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Murray's Cheese - Dairy glossary
Category: Food and Drink > Cheese production
Date & country: 01/02/2011, UK
Words: 28

A French term for the alpine fields where animals graze in open air during the summer months. This rich, varied, seasonal diet contributes to milk (and cheese) that is considered superior for its depth, nuance and complexity.

Term used for the style of buttery soft, raw sheep milk cheese typical of southern Spain and Portugal, which is coagulated using the cardoon thistle plant. These cheeses are often pudding-like, aged for 30-45 days, with an acidic, vegetal flavor.

Extracted from the outer seed covering of the Central and South American "lipstick plant" (Bixa orellana), otherwise known as the annatto tree, annatto is commonly added to cheese to create an orange-colored paste, as in Mimolette, and is presumed to have no effect on flavor.

A small production, handmade cheese using traditional methods, though the cheesemaker may not own the milking animals directly.

Bloomy rind
A sub-category of soft-ripened cheese, with white, moldy, "blooming" rinds thanks to the addition of penicillium candidum. Aromas of wet straw and mushroom complement buttery, melting paste. When ripe, these feel like the webbing between your fingers.

Brevibacterium linens (b. linens)
The intentional bacteria cultivated on the surface of washed rind cheeses, which create the orange or pinkish hue and the exceptional stink. B. linens require a low-acid environment, moisture, and oxygen to flourish.

Cooked cheese
The process of heating and then holding (all the while stirring) a mixture of cheese curds and whey to a specific temperature to expel whey. Cooked curd cheeses are typically aged, often for upwards of one year, and offer a firmer paste, toast and brown butter aromas, and sweet, sharp, nutty flavors. Classics include Swiss Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano. In our guide, these fall into the Firm and...

That luscious, oozing creaminess between the rind and the paste of a bloomy, washed or semisoft cheese. The mold or bacterial activity on the rind breaks down (literally digests) the solid paste into a liquid..

Double Crème
A cream-enriched cheese (usually soft and bloomy rinded) with at least 60% butterfat. Luscious, mild and sweet in flavor.

Geotrichum candidum
A yeastlike mold used secondarily in the maturation of bloomy and washed rind cheeses. In the former, it grows prior to the development of a bloomy rind and prevents the p. candidum from overtaking a cheese and leading to bitterness. In washed rind cheeses, it is used to de-acidify the surface of the cheese, creating a hospitable environment for the b. linens.

A cheesehead's term for pronounced animal aromas and flavors in cheeses made of goat milk, especially younger, softer varieties. The taste can come across as (aggressively) tangy.

The process of emulsifying the fat in milk to create a uniform texture and prevent separation of the cream. Milk is forced through a very fine membrane, pulverizing the fat into tiny bits that remain suspended. This is why the cream no longer "rises to the top" of your milk.

Paste or Pâte
Term for the "meat" of a cheese, that edible part beneath the outer rind. The paste can range in texture from loose, soft, and buttery, to firm and smooth, to hard, dry, and crunchy.

The heat treatment of milk with the intention of destroying potentially harmful microorganisms. Pasteurization is required of all cheeses produced in, or imported to, the United States, which are less than 60 days old.

Penicillium candidum (P. candidum)
A variant of the mold P. camemberti, which is a typical, white bloomy mold that becomes grayish after several days. The P. candidum variant remains white and is the trademark of a bloomy rind cheese. This surface mold , given the proper salt and moisture, will develop a rind that breaks down amino acid chains from the outside in, creating an increasingly soft, buttery texture with time.

Penicillium glaucum (P. glaucum)
The lesser known strain of blue mold used in some, typically milder, blue cheeses, such as Gorgonzola. See Penicillium roquefortii.

Pressed cheese
Any cheese that is pressed after coagulation, cutting, and cooking (if applicable), draining of whey, and shaping of curds. Semisoft, firm, and hard cheeses are all pressed to achieve a smooth, uniform paste, while most bloomy and blue cheeses are not pressed at all, hence their lighter, moister texture.

Raw milk
Milk that has not been pasteurized. See pasteurization.

An enzyme used to coagulate milk. Technically rennet refers to an enzyme derived from the stomach lining of an unweaned calf, sheep, or goat There are also "vegetarian" rennets of microbial origin (derived from mold or yeast), and vegetable rennet derived from the cardoon plant.

See Annatto

A cheesehead's term for pronounced animal aromas and flavors in cheeses made of sheep milk, such as lanolin, or "gaminess" (like lamb chops and wild game meats).

A French term indicating a "smallish round of cheese." Tommes are often identified by their region of origin as in Tomme de Savoie. Small tommes are known as "tommettes."

The traditional migration of animals to alpine pastures, where they graze on open fields of grass, and cheese is produced after each milking.

Triple Crème
A cream-enriched cheese with a minimum fat content of 75%. Nearly all triple crèmes are made in the bloomy rind style.

Drunk, in Italian. A general term for the Italian style of wine-washed, or grape must-encrusted cheeses traditionally made of cow milk in northern Italy, but increasingly produced elsewhere.

Unpasteurized milk
Milk that has not been pasteurized. Synonymous with raw milk. See pasteurization.

Vegetarian cheese
A cheese containing non-animal derived coagulant. See rennet.

Washed rind
A sub-category of soft-ripened cheese. Lower acid curds are washed in brine (salt water), often containing beer, wine, or spirits to promote the growth of the bacteria B. linens. Soft to semisoft in texture, with a strong, pungent aroma and full, salty flavor.