Important technical things you may like to know…

ACIDIC
Used to describe cheeses with a sour/acidic taste such as fresh goats cheese.

AROMA
Smell of the cheese, pungent (strong) or sweet.

AMMONIA
Not to be confused with acidic, no cheese should ever have an ammonia (bleachy) smell/taste. Washed rinds can be very stinky but should never have an ammonia smell.
Do not eat ammonia smelling cheeses, these are bad!

ANNATTO
A natural food colourant derived from the Annatto berry, from the Achiote tree found in South America.

AFFINAGE
Refers to the process of maturing cheeses.

AFFINEUR
A specialist person who matures cheeses to the peak of their perfection. Herve Mons is one of France’s most respected Affineurs.

ALPAGE
The process of moving animals and herds people to the spring and summer time grazing areas.
Or cheeses that have been made with spring and or summer time milks e.g Beaufort d’Alpage.

AOC
Apppellation d’Origine, the French body that controls the cheese making regulations.

A POINT
When the cheese is perfectly ripe to eat.

ARTISANAL
Hand made cheese rather than machine produced.

BLOOMY RIND
Type of mould we see on Brie and Camembert style cheeses.

BLUING
Blue mould found in all blue cheeses and some aged hard cheeses.

BREBIS
French word for Sheep.

BRIQUE
Cheese in shape of a brick.

BARN-YARDY
Term for cheeses displaying strong farm related aromas.

B-LINENS
A ‘good’ type of bacteria encouraged by washing cheeses. Found in washed rind cheeses and responsible for the strong smell.
Also the bacteria responsible for smelly feet! So yes, that cheese does smell like old socks!

BRINE
Salt water solution often used to wash cheeses.

CABANE
Where cheese is made in Mountain chalets.

CAPRA
Italian for goat´s cheese.

CASEIN
Main protein in milk.

CENDRE
Cheese which is coated in ash, usually vegetable ash these days.

CHEDDARING
Process of making cheddar. Curds are cut and pressed 2-3 times before being layered in slabs and pressed on a cheddar machine making rice sized curds.

CHEESE CLOTH
A cloth, having either a course or fine texture, used to drain cheese curds or line cheese molds.

CHEESE IRON
A corer, that takes a cross section out of a cheese to test for aroma, texture and flavour.

CHEVRE
French word for goats cheese.

COAGULATION
Process of setting the milk to make a cheese, usually with a rennet.

COOKED CURDS
A facet of cheese making, when cut curd is heated to expel more whey.

CURD
After the setting, the milk separates into solids (curds) and liquid. (whey)

DRY MATTER
Remaining solids after the whey has drained from the cheese. This is when the fat content is measured, 30% of dry matter for example.

DOLCE
In Italian literally means ‘sweet’, but for cheese it is used to mean the flavours are round, neither sharp nor spicy.

DOP
Denominazione di Origine Protetta (Protected Designation of Origin) the Italian body that controls the cheese making regulations for the whole of the EU.

EARTHY
Used to describe cheeses with mushrooms and grassy flavours.

EAU-DE-VIE
Spirit made from wine pressings e.g. Marc from Burgundy, as in Epoisse is washed in a Marc de Bourgogne.

EYES
The technical name for holes formed in certain cheeses after fermentation, e.g. in Swiss cheese.

FAT CONTENT
Expressed as a percentage of the dry matter.

FERMIER or FARMHOUSE
A farm made cheese.

FOURME
Derived from the Latin for shape, meaning the shape or mould in which it was made.

FRAIS or FRAICHE
Fresh.

FROMAGE
French for cheese.

FORMAGGIO
Italian for cheese.

FROMAGE FORT
A strong flavoured cheese made with cheese off cuts, herbs and alcohol usually comes in a pot.

FROMAGERIE
Cheese dairy or shop.

FROMAGER/ CHEESEMONGER
Knowledgeable person who sells dairy products.

GEOTRICHUM
A natural mould from vegetables, Geotrichum Candidum is used to create the white fluffy rind on Bries & Camemberts. Geotrichum is also used on Goats cheeses to give the ‘brain like’ rind.

HERBACEOUS
Term for describing cheeses exhibiting flavours of grass, flowers and herbs.

INDUSTRIAL
Mechanical cheese making.

KAAS
Dutch word for cheese.

KASE
Swiss for cheese.

LACTIC or ACIDIC
A general description applied to cheese exhibiting a clean, wholesome, milky and slightly acidic flavour or aroma.

LACTOSE
Natural sugar found in milk. Goats and sheep’s milk cheeses are better for the lactose intolerant. Cheeses over 60 days old contain only minute particles of lactose.

MATURATION
Part of the process of cheese making, when the cheese is stored at a certain temperature and humidity for a period of time in order to allow its flavour and texture to develop.

NUTTY
Generally relates to hard mountain cheeses. Displaying flavours of walnuts.

NEEDLING or PRICKING
The process of piercing a cheese with long needles in order to introduce the air necessary for certain types of fermentation, usually blue mold growth.

PATE or PASTE
The interior of the cheese.

PASTEURISED
The process of heating milk to 72 degrees C for 15 seconds in order to eliminate any disease-producing bacteria.

PENICILLIUM CANDIDUM
A mould often added to soft-ripened cheeses that promotes the growth of a white, bloomy rind as seen on Bries and Camemberts.

PENICILLIUM ROQUEFORTI
Mould used for many blue cheeses, especially Roquefort cheeses and resides in the caves in the South of France’s Roquefort region.

PENICILLIUM GLAUCUM
Another mould used in blue cheeses, that contains no gluten, therefore better for extreme gluten intolerant people.

PIQUANT
Sharp or spicy in taste, usually referring to blue cheeses.

PICCANTE
Italian for spicy, often used to describe certain goats cheese or blue cheese e.g. Gorgonzola Piccante.

PRESSED CHEESES
Cheeses that have been pressed to further expel whey. Gouda, Beaufort and Parmigiano-Reggiano are popular examples of pressed cheeses.

QUESO
Spanish for cheese.

RENNET
Vegetarian rennet – created chemically using products such as fungi or thistle rather than livestock.
Calves rennet – membranes of calves’ stomachs that contains rennin.

RENNETING
The process of adding rennet, an enzyme that aids in coagulating milk or separating curds from whey.

SALTING
When salt is added during the cheese making process to draw out liquid, enhance flavors, and stave off pathogenic bacteria growth. Different types of cheese require salting at different stages of the production process.

SPEZIATO
Italian for ‘spiced’, used to refer to cheeses that have a nuance of a spice. (such as nutmeg)

TANGY
Often used to describe the flavor of goat’s milk cheese. Tangy flavors are often related to cheeses that are higher in acid.

TERROIR
The region or land and its environment such as the weather.

THERMISED
Process of heating milk to less than 160 degrees F for less than 15 seconds prior to using it for cheese making.

TOMA (Italy)
Toma is a soft or semi-hard Italian cow’s milk cheese.

TOMME or TOME (French)
Tomme is a type of cheese, and is a generic name given to a class of cheese produced mainly in the French alps.

TRIPLE CREAM
Cheese that contains more than 75% fat in dry matter such as Delice de Bourgogne or Brillat Savarin.

UNPASTEURISED/RAW
Milk that is still in its natural state and has not undergone ant pasteurisation, which means it has not been heated past 40 degrees.

WASHED RIND
Used to describe a type of cheese that is washed periodically in a brine solution in order to promote rind growth and develop flavour.

WHEY
Watery part of milk which is separated from the coagulated curds during cheese making. A by product of cheese making.