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.