Cheese Terms

cheese knowledge terms

Fun cheese terms for all cheese lovers to know!

Aging: The aging or ripening process can last from a few days to a year or more. During the process of aging, the cheese loses moisture and develops a fuller, stronger flavour.

Annatto: A reddish-yellow dye derived from the outer covering of the seed of the Annatto tree, grown in Central and South America. Annatto is generally thought to have no taste and is added to cheese to create a orangeish-reddish-yellowish rind colour.

Caseophile: A cheese lover. Also known as a turophile.

Cheddar: Refers to any cheese made by the traditional process known as "cheddaring." Cheddaring means cutting curds into small pieces, cooking them, then stacking the cut pieces to allow them the whey to drain. There is no trademark protection for the word cheddar and it can be made anywhere. However, Cheddar is most commonly associated with English farmhouse cheddar cheeses, some of which are members of Royalty Cheesedom (Montgomery's and Keen's). These cheeses are made in Somerset, U.K. from raw cow's milk, cream-coloured without orange dye added, and typically wrapped in cloth.

Farmstead : Cheese made by hand from milk produced by animals raised on the cheesemaker's property.

Penicillium candidum: The white surface mold added to bloomy rind cheese. As these cheeses age the mold will develop a rind which will soften from the outside inwards, thus creating an interior paste which becomes increasingly soft and runny.

Penicillium roqueforti: The blue-green mold added to blue cheeses.

Rancidity: Refers to a chemical reaction which transforms milk fats into free, fatty acids, thus causing a spoiled flavour.

Rennet: Animal rennet is an enzyme (rennin) extracted from the 4th stomach of an unweaned calf. It is used in the cheesemaking process to break down the milk proteins so that they will coagulate into curds. Today the use of vegetable rennet (derived from artichoke, thistle and nettle plants), as well as microbial rennet (an enzyme extracted from mold) are commonly used instead of animal rennet. See Vegetarian Cheese.

Ripe: A cheese is ripe when it has reached its optimum flavour and is ready to be consumed. A ripe cheese is also said to be "à point" - a French term meaning the same thing (literally, 'at the peak').

Whey: The liquid in milk that separates from the curds during the cheesemaking process.

Washed Rind: Soft rind cheeses which have been rubbed and immersed in a solution of brine, wine, beer or grape brandy to bring about an exterior mold which causes the rind of the cheese to turn orange. The characteristic pronounced smell of Washed Rind cheeses is a result of the presence of this mold. Sometimes Washed Rind cheeses are referred to as "stinky" cheeses due to their strong aroma. But the taste is much milder than the smell might suggest.

Bloomy Rind: Bloomy Rind or soft-ripened cheeses have been treated with mold so that they ripen from the outside rind inwards. The thin crust or rind is white and sort of velvety or fuzzy to the touch ... thus the word "bloomy" refers to that tactile sensation when handling these cheeses. The rind is generally edible, though many people choose not to eat the rind. Soft-ripened cheeses are semi-soft and creamy in consistency.

Brushed Rind: A natural rind cheese which is brushed in a process designed to keep mold from forming and to keep the interior paste or meat of the cheese moist.

Ash Rind - Ash is an alkaline substance that neutralizes acidity and aids in the ripening process. Many of the French goat cheeses are examples of using ash in this way. ... When making such as camembert/brie, ash can lengthen the aging period without seeing excess mold growth on the rind itself.

DOP:cheese awarded the DOP is most special DOP stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta”, which means Protected Designation of Origin. Similar to the AOC, the DOP guarantees that the milk of the cheese and production are on a certain location.

Italian DOP Grana Padano, Pecorino Toscano, Taleggio, Parmigiano-Reggiano

Spanish DOP: Manchego

Switzerland (AOC – PGI, Protected Geographical Indication) – Raclette, Emmental, Gruyere

France (PDO protected designation of origin ), Mobier, Roquefort, Pont-l'Évêque, Comté, Brillat-Savarin

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