Common Cheese Defects
- Body. In the context of modern sensory analysis body refers to texture, which is confusing because cheese graders use the term 'texture' to refer to cheese openness. Here, we will use the traditional cheese grading terms. Some descriptors for body defects are:
- Crumbly/short: often due to excess salt or acid
- Corky: due to overcooking, low fat, low moisture, or excess salt.
- Mealy: this defect can be detected on the palate or by massaging the cheese between the thumb and forefinger. It is usually associated with excess acidity.
- Pasty: sticks to the palate and fingers; due to excess moisture.
- Weak: breaks down too quickly when worked by hand; due excess fat or moisture.
This type of information, even for a home cheese maker is crucial, and hopefully these observations will hold up during experimentation. I have definitely had cheese come out corky or spongey, and in retrospect it is likely that the curds were over cooked. If that really is a causal relationship, then preventing that particular defect in the future should be trivial.