Brick cheese is perfect for pizza, sandwiches, and recipes, which call for melted cheese.
They say it is hard to find authentic Wisconsin brick cheese unless you live in Wisconsin. Because of this, it is not uncommon for people to find substitutes.
Here is a list of some of the best brick cheese substitutes you can choose from:
- Monterey Jack
- Colby Cheese
Luckily there is quite a long list of alternatives for you to consider. But first, let us understand a bit more about the origin of this cheese
15 Best Brick Cheese Substitute
When one talks about Detroit-style pizza, the first thing that comes to mind is brick cheese, specifically Wisconsin brick cheese. But what is brick cheese, and why Wisconsin?
Brick cheese originated in Wisconsin around the year 1877. The production of brick cheese started in Wisconsin. Hence, anything processed outside the area is not considered authentic brick cheese. This is why brick cheese is synonymous with Wisconsin brick cheese.
Brick cheese is a semi-hard, pungent, brick-shaped cheese with a white to light yellow color and an orange tint rind. The process to make brick is the same as the process done for American white cheddar. However, brick cheese develops a different protein structure and higher fat content due to its high temperature culturing.
Brick cheese melts well, which makes it perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches. Another distinct quality of brick cheese is its taste. The younger variety has a mild, sweet, earthy flavor and aged brick cheese has a tangy, nutty flavor and distinct aroma. The rind of aged brick cheese is also edible.
We found 15 brick cheese substitutes and chose cheddar as the best substitute. Cheddar is a semi-hard cheese that can either be young or aged.
It has similar characteristics to brick cheese from its brick form, sharp, slightly earthy, acrid flavor, taste, and it slices and melts well.
Cheddar cheese ranks as the second most popular cheese in the United States, but the most popular in the United Kingdom, where it originates.
Cheddar cheese color ranges from white to deep yellow. The English favor the pale white color while American producers use annatto to achieve the deep yellow, almost orange color.
The taste of cheddar depends on its aging period. The young cheddar cheese has a mild, creamy, sweet, earthy taste. Aged cheddar has a flaky, dry texture with a tangy flavor.
Both slice and melt well, but the young cheddar produces a gooier, melty texture. Young or aged cheddar, either type is a perfect substitute for brick cheese on your pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and burgers.
Fresh mozzarella originated from Italy. It is an easy to slice curd cheese made from buffalo milk. Mozzarella produced in the United States comes from cow’s milk.
There are 6 varieties of mozzarella, and if you are looking to substitute brick cheese, choose the mass-produced mozzarella. It has a rubbery and firmer texture, and a mild and slightly salty flavor. It melts and slices well, making it a favorite ingredient for pizzas and lasagna.
Fresh mozzarella is usually made from buffalo milk and has a milky, soft, silky, and mild flavor. It is commonly used in cooking baked dishes, pizza, and salads, and is a perfect accompaniment to tomatoes. Mozzarella is also melty and creamy, making it an excellent stuffing for meatballs, chicken, vegetables, and other meat dishes.
Provolone is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk and native to Italy. The American-produced provolone has a sweet taste and a pale yellow to white color.
It also comes in unsmoked and smoked varieties. Provolone is a staple in classic sandwiches and excellent for grilled cheese sandwiches.
The Italian provolone is classified as either Provolone Dolce or Provolone Piccante. Piccante has a sharper taste and aged for more than 4 months, while the Dolce variant has a sweet taste, a pale yellow to white color, and aged 2 to 3 months. Dolce is similar to the American provolone variety.
Monterey Jack is an American semi-hard aged cheese often used for slicing and melting.
Monterey Jack has 2 types – high moisture and low moisture. The high-moisture type has similar characteristics as that of brick cheese.
The low-moisture Jack has 2 kinds. The traditional Jack is aged for up to 10 months, and the Dry Jack for more than 10 months.
It has a pale yellow color and a mild flavor. It is buttery, and comes with a compact and supple texture. Monterey Jack also melts well and is a favorite cheese that calls for melted cheese. These characteristics make it a good substitute for brick cheese.
Colby cheese is a semi-hard, pasteurized cow’s milk made in Colby, Wisconsin. Colby cheese is different from Colby Jack (made from a combination of Colby and Monterey Jack).
Colby has a springy, open texture, a sweet, mild aroma, and flavor. Due to its yellow color, it is often confused with cheddar. However, the only similarity they have is that both use annatto for coloring.
Colby melts really well, so it is an exceptional cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches, making cheese sauces, perfect for burgers, and works well with mac and cheese recipes.
Muenster is another cheese from Wisconsin. It has similar characteristics to brick cheese to make it a good substitute.
