Which varieties of milk cheese are raw food? I mean the well-known varieties of cheese, not the many varieties small vendors can have that are only known in small areas.

I think that a good definition of raw food cheese is that it's made of unpasteurized milk and it's not heated above or 40°C

I've always assumed that feta, queso latino/queso fresco, kashkaval (link2) and Telemea are raw, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe these fresh cheese varieties are in general raw?

  • 1
    I think almost all common varieties of cheese (generally) are not raw - usually the milk is heated or boiled in the process of making curd since it is safer, especially since cheese was historically used for longer storage. And pasteurized milk is often used for the same reasons - safety, cheeses less likely to make one sick have a better chance of becoming well known. Some people make raw versions of some cheeses (usually I see cheddar, because it's popular), but as a specialty, not as an inherent part of the process.
    – Megha
    Mar 12, 2017 at 5:47
  • I'm guessing you're asking about storebought cheese, not what's possible to make yourself without boiling (possibly incurring some food safety risk)?
    – Cascabel
    Mar 12, 2017 at 6:09
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    Aside: in the US, sale of raw cheese is illegal. ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?r=SECTION&n=se21.8.1240_161
    – Paulb
    Mar 13, 2017 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


I would venture that the opposite is usually true. Most fresh cheeses require heating to separate the curd. In the US, commercial fresh cheeses are never raw since they must use pasteurized milk.

Emmental (Swiss) seems to fit the criteria. It's held at a heat in the 30s but no higher.


Fresh cheeses are never made of unpasteurized milk (with the exception of illegal cheeses). They can make you seriously ill, for instance Malta fevers (Brucellosis).

Some cured cheeses can be legally made from unpasteurized milk as the curing process eliminates harmful bacteria/fungus. These specialty cheeses are said to be richer in taste that similar cheeses made from pasteurized milk.

  • And how can they eliminate harmful bacteria/fungus without heating?
    – Joe Jobs
    Mar 12, 2017 at 16:58
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    @JoeJobs - probably vaguely similar to how a sourdough sets up conditions that let preferred cultures outproduce the harmful ones. For cheeses, the specific culture can be introduced, which gives a better chance, and probably a lot more care in discarding those that have anything suspicious going on, and a lot more loss of product when the culture isn't enough.
    – Megha
    Mar 13, 2017 at 2:50
  • @JoeJobs Yes, I think the lactobacillus thrives in milk. Maybe the food for brucellosis runs out after some time. Finally, the moisture evaporates which also changes the conditions. Mar 13, 2017 at 15:29

I found a list of raw milk cheeses in German, including what Germans call "Weichkäse" (which is not the same as what I understand under "fresh cheese", but there is substantial overlap). Note that this does not mean that each cheese on the list is always made from raw milk, or that the raw milk has not been heated over 40 C during the production (for example, for camembert you can either start with cold milk and heat it to 35, or start with cold milk, heat it to 50+, then let it cool down to 35). It means that some producers of these kinds of cheese use a method which fits your criteria.

  • Camembert de Normandie
  • Cappregio
  • Munster cheese (that's the French cheese from the Vosgues, especially the Munster-Géromé AOC, not the American Muenster cheese)
  • Pico
  • Queijo de Pico
  • Roquefort
  • Taleggio
  • White brine cheese, Balkan style (what is usually called "Feta" - Feta is an AOC, so all analogues have to be called something else in formal contexts)

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