What’s a Cheese Rind?
What is Raw Milk Cheese?
What does Farmstead Cheese mean?
How to Serve and Eat Cheese
Where Do I Buy Cheese?
Affine: French word meaning “refine.” The process of aging or curing a cheese in a very controlled environment to allow for the development of specific microorganisms that can affect the flavor of the resulting cheese.
Affineur: someone who cares for cheese wheels as they age and mature, like a cheese nanny.
Aged Cheese: generally a cheese that is at least six months or older.
Ammoniated: a term describing cheese that smells or tastes of ammonia usually from being mishandled or overripe. If left to fester, the cheese will become inedible.
Annatto: a vegetable-derived dye used to color cheese or a cheese rind orange, think cheddar. It is pretty much tasteless and odorless.
Bloomy/soft-ripened: Aacheese that ripens from the outside in. It has a thin, powdery rind, a soft layer beneath, and a firmer center. Think brie or Humboldt Fog.
Blue: a cheese with blue veins or pockets of mold, like Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton.
Brine: a solution of salt water solution in which certain cheese varieties are washed, or bathed to help with the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Cheese Monger: a knowledgable cheese worker who cares for cheeses and guides a hungry consumer to their destined cheese.
Chevré: the French term for a cheese made from goat milk.
Farmstead Cheese: a cheese that is made using milk from animals that live on the same premises.
Culture (starter): a culture that contains lactic acid, mold spores, enzymes, or other micro-organisms. These cultures convert lactose into lactic acid and help determine the resulting flavors, texture, and aroma of the cheese.
Defect: the beauty of artisan cheese is that it’s never quite the same. Imperfections keep things interesting and are expected, but there are also defects, which are any less-than-ideal quality in a wheel. This is due to errors in manufacturing, handling, or contamination. These can be dents and discolorations on the rind or in the paste.
Double Cream: a cheese that contains a fat content of at least 60%.
Emmentaler: a cheese from Switzerland with holes throughout the paste, the granddaddy of the industrialized cheese known as “swiss cheese.”
Fresh: a young cheese with no rind.
Fromage: French for “cheese.”
Fromager: French for “cheesemonger.” A person with an extensive knowledge of cheese.
Paste: the inner layer beneath the rind. The “meat” of a cheese
Pasteurization: heating milk to kill bacteria
Raw Milk: milk that hasn’t been pasteurized; this milk retains beneficial digestive enzymes and bacteria that contribute to the taste and texture of the resulting cheese.
Rind: The protective outer layer of a cheese. Some are soft, some are stinky, some are edible, and some are coated in wax or cloth.
Washed-rind: a cheese that is washed in a brine or solution to facilitate the growth of certain bacteria that contribute to the flavor and texture of the cheese. Examples: gruyere, Epoisses, Taleggio.