The flavor of different cheeses is dependent on a wide variety of factors. Those factors may include anything from the diet of the animals to the bacteria present on the cheese as a result of the aging process. Nonetheless, it allows for an assortment of textures, aromas, and flavors. Microorganisms and chemicals make up a different combination every time, resulting in remarkable cheeses that mirror the diversity of the environment as well at the cheesemaker’s personal technique.
So, if you enjoy cheese, but are unsure of how to describe what you are tasting, take a look at some vocabulary words that will help you to completely express the deliciousness of cheese.
Rind: outside of cheese; can be wax, cloth, washed, or bloomy.
Washed rind: semi-soft and soft cheeses that are washed in a brine in order to encourage the growth of certain molds or bacteria.
Bloomy rind: soft cheeses that