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Which dairy is considered sharp and requires you to wait 6 hours afterwards, prior to eating meat?

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This sounds like a shopping question...! ;-) Anyway, I think I want to buy some of that... –  AviD May 25 '12 at 10:47
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6 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Chabad explains that aged cheeses (those that have undergone fermentation) are sufficiently strong to require a wait.

They quote the following from OUKosher:

What qualifies as hard, aged cheese? According to Jewish law, this is cheese that is aged for six months or so. However, since modern manufacturing techniques enable cheese-makers to develop hard cheese in less time, contemporary halachic authorities do not agree on the matter. The halachic authorities of the OU Kashrut Department have ruled that cheese that is endowed with a unique texture or lingering taste—akin to the texture or taste classically acquired via aging—qualifies as hard cheese, regardless of the precise aging period. [...] Many posekim are of the opinion that one need not wait after eating cheese that is melted since melting compromises the texture and flavor of the cheese. Thus, there is no need to wait after American cheese, as it is a blend of cheddar cheese and additives that has been melted and re-formed. This is the OU's position as well.
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Please summarize instead of lengthlily quoting, per meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/75/excerpting-articles/… –  Isaac Moses Jun 7 '11 at 17:35
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@Isaac Moses, sorry -- on other SE sites I've seen people call for more excerpting rather than just linking, so my calibration was off. –  Monica Cellio Jun 7 '11 at 19:56
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It's a tricky balance. Just linking is certainly not preferable, but summarizing the relevant points in your own words is, I think, more proper than extensive excerpting. Of course, you're more than welcome to provide your perspective and what you've learned on other SE sites in the meta question I linked to. –  Isaac Moses Jun 7 '11 at 21:50
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The issue of Halachically Speaking: Waiting Between Hard (Aged) Cheese and Meat, discusses which cheeses are considered hard and which ones aren't. (starting on page 5)

It also brings a minority opinion that Hard cheese that has been melted into food is no longer considered hard cheese and one need not wait 6 hours after eating it. There are limitations to this leniency and many Poskim don't accept it.

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The Ben Ish Hai (shelah lecha shana b saif taz) says that the custom in bagdad is to wait 6 hours for cheese of 6 months or more. in ialcut iosef it is brought the opinion of harav eliashiv that pizza has the status of hard cheese. He also brings many opinions that the regular yellow cheese is the hard cheese the poskim talk about.

In any case everything is on the iun for clarification, the final halacha is that that there's no need to wait at all after eating cheese and the Ben Ish Hai in the same saif brings that the custom in ierushalaim was not to wait.

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R' Hendel from Montreal says one waits 6 hours even after Mozzarella

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The Sha"ch rules:

ש"ך יורה דעה סימן פט

שכל שהגבינה קשה - ומן הסתם אם היא ישנה ו' חדשים חשיבה קשה והכי איתא בת"ח שם די"ב

According to the Sha"ch, cheese that was aged 6 months is considered hard cheese.

Just a piece of my own logic with no textual source:

The reason (from what I understand) why some wait 6 hours after certain cheeses is because of this Ram"a:

שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות בשר בחלב סימן פט

הגה: ויש מחמירין אפילו בבשר אחר גבינה (מרדכי בשם מהר"ם וב"י בא"ח סעיף קע"ג), וכן נוהגין שכל שהגבינה קשה אין אוכלין אחריה אפילו בשר עוף, כמו בגבינה אחר בשר. (וכן הוא בזוהר). ויש מקילין. ואין .למחות, רק שיעשו קנוח והדחה ונטילת ידים. מיהו טוב להחמיר

But he bases it (at least partially, but not the chicken part) on the Mordechai who quotes this teshuva from Mara"m Mirottenberg:

שו"ת מהר"ם מרוטנבורג חלק ד (דפוס פראג) סימן תרטו

וששאל אדוני ששמעת דאני נוהג שלא לאכול בשר בהמה וחיה אחר גבינה ומיקל בבשר עוף. בימי חורפי הייתי מתלוצץ בבני אדם שהיו עושי' כן ואדרבא שרא לי מורי היה נראה בעיני כמו מינות עד שפעם אחת מסעודה לסעודה מצאתי גבינה בין שיני [גזרתי] להחמיר [על] עצמי בבשר אחר גבינה כמו גבינה אחר בשר ואין בדבר זה כחולק על התלמוד ולא כמוסיף שהוא גורע בפ' כל הבשר (ק"ה ע"א) אנא להא מלתא כחלא בר חמרא דאלו אבא כדהוי אכל בישרא האידנא לא הוי אכיל גבינתא עד למחר כו' דכל חד מצי לאחמורי אנפשי' לעשות משמרת ובבשר עוף אני מיקל כיון דבשר עוף וגבינה נאכלי' באפקורן (שם ק"ד ע"ב) ושלום מאיר ב"ר ברוך זלה"ה

who says that he started waiting because he himself found cheese between his teeth after an amount of time. Presumably, anything that will likely get stuck between your teeth should be considered hard, and anything that would is unlikely to get stuck is not considered hard. It should have nothing to do with whether or not it has a sharp taste to it.

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There is an excellent comprehensive article here from Rabbi spitz's halacha column that pretty much goes through this whole inyan and debunks many of the popular muths surrounding this topic. basically, it is not so simple to find 6-hour milchigs unless one wants to be machmir on a minority opinion of questionable origin.

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