Glossary Of Terms

Hjärta Smärta / Earring Alphabet

Following is an A – Z glossary of many the terms I have come to know and understand during the course of my cheese making. This list is by no means exhaustive as I am still adding all the extra details so if you have any other terms you want to help with, or suggestions for corrections, please comment and let me know.

Acidic/Acidity – used when measuring or noticing the levels of acid in the milk/curd/cheese
Aging – process of cheese maturation/development caused by the breakdown of proteins and fats
Amonia – smell that some cheeses e.g. Camembert get when overripe
Annatto – a natural cheese colouring agent which dyes the cheese to a yellow, orange or red hue
Brine – either whey or water mixed with high levels of salt for washing and bathing cheese 
CaCi (Calcium Chloride) – used to rebalance calcium levels of pasteurized milk 
Cave
– referring to a cheese cave, used to store cheese while aging
Cheese Cloth
– fabric for straining and wrapping cheese in, sometimes muslin is also used
Clean Break
– point where curds are ready to cut, obvious by curd breaking easily and cleaning when a finger or knife is run through it
Coagulation
– when the milk begin to form together into the curd, after rennet is added
Cultures
– used in cheese making to achieve the required acidity levels as well as flavours to make different cheeses
Curd – solid formation of the caseins and proteins in the milk, particularly with the use of rennet
Eyes – small holes in the cheese common in cheese such as Gruyere, formed by certain bacteria
Hoop – opened ended mold used for cheeses such as Camembert and Brie
Lipase – used often in Italian cheeses such as Parmesan and Romano for better flavour
Milling – breaking up the curd after it has rested and ripened before pressing
Mold\Mould – a container with avenues for whey drainage which forms the shape of the cheese
Mold\Mould – microflora which grow on the cheese surface, some desirable, some not so
Paste – inside of the cheese
Pasteurisation – heat treatment of milk to kill all the ‘nasties’
pH Levels – measure of acid vs alkaline
Pressing – when the curds have pressure applied to knit the curds and remove extra whey
Rennet – enzyme product that encourages coagulation of milk into a solid curd
Rind – outside of the cheese, sometimes referred to as natural or mold/mould ripened
Ripening – describes the process of allowing the starter to increase the milk acidity
Salt – non iodized salt for using in cheese curing and ripening
Thermometer – used to measure temperature of milk and curd
Wax
– cheese wax is used to coat and seal cheeses for aging, pliable and airtight
Whey – resulting liquid after curds have formed, expelled during pressing

Photo credit: © 2007 Karen Horton

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