fromage frais

This is a skimmed milk soft cheese which has a spoonable cream consistency and a light cheesy flavour. It is similar to set yogurt in taste and texture. A range of different types are sold, including creamy natural fromage frais and virtually fat free fromage frais. A wide range of fruit flavoured fromage frais are sold - these include individual pots of cartoon character fromage frais for children, organic fromage frais for kids and 99.9% fat free peach and passion fruit fromage frais.

Uses: Natural fromage frais can be used as a healthy alternative to cream or as the basis of a creamy salad dressing, or to top baked potatoes. Fruit fromage frais can be eaten as a snack or a dessert, serve it with sliced fruit or eat it by itself.

Goat's Cheese:

Capricorn

A mild, soft goat's cheese produced by Lubborn Cheese at Manor Farm, Cricket St Thomas in Somerset. Capricorn Goats Cheese has a creamy melt in the mouth almost runny texture with a subtle nutty flavour. It is one of the most popular English goats cheeses and made from pasteurised milk. It is available prepacked or from the service counter at Waitrose.

Uses: Serve on a cheeseboard with a selection of English cheeses such as a farmhouse Cheddar, Blue Stilton and Wensleydale with Cranberries. Or serve with walnut bread and a glass of light red wine. Capricorn Goats Cheese can also be used in cooking and is delicious served grilled on thick slices of bread and drizzled with honey.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Cerney Banon

A creamy full flavoured unpasteurised goat's cheese which is washed in Marc be Bourgogne, a Burgundy wine, and wrapped in vine leaves. Cerney Banon is locally produced by Marion Conisbee-Smith in North Cerney near Cirencester in Gloucestershire and won a bonze medal at the British Cheese Awards in 2001. It is suitable for vegetarians and is available from the service counter at selected branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve on a cheeseboard or with crusty white rolls, slices of apple and a glass of Burgundy wine for a simple lunch.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Cerney

A subtle citrus flavoured aromatic unpasteurised goat's milk cheese with a delicate, light texture similar to fromage frais. Cerney Goat's Cheese is a locally produced French-style cheese made in Gloucestershire, it is made in individual pyramid shapes and dusted with ash which provides an interesting contrast against the white cheese. Cerney Goat's Cheese won the Supreme Champion gold medal at the British Cheese Awards in 2001. The cheese is hand-made by Marion Conisbee-Smith from a recipe developed by Lady Angus of Cerney House, North Cerney near Cirencester. It is suitable for vegetarians and is available from the service counter at selected branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve the cheese simply, with bread or biscuits and grapes.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Clifton Leaf

A white mould mild and creamy cheese made from unpasteurised goat's milk with a delicate mushroomy flavour. The leaf is purely decorative. Individual Clifton Leaf Goat's Cheeses are available from the service counter at Waitrose and are suitable for vegetarians.

Uses: Serve with crusty bread and a glass of full-bodied red wine.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Organic Welsh (Pant-Ysgawn)

A full fat vegetarian Welsh goat's cheese. It is amde from pasteurised milk, has a mild lemony flavour and a soft creamy texture. Pant-Ysgawn is available prepacked at all branches of Waitrose and from the service counter at 55 branches.

Uses: Can be used cooked or uncooked. Delicious wrapped in puff or filo pastry and baked, grilled on thick crusty bread or served simply with biscuits.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Rosary

A creamy, moist and soft cheese with a light and fluffy texture made from goat's milk. Rosary Goat's Cheese is locally produced at The Rosary in Landford on the Hampshire and Wiltshire border and is suitable for vegetarians. Choose from Plain Rosary Goat's Cheese (a silver medal winner at the British Cheese Awards in 2001) or Garlic and Herb Flavoured Rosary Goat's Cheese (a gold medal winner at the British Cheese Awards in 2001) at the service counter at the Gillingham (Dorset), Romsey, Lymington, Marlborough, Andover, Havant, Ringwood, Petersfield and Salisbury branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve with biscuits or chunks of warm crusty bread for lunch or for a simple starter, slice and grill on toast rounds and top with a little redcurrant jelly and lots of freshly ground pepper just before serving.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Somerset

A full fat soft cheese with a delicate flavour and creamy texture. Somerset Goat's Cheese is made from pasteurised milk and is suitable for vegetarians. It is available from the service counter at 126 branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Spread on walnut bread and serve with roasted peppers for a simple lunch or serve on a cheeseboard with figs and melon slices.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Goat's Cheese (Chevre)

Chevre is the generic name for French cheeses that are made from pasteurised goat's milk. They come in many sizes and shapes, from the popular round patties and log-shapes to pyramids and long loaves. Their textures vary from soft, but firm like cream cheese to extremely hard. They are available plain or flavoured with herbs and spices. Eat soon after buying to enjoy them at their best.Waitrose stock an extensive range of Chevre Goat's cheese, choose from:

Chavroux

This really creamy cheese with a smooth, young and zesty taste is from mid-west France. It is sold in a re-sealable pyramid-shaped tub and spreads straight from the fridge.

