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Which cheeses are considered hard cheeses and why must one wait afterwards before eating meat?



Library » Mitzvot » Kosher » Meat and Dairy | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Chazal declared that there are differences between the characteristics of meat and the characteristics of Dairy products.  Meat has a higher amount of fat – and such fat doesn’t rinse away as quickly in the mouth as dairy products do. Meat stays in the oral cavity for a longer period of time because it’s less soluble and dissolves slower than dairy products.  Additionally, meat is a ‘stringy’ food; little pieces of meat have a tendency to get stuck between the teeth.

Hard cheeses - those aged six months or more- have developed a consistent ‘fat’ that does not dissolve as easily as most dairy products. When a dairy product posses the same characteristics as meat, one would have to wait as long between eating cheese and meat as they normally do between meat and milk.

Meat stays in the oral cavity for a longer period of time because it's less soluble and dissolves slower than dairy products
Cheese aged 6 months or more means the cheeses that are specifically aged for at least six months.  Cheeses such as American cheese are not aged – even if the packaged product were to age in your fridge for a year it would not be considered ‘hard cheese’.

Government regulations in the USA dictate that cheese labeled with one of the following names must be aged for long enough that they are considered ‘hard’ as relates to this Halachah:

  • Asiago medium
  • Asiago old
  • Hard grating cheese
  • Parmesan & Reggiano
  • Romano
  • Sap Sago

This list is not complete because the regulations only give minimum aging times, so an individual manufacturer may choose to age a different cheese for 6 months or more.

Republished with permission from


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Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.