Washed CurdScience Byte
An extra step during cheesemaking can result in a whole new world of cheese possibilities.
Colby, Monterrey Jack, Brick, and Crowley Cheese in the United States. Gouda and Edam in the Netherlands. What do these all have in common? They all include a curd washing step during the cheesemaking process that ultimately contributes to their unique flavor profile. Curd washing or curd rinsing, as the name applies, is the addition of water to the still nascent curds. A similar process to this is known as whey dilution, which accomplishes the same feat. What's the water doing? It's removing lactose from the fresh curds. With less lactose, that means less potential for the starter culture bacteria to produce lactic acid. The result is a cheese with a lower acid level, which we term a "sweet make" or a "sweeter" cheese.
Curd rinsing is a crucial step in all of the famous "American Original" cheeses (Colby, Jack, Brick). Download the infographic below (click the image or here) for a visual companion to this page!