A useful A to (almost) Z of some of the common terms used on the site and in cheese-making.
Affinage: The art of maturing cheese to its maximum flavour.
Annatto: Using seeds from the Annatto bush, Annatto is used as a reddish colouring agent for cheeses such as Red Leicester and Double Gloucester or is sometimes used for washing the outside of the cheese.
Artisanal: Where the cheese-maker continues to play a key role in the quality definition of the cheese.
Bloomy Rind: Also referred to as ‘mould-ripened’, meaning a white mould-growing rind.
Cooked Cheeses: distinctive by the fact the curd, once cut, is heated whilst still in the whey.
Co-operative/ Fruiterie: cheese is made in a single dairy, with the milk supply coming from a co-operative.
Farmhouse Cheese: Cheese produced on a farm by traditional methods using only raw milk from their own livestock.
Fresh Cheese: Cheese which is ready to eat after drainage, requiring no further curing and no ageing.
Pasteurised: partial sterilisation through heat, which kills any micro-organisms in the milk. This usually lessens the flavour profile, but also gives a more consistent quality.
Pate: Interior of the cheese.
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Raw milk: unpasteurised natural milk, not having been processed in any way.
Scalding: Curd is heated for a longer period of time, the whey separates creating a slightly “rubbery” texture which
can be seen on cheeses such as Abondance and Emmental.
Washed Rind: refers to the washing of the exterior of the cheese, with brine, annatto or with alcohol. Cheeses are washed periodically during affinage, depending upon the style of the cheese.