Cheese Makers Forum FAQ Equipment part 1 Equipment part 2 History

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Excellent online cheese resource

I stumbled upon an excellent resource on some of the finer aspects of cheese production from the University of Guelph. It has quite a few recipes, but more importantly it gets into some nice nitty gritty areas such as defects and grading, as well as PH levels over time, yield, and many other factors. It has been an exciting read. A great example of some of the gems that I've gleaned from this site are:

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.

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Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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