Mold types of Cheese

Mold types of Cheese

Vacherin du Haut-Doubs cheese, a French cheese with a white Penicillium mold rind.
There are three main categories of cheese in which the presence of mold is an important feature: soft ripened cheeses, washed rind cheeses and blue cheeses.

Soft-ripened cheeses begin firm and rather chalky in texture, but are aged from the exterior inwards by exposing them to mold. The mold may be a velvety bloom of P. camemberti that forms a flexible white crust and contributes to the smooth, runny, or gooey textures and more intense flavors of these aged cheeses. Brie and Camembert, the most famous of these cheeses, are made by allowing white mold to grow on the outside of a soft cheese for a few days or weeks. Goat's milk cheeses are often treated in a similar manner, sometimes with white molds (Chèvre-Boîte) and sometimes with blue.

Washed-rind cheeses are soft in character and ripen inwards like those with white molds; however, they are treated differently. Washed-rind cheeses are periodically cured in a solution of saltwater brine and/or mold-bearing agents that may include beer, wine, brandy and spices, making their surfaces amenable to a class of bacteria Brevibacterium linens (the reddish-orange "smear bacteria") that impart pungent odors and distinctive flavors, and produce a firm, flavorful rind around the cheese. Washed-rind cheeses can be soft (Limburger), semi-hard, or hard (Appenzeller). The same bacteria can also have some impact on cheeses that are simply ripened in humid conditions, like Camembert. The process requires regular washings, particularly in the early stages of production, making it quite labor-intensive compared to other methods of cheese production.

Some washed-rind cheeses are also smear-ripened with solutions of bacteria or fungi, most commonly Brevibacterium linens, Debaryomyces hansenii, and/or Geotrichum candidum[8]) which usually gives them a stronger flavor as the cheese matures. In some cases, older cheeses are smeared on young cheeses to transfer the microorganisms. Many, but not all, of these cheeses have a distinctive pinkish or orange coloring of the exterior. Unlike with other washed-rind cheeses, the washing is done to ensure uniform growth of desired bacteria or fungi and to prevent the growth of undesired molds.[9] Notable examples of smear-ripened cheeses include Munster and Port Salut.

So-called blue cheese is created by inoculating a cheese with Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum. This is done while the cheese is still in the form of loosely pressed curds, and may be further enhanced by piercing a ripening block of cheese with skewers in an atmosphere in which the mold is prevalent. The mold grows within the cheese as it ages. These cheeses have distinct blue veins, which gives them their name and, often, assertive flavors. The molds range from pale green to dark blue, and may be accompanied by white and crusty brown molds. Their texture can be soft or firm. Some of the most renowned cheeses are of this type, each with its own distinctive color, flavor, texture and aroma. They include Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton.

Moisture: soft to hard Cheese

Moisture: soft to hard Cheese

Categorizing cheeses by moisture content or firmness is a common but inexact practice. The lines between "soft", "semi-soft", "semi-hard", and "hard" are arbitrary, and many types of cheese are made in softer or firmer variants. The factor that controls cheese hardness is moisture content, which depends on the pressure with which it is packed into moulds, and upon aging time.

Soft cheese
Cream cheeses are not matured. Brie and Neufchâtel are soft-type cheeses that mature for more than a month.

Semi-soft cheese
Semi-soft cheeses, and the sub-group Monastery, cheeses have a high moisture content and tend to be mild-tasting. Some well-known varieties include Havarti, Munster and Port Salut.

Medium-hard cheese
Cheeses that range in texture from semi-soft to firm include Swiss-style cheeses such as Emmental and Gruyère. The same bacteria that give such cheeses their eyes also contribute to their aromatic and sharp flavours. Other semi-soft to firm cheeses include Gouda, Edam, Jarlsberg, Cantal, and Cașcaval. Cheeses of this type are ideal for melting and are often served on toast for quick snacks or simple meals.

Semi-hard or hard cheese
Harder cheeses have a lower moisture content than softer cheeses. They are generally packed into moulds under more pressure and aged for a longer time than the soft cheeses. Cheeses that are classified as semi-hard to hard include the familiar Cheddar, originating in the village of Cheddar in England but now used as a generic term for this style of cheese, of which varieties are imitated worldwide and are marketed by strength or the length of time they have been aged. Cheddar is one of a family of semi-hard or hard cheeses (including Cheshire and Gloucester), whose curd is cut, gently heated, piled, and stirred before being pressed into forms. Colby and Monterey Jack are similar but milder cheeses; their curd is rinsed before it is pressed, washing away some acidity and calcium. A similar curd-washing takes place when making the Dutch cheeses Edam and Gouda.

Hard cheeses — "grating cheeses" such as Parmesan and Pecorino Romano—are quite firmly packed into large forms and aged for months or years.

Types of Cheese: Soft Mould Ripened Cheese

Types of Cheese: Soft Mould Ripened Cheese

Mould ripened cheese are still regarded by some with some suspicion. Moulds can grow when and where they are not welcome, and in such cases it may be correct to discard such cheese. However, there are desirable moulds, both white and blue, which not only assist in the process of maturing the cheese but also provide another wonderful array of textures and flavours.
The soft mould ripened cheese are flat and normally cylindrical in shape. At their best they are creamy in texture and have a delicate mushroom aromatic flavour. Some consumers prefer a runny texture and a very ripe ammoniacal taste. Types of Cheese, to most consumers is cheese past its best, but as with all foods personal preferences will differ.

Specially selected white moulds such as Geotrichum candidum and Penicillium camemberti may be added with the starter culture or sprayed on the surface of the drained cheese.
After a few days a bloom appears and this develops into a distinct white fluffy rind. This surface mould is an integral part of soft mould ripened cheese.

