Decoding the science of cheese

A technical resource for cheesemongers, cheese buyers, and cheese connoisseurs


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Topics

Cheese Yield

Pound for pound, a pound of cheese is ten pounds of milk. Is that right?

Pasta Filata

♫ Pasta Filata. What a wonderful phrase! Pasta Filata. Ain't no passing craze! ♫

Calcium & pH

Nothing like waking up and looking at a fine scatter plot first thing.

Earthy

Nothing like taking a bite of cheese and it tasting like a mouthful of dirt.

Lactation

When a cow is milked matters when it comes to milk quantity and quality.

Milk Infographic

In order to understand cheese, one must first understand milk. Moo!

Milky

Cheese is made from milk, so it makes some of them should taste like it too.

Glycolysis

Sweet like sugar? Not anymore! All thanks to microbes and glycolysis!

Cheese with Eyes

What do you call a cheese without any eyes? Blind! Seriously, no joke.

Sheepy

Baa! Baa! Baa! What makes sheep cheese sheepy is nothing to balk at.

pH

Hey, wanna drop some acid? Let's get our pH chemistry straight first.

Cutting

A less mature person would make a "cut the cheese" joke. I'm no such person.

Cheese Chart

A classification chart organizing cheeses by how they are made, not by firmness.

Cheese Types

How would a cheese maker organize cheeses? By how they're made probably.

Sulfur

Why do some aged cheddars smell like boiled eggs? Well sulfur of course!

Fatty Acids

Free fatty acids are an end-product of fat breakdown. Goaty and rancid, oh my!

Salting

Sprinkled, submerged, or scrubbed. It's a good thing salt is added to cheese!

Standardization

How will the scale tip when a cheese maker alters the protein and fat content of milk?

Pasteurization

Does milk got you hot under the collar? Lucky for you, unlucky for microbes.

Melt and Stretch

From melty goodness to hard-as-a-rock, what causes cheese to melt and stretch?

Homogenization

Put the squeeze on milk in order to prevent cream seperatation, but what else?

Blue

Blue cheese has a unique aroma that is between perfume and cough syrup.

Goaty

Goat cheese has a certain je ne sais quoi that we call a "goaty" flavor.

Mushroomy

Bloomy rind cheese often smells like the forest floor. Why is that so?

Butyric

Provolone and feta can sometimes smell like baby vomit. In a good way!

Piney

Bark-wrapped cheeses can sometimes smell like trees. Who'd a thunk it?

Grading Terms

What kind of lingo does a Wisconsin licensed cheese grader need to know?

Rennet 101

What causes coagulation? Coagulation enzymes of course! But there are so many.

Sharp

Perhaps the most used flavor descriptor for cheese. What does it mean?

Coagulation

Coagulations! Turning something from liquid to solid is no easy job.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium isn't just for your teeth and bones! It can be for cheese too!

Grainy Grana

Grainy, crumby, mealy, coarse, a horse is a horse of course of course.

Syneresis

Hold me, love me, squeeze me. Put the squeeze on curds to remove whey.

Texture Basics

Who knew proteolysis and dropping acid could affect cheese so much?

Brie Texture

Inside chalky outside gelly. Seven days of the week, seven different Chevys

Flavor Wheel

Always wanted to see the flavors of cheese in wheel form? Look no further!

Flavor Basics

Why does sharp provolone smell like baby vomit? Why is sharp cheddar sharp?

Microbes 101

Cheese is alive! And not just in the poetic sense, learn about cheese microbes.

Milk Chemistry

A basic overview of what's in cow's milk. Milk sugar, protein, and fat.

Cheese Color

Orange, yellow, white! Oh my! Understanding the color of cheese is so damn fly.

Cheese Crystals

What gives certain cheeses that distinctive crunch: calcium lactate and tyrosine crystals.

More coming soon! Next on the docket:

  • Various flavors
  • Light Oxidation
  • Affinage