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Cheese Glossary

Affinage: The French term for the process of ripening and aging cheese

Affineur: The expert who is responsible for the ripening and aging of cheeses

Annato: A reddish-orangy colored dye that is extracted from the crushed outer seed of the Annato indigenous to South America

Aromatic: An adjective used to describe cheeses with strong and pronounced aromas

Artisanal Cheese: Cheese that is handmade, in small quantities, from the highest quality ingredients, by a skilled cheese maker

Brevibacterium Linens (b. linens): The bacteria that is found on the surface of washed rind cheeses, giving it its distinct aroma and reddish-orange color

Button: A cheese shape that is typically small, round, and found with goat cheese

Casein: The primary protein found in cheese

Cheddar: Cheddar cheese is any cheese that is made through the process of "Cheddaring" where the cheese curd is cut into smaller pieces, cooked, and then stacked on top of each other to expel moisture. Cheddar is not a name protected word and technically can be made anywhere

Cooked Cheese: The process in which the curd and the whey are raised to a certain temperature to expel more whey and concentrate the curd

Curd: The solid component of coagulated milk

Double Crème: A cheese that contains at least 60% butterfat in its dry matter

Fermier: Farmstead production of cheese that is typically high in quality, made in small batches and less uniform. This term is typically used synonymously with Artisanal although the major difference is that Fermier cheeses uses the milk from their own farm and Artisianal cheeses could source milk from several farms.
Pate or Paste: The interior of the cheese

Pasta Filata: Italian for "Spun Paste", it is a term referring to Italian stretched curd cheeses such as Mozzarella, Burrata, and Provolone

Pasteurization: The process of heating milk to kill off certain bacteria. The typical procedure is to heat the milk for 15-30 seconds at 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Pave: The French word to describe a shape of cheese that resembles paving stones in French towns

Penicillium Candidum: The mold that is used to create the white, velvety rind in bloomy rind cheeses

Penicillium Roquefortii: The mold that is injected into cheeses to promote the growth of the blue-green veins in typical blue cheeses

Pressed Cheese: Cheeses that have been pressed to release more whey
Rennet: The enzyme that is used to coagulate cheese. Rennet typically comes from the stomach lining of animals but vegetarian forms of rennet are also present

Rind: The exterior of the cheese

Triple Crème: A cheese that contains at least 75% butterfat in its dry matter
Whey: The liquid portion of the milk left over when milk is coagulated - A website devoted to cheese education
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