Generally made from pasteurized milk, soft cheeses have a maturation period as short as a few weeks and a water content of about 50%. When properly wrapped and stored in a cool place, they should last at least a week.
There are two types of Swiss soft cheeses: white-mould cheese and smeared soft cheese. White-mould cheeses have a white and edible rind, while smeared soft cheeses are washed with brine, which gives them a brownish rind. Vacherin Mont-d'Or is an excellent example of this last type of cheese.
Soft cheeses have a smooth, creamy texture. They are versatile and can be used to prepare both cold and hot dishes. They are often eaten at the end of a meal as a dessert.