Uses: Spread it generously over a slice of crusty French bread and lightly grill.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Chevre blanc

This delicate, fresh, creamy, mild goat's cheese comes from the Poitou-Charentes region of France and is available prepacked from France.

Uses: Serve with crusty bread, crumble into salads, sprinkle over frittata or stir into freshly cooked pasta.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Chevrissime goat's cheese log

Made from the milk of the Saanen goat this cheese is pure white and has a refreshing taste. Available plain or coated with chopped herbs including tarragon, rosemary, oregano, thyme and green and pink pepper. Chevrissime goat's cheese log is available prepacked from Waitrose.

Uses: Serve with bread or a selection of biscuits and accompany with unsalted butter and fruit such as grapes or fresh figs.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Crottin de chevre

A small dome of mild goat's cheese made from unpasteurised milk that develops a rippled white-beige outer while the inside ripens from crumbly to smooth and creamy. Crottin de chevre is available prepacked from waitrose.

Uses: Good for grilling and salads.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

Soignon fromage de chevre

Made with pasteurised milk this mini log is mild when young. It matures from the rind inwards and the white, chalky heart turns creamy and smooth. Soignon fromage de chevre is suitable for vegetarians and is available prepacked from Waitrose.

Uses: In recipes calling for a soft melting cheese or eat it simply with crusty bread.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

St Chevrier Ash

This cheese comes from the Berry region, near Bourges. Made from pasteurised goat's milk it is refined and delicate with a mild and tangy taste. As its name suggests, the cheese is coated lightly with edible grey ash which adds to its charm. St Chervrier ash is available prepacked as part of the select range from Waitrose.

Uses: Delicious served as part of a cheeseboard or for a simple lunch with bread, fruit and a glass of fruity red wine.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

H - T

Halloumi

Halloumi cheese is a creamy-tasting chewy textured cheese which is most often served cooked. Waitrose sell Cypressa halloumi cheese, which originates from Cyprus. Halloumi cheese is usually made with ewe's milk but Cypressa halloumi is made from cow's, goat's and ewe's milk plus a hint of mint (all pasteurised). Halloumi is available prepacked from Waitrose.

Uses: Halloumi lends itself well to barbecuing, frying or grilling, when heated the exterior hardens while the interior melts and is similar to mozzarella cheese. It is ideal for use in a variety of Mediterranean recipes and is also delicious eaten as it is, cubed with salads or fruit.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Mascarpone

A soft, white to straw-yellow cream cheese from the Lombardy region of southern Italy. It is made in the same way as yogurt - a culture is added to the cream skimmed off the milk and used in the production of Parmesan cheese. Mascarpone is made using pasteurised milk and is available prepacked at Waitrose.

Uses: It is used in puddings like tiramisu and can be served with fresh fruit instead of cream. It can also be included in savoury sauces - it melts well, to add a creamy texture and rich taste.

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May Hill Green

A full fat vegetarian award winning soft cheese (it won a silver medal at the British Cheese Awards in 2001) with a distinctive nettle coated rind and a delicate creamy flavour. May Hill Green cheese is locally produced (using pasteurised milk) by Charles Martell at Laurel Farm, Dymock, Gloucestershire and is available from the service counter at the Witney, Stroud, Monmouth, Cirencester and Great Malvern branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Spread thickly on flavoured bread such as walnut or sun-dried tomato bread and serve with cherry tomatoes or leave the attractive green rind on the cheese and serve on a cheeseboard with a selection of other English cheeses.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Mozzarella

A firm, soft cheese with a creamy colour and a milky flavour. It was traditionally made from buffalo's milk but now is also made with cow's milk (pasteurised). Mozzarella melts beautifully and has a unique stretchy texture. It is sold in medium-sized rounds, and because it has no rind, it is packed in plastic bags and surrounded by water to keep it fresh. buffalo mozzarella is available at the delicatessen counter, also look out for small mozzarella balls known as bocconcini which are sold in tubs.

