Glossary Of Cheese Terms


Glossary Of Cheese Terms Curd Nerd

 

Following is an A – Z glossary of  the cheese terms I have come to know and understand during the course of my home 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 in the forum 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

 

Do you have any questions or comments about common terms used in home cheese making? Join the discussion over at the Curd Nerd Forum. We would love to hear from you!

 

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