Muenster cheese tastes mild and creamy. As it ages, it turns tangy and sharp. It is white in color with an orange rind. The rind is made from paprika and uses annatto to color.
Muenster is low in fat compared to cheddar, Jack, and mozzarella. It melts well too. So it is perfect for pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, macaroni, and other pasta recipes.
Fontina is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and is native to Denmark. It has a fat content of 45%, perfect for making desserts and baked goods.
There are 2 types of fontina cheese – immature and mature. The immature fontina is soft, fatty, creamy, and slightly sweet in taste like its American version.
Fontina melts exceptionally well, perfect to use for fondue, cheese sauces, dips, pizza, pasta, cheeseburgers, and grilled sandwiches.
Havarti, a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk, traces its roots in Denmark. Havarti comes in a rectangular shape with a creamy to light yellow color without the rind.
Havarti is generally sweet with a buttery aroma and subtle tanginess. Aged Havarti is similar to aged brick cheese in flavor and softness. It also has holes like Swiss cheese due to the good bacteria added during its manufacturing process.
Havarti cheese slices and melts well, making it ideal for dishes that call for grilled, sliced, and melted cheese.
Traditionally, halloumi is made using goat milk, sheep milk, or a mix of both. However, it is not uncommon to use cow’s milk.
Halloumi is famous for its high melting point, so it is excellent for dishes that call for sliced, grilled, and melted cheese. Its texture is similar to mozzarella, with a salty, sharp taste. But once cooked, it turns creamier and less salty.
It is a perfect substitute for brick cheese in grilled sandwiches, salads, or gluten-free recipes that call for cheese.
Gruyere is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, generally aged 6 months or longer. Because it is a variety of Swiss cheese, it has holes formed by gas bubbles, but its holes are smaller than other Swiss cheese varieties.
Gruyere cheese has a creamy, slightly nutty, rich taste and a pale yellow color. It melts and slices well. Gruyere is one of the two principal kinds of cheese used in traditional fondue recipes.
Jarlsberg is a semi-hard, mild-aged cheese. It is a cross between Emmental and Danish Gouda.
Jarlsberg has a nutty, buttery flavor and rubbery, smooth texture. It is a staple in deli counters and restaurants, thinly sliced and used on sandwiches.
Jarlsberg is also sliced and served on cheese boards, hot or cold sandwiches, and snack plates. It can be grated, and melts well on quiches, gratins, casseroles, soups, pasta, fondue, frittatas, and other baked dishes.
Gouda originated in the Netherlands. However, it has no protected designation of origin (PDO) to cause a wide variety of quality.
Gouda cheese is a semi-hard aged to hard cheese with a wax-coated colorful rind and a mild, sweet, buttery to intense nutty and caramel flavor. Gouda flavor turns more intense with a hard crystalline texture as it becomes more mature.
Young Gouda can be cubed, grated, sliced, and melted. It can be used as an artisan cheese suitable for cheese plates, cheese boards, and sandwiches.
Emmental is another type of Swiss cheese, so it goes without saying that it forms holes during its fermentation process.
Emmental is semi-hard cheese derived from cow’s milk. It has a dense, firm body and an inedible, hard rind. Its flavor ranges from buttery, smooth to fruity, nutty, and full-flavored, depending on the length of its aging process. Aging normally takes at least 8 months.
Emmental has good melting properties, making it perfect for gratins, casseroles, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, pasta, and dishes that call for melted cheese. You can also consume Emmental cold and serve it on platters or cheese boards.
Emmental is one of the two principal kinds of cheese required to make traditional fondue (the other is Gruyere).
Limburger cheese is a washed rind, brick-shaped cheese from Belgium. It is a creamy semi-soft to semi-hard cheese with a sharp pungent aroma and mild, beefy flavor.
Limburger cheese stinks, so it is a good thing that it slices and melts well. It has a pale golden color and peachy-pink edible rind.
It can be used in gratins, mac, and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or other recipes where a rich, melting, big flavored, soft cheese is needed. Limburger pairs well with flavorful dark beers, ales, lagers, Trappist ales, and porters.
Tilsit is a semi-hard to hard cheese made from cow’s milk. There are 2 types of Tilsit. The first is unpasteurized, which is sweeter and fattier, and might cause diarrhea. The second is pasteurized, which is bland but safer.
Tilsit has a deep sweetness and cheesiness. It has a mild, tangy, buttery, fruity taste and a mildly acrid aroma, perfect for herb and spice addition.
It is an excellent choice for grilled and baked recipes, snacks, and appetizers. One drawback with Tilsit is its short shelf life of 2 to 6 months.