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Cheese, like wine, is something that can have a lot of variation from area to area, with hundreds of techniques available for creating different kinds of cheeses. And just as there are many variations of cheese, there are many different names of these cheeses to go with them. There is not right or wrong way to name a cheese, though if you have a homemade cheese you want to sell, there are plenty of options for coming up with names of the cheeses you make.
Where you are
Many of the names of cheeses come from where the cheese was produced, again sharing a similarity to many wines that are often named for regions in which they were made. If the location that you select is your farm, then the names of your cheeses are something like a brand name, identifying your product with where you created it.
The name of one cheese that was determined by this method is Maytag blue cheese, which is made at the Maytag Dairy Farms in Iowa. One interesting variation is Roquefort, which is actually named after the caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, which is where this blue cheese gets the mold that makes up its veins.
Rather than coming up with the name of a cheese based on a farm where the cheese is made, some names of cheeses are based on entire regions where the cheese is produced. For example, Limburger cheese is named after the Limburg region of Belgium. Gouda, similarly, is the name of a cheese from the Netherlands and named after a city located there.
Variety of Cheese
Sometimes the names of cheeses become disassociated with the area they originally came from, and can be made in many different areas with the same name. For instance, cheddar cheese is the name of a cheese that originally comes from the Cheddar region of Scotland.
However, it is common today for cheddar cheeses to be made in Wisconsin and other areas of the world. In this way, it’s like a trademark name that becomes used so much, the name becomes a generic label for a product, like Kleenex tissues.
In this category, you may find that the name of the cheese contains descriptive information about how the cheese was made. For instance, smoked cheddar rather aptly describes the way this cheese gets its distinctive flavor, as well as how it is set apart from other cheddar variations.
But by far, most names of cheeses exist as descriptive ways to show how and where the cheese was made, and should likely be the basis for the names of your cheeses as well.