When young the cheese is firm, almost Cheshire like in texture with a very mild taste. As it matures or ripens it becomes softer, maturing from the outside to the centre of the cheese. Types of Cheese have a limited life and are best purchased when thdre is still a small core or line of firm cheese in the centre, allowing the consumer to complete the ripening process and eat it when it is at its best.

Types of Cheese: Hard and Semi Hard Cheese

Types of Cheese : Hard and Semi Hard Cheese

Most of the cheese produced and consumed in Wales and the UK can be placed in this category. Cheddar is the most popular and the most copied of the hard cheese. Caerphilly is a softer cheese, sometimes classed as a semi hard cheese because it is only lightly pressed when compared with Cheddar. Hard cheese of the Cheddar type can be defined as a firm cheese with a close texture. A Cheshire type can be a little more open, almost granular in texture, whereas a
traditional Caerphilly has a close but flaky texture.

Traditional cheese, pressed in the old style presses, usually have a degree of openness. This adds to the character of the cheese. Modern commercial blockformers draw vacuum rather than press the curd into shape. This gives a dense cheese, a product preferred for cutting and packing into portions and slices.

However, none of these types of cheese should have round holes typical of some of the continental cheese such as Emmenthal. These holes are the result of the gas produced by
special bacteria added to the starter culture. The colour of the hard cheese will vary according to the season and the milk used. The milk of the cow is a creamy yellow colour whereas sheep and goats milk are much whiter. On occasion a colour - carotene or annatto, is added to the milk to give a coloured cheese such as Double Gloucester and Leicester.

These are natural plant colours. They have no effect on the texture or flavour of the cheese.
The process of making hard and semi hard cheese is basically the same, but the end result will vary considerably. The revival of old recipes, of small scale and farmhouse cheesemaking is again allowing consumers to appreciate the complex flavours that can develop on maturing these cheese.
Large scale commercial production is also providing excellent quality cheese for another sector of the market place.
Types of Cheese

Washed Rind Cheese

Types of Cheese: Washed Rind Cheese

This can be a semi soft or a hard type of cheese. The distinguishing feature is the colour of the rind, caused by washing or wiping the surface of the cheese with a cloth soaked in brine and containing a bacterium called Brevibacterium linens, often with other selected micro-organisms. The liquid may also contain herbs or wine and is usually a recipe secret to the maker. Some cheese have a dry orange brown rind, whereas others have a distinctive sticky rind with a rather pungent aroma. The texture of most of these types of cheese is soft and pliable, even creamy.

The flavour is mildly aromatic. Many find the aroma overpowering, even objectionable. Because of this, they are very much the choice of the connoisseur, but once tried these cheeses are superb..
Types of cheese; blue-cheese

Types of Cheese: Blue Cheese

Types of Cheese: Blue Cheese

Granston Blue (Llangloffan), Landsker Blue, Soft Blue (St. Florence), Gorau Glas (Quirt)
Blue cheese is a mould ripened type, with blue green veins throughout the cheese. Many are only made when the milk is most suited to this type of cheese and thus are not available throughout the year. Granston is typical of cheese made only when the milk is deemed to be at its best. Some such as Landsker are pressed whereas others are a softer creamier type of cheese. Gorau Glas has the distinction of winning a gold award at the 2002 British Awards.

Some varieties have a white mould on the surface and blue mould within the body of the cheese. This combination of the two Penicillium moulds provides a mild soft cheese usually classified within the soft ripened cheese category. Although some of the Blue mould cheese now available are the result of modern technologies, they first occurred naturally. Where cheesemakers stored their cheese in caves or cellars, those places often provided the correct humidity and temperature conditions for the wild or natural yeasts and moulds to grow.

In a booklet on the practice of Cheshire Cheesemaking dated 1892, there is mention of the 'green fade', a minute fungus growth. Cheese, which naturally blued were regarded as very special cheese, 'accidents' in the maturing process that were much sought after.

The Penicillium roqueforti mould, obtained from specialist suppliers, is now normally added with the milk. Reassurance can be given that eating this type of cheese does not create any antibiotic resistance or affect the usefulness of the antibiotic penicillin.
Blue cheese is not pressed as it is essential for the curds to be loosely packed, leaving space for the mould to grow. The mould requires air to grow and turn it a blue colour. This is aided and also controlled by piercing the cheese with stainless steel needles - never copper needles as is still stated by some. The tunnels created by the needles, allows air into the body of the cheese and it quickly develops the attractive blue mould picture.
The flavour of a blue cheese varies according to the type of milk and season. It should be mellow, with a slightly piquant, possibly peppery taste with mushroom overtones.
There should not be a bitter aftertaste. The cheese is left unwrapped during maturing and the rind can be eaten. This is a mixture of micro-organisms left to develop naturally and they also have an important part to play in the flavour and texture development of this type of cheese.
Types of cheese: washed-rind-cheese.

types of Cheese: Speciality Cheese - Cheese with Additives

Types of Cheese : Speciality Cheese - Cheese with Additives

There is a vast range of these as can be seen under each individual cheesemaker. Herbs such as sage can be added to the curd during the cheesemaking process. It was customary to add a green colour (chlorophyll) such as strained chopped cabbage or spinach. That colour if added, is now obtained commercially. Most additives, both sweet and savoury, are mixed with the cheese after it has been made. The cheese is broken up or milled into pieces, the additive mixed in and the whole reformed into a recognisable shape. Additives are mixed into soft cheese or the cheese can be rolled in the additive giving the whole product an attractive presentation.
Types of Cheese: mozzarella-pasta-filata-or-stretched.