Uses: It is the classic cheese used for topping pizza, but is also good on pasta bakes. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of a cooked chicken or pork fillet and grill just before serving for a rich, creamy finishing touch. Also delicious raw with ripe tomatoes and fresh basil for a quick salad. For a deliciously easy vegetarian starter skewer mozzarella balls and alternate with cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with flavoured olive oil and fresh chopped herbs and then grill or barbecue for 5 minutes.

To eat: If serving in a salad remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

To prepare: Drain the cheese and slice it - it is too soft to grate.

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Paneer

A traditional pressed curd cheese which was originally made at home in India. Paneer has a smooth, firm texture and a bland taste that absorbs other flavours well. It is similar in texture to tofu or beancurd.

Uses: Paneer is usually sliced or diced and included in a variety of traditional Indian dishes including meat and vegetable curries and in accompanying vegetable dishes.

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Quark

A creamy, moist, white cheese sold in pots, quark means 'curd' in German. It has a light taste and a smooth, soft texture and can be made from whole, skimmed or semi-skimmed pasteurised milk or even buttermilk. It is like a cross between yogurt and fromage frais and should taste lemon-fresh. Quark can be used in cooking and gives a smoother, richer flavour than fromage frais. It is suitable for vegetarians and is available prepacked from Waitrose.

Uses: It can be eaten straight from the pot or used in cooking. It can be used in sweet and savoury recipes and can be used to make salad dressings and dips or served with desserts and fruits.

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Reblochon de Savoie

A washed rind French mountain cheese from the Haute Savoie region that is made from cow's milk . Reblochon de Savoie has a yellowish pink rind and a gentle, fruity flavour. The rind conceals a creamy paste that softens after 4-5 weeks, giving a nutty fruity flavour with a strong aroma. Reblochon is named after the French term reblocher meaning to 'pinch again a cow's udder' which refers to the fact that it is made with milk from the second milking of the day. Reblochon de Savoie is available prepacked as part of the Waitrose Select range of cheeses. If you can't get hold of Reblochon, try using Crémier de Chaumes, Epoisses, Brie or Chaumes instead.

Uses: Reblochon is delicious as an appetiser served with dried fruit and nuts. It is also a good melting cheese and combines particularly well when sliced and baked with sliced potatoes and bacon. Or for a simple starter, coat in breadcrumbs, deep fry and serve with chutney.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Ricotta

A soft, whey cheese made from pasteurised cow's milk. It is white, creamy and mild with a delicate, slightly sweet flavour. It has a slightly grainy texture. Ricotta can be used in place of mascarpone where a lower fat result or less creamy flavour is required. Organic Ricotta is also available and is prepacked from Waitrose.

Uses: It can be used uncooked or cooked in sweet and savoury dishes.

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St David's Welsh

A full fat creamy soft cheese which has tiny holes, a nutty flavour and a buttery texture. St David's Welsh cheese is similar to the popular French cheese Port Salut and is suitable for vegetarians. St David's Welsh cheese is made from pasteurised milk, locally produced and is available from the service counter at selected branches of Waitrose.

Uses: Serve as a dessert cheese with celery and grapes and water biscuits.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Slipcote

A traditional sheep's milk cheese with a light, very soft texture and a sweet, refreshing citrus taste. It was originally called slipcote because the cheese curds used to mature too fast and the cheese would slip out of the cloth (or 'coat') it was in. Sussex Slipcote is locally produced as 110g individual cheeses and is made near Duddleswell in East Sussex. Plain Sussex Slipcote and Sussex Slipcote with Garlic and Herbs are available from the service counter at the Crowborough, Brighton, Burgess Hill, Horsham, Chichester, Horley, Hailsham and Paddock Wood branches of Waitrose. Both varieties are suitable for vegetarians and are made with pasteurised milk.

Uses: Sussex Slipcote can be used as a table cheese or for spreading or baking it is especially good in tomato dishes such as quiches or salads.

To eat: If serving on a cheeseboard, remove the cheese from the fridge half an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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Taleggio

A tasty full fat Italian ripened soft creamy cheese that has a mild and fruity flavour. It is similar to classic French cheeses such as Camembert. The rind may have blue mould on it but this is characteristic to the cheese and it is perfectly safe to eat. Taleggio is made from pasteurised milk and is available pre packed as part of the select range from Waitrose.

Uses: Use uncooked and serve with traditional Italian breads such as focaccia or ciabatta or a selection of biscuits and fruit such as fresh grapes and figs.

To eat: Remove the cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature and to develop its full texture and flavour.

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