One of the best components of the culinary industry from all around is: cheese. It’s in all of the best dishes, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, name it. It’s awesome on its own, with bread and seasoning, or with a good glass of wine. And I’m not talking about the industry processed, plastic packed cheese slices or cubes. I’m talking about the good cheese. If you like ‘em but don’t know much, consider this as your beginners class.
There are 7 different types of cheese:
Fresh (no rind):
This type is low in fat and it looks the same inside and out, since it has no rind. They are typically a few days old and have a high moisture content. They have a mouse-like texture or are crumbly if salt is used in the process. They are mild in taste and bright white. Usually rolled in ash or covered in herbs.
Aged fresh (wrinkly rind):
Usually low in fat and is almost always made with goat milk, which produces a thin rind. It has a dusty blue grey color that gradually becomes a dark blue. The interior is almost brittle and it has an intense flavour. The rind is very thin and has cracks.
Soft white rind:
It has a while rind that is made up of penicillium candidum, which prevents the interior of the cheese from drying out. It is mild, buttry, sweet and has a strong aroma. Some are made with a dose of cream, which means it’s not runny like a Brie but can be eaten fresh (no rind).
Semi-soft (grey-brown or orange rind):
The cure during processing is pressed to remove the whey and this creates a rubbery and elastic texture. Has a fine leathery rind and is generally buttery, mild and sweet. Some with a thick rind have a stronger and earthy taste.
Hard (crusty, grey or waxer or oiled rind):
The cheese is pressed for hours or even weeks to remove the whey and to compact the curd. The British wrap their cheese in cloth like cheddar while in Europe they tend to soak it in brine. The cheese is thick, smooth and polished like Parmesan. They also have a low moisture content and have a complex and strong flavour.
Blue (gritty, rough rind):
The blue is cut and piled into molds. It needs air to develop so the cheese is pierced. The spicy taste develops as the cheese ages. Blue brie style cheeses with a soft whote rind are milder and much creamier in texture.
Various undertones can be given to cheese in various stages in their processes, by adding fruits or herbs. Additions at the beginning of the process makes the cheese taste better as they have a long time to infuse.
Cheese can be very complex to understand, with the taste and depth of flavor. But you only get better, if you eat some! And it’s way better and way healthier than processed cheese, even if it might be a tad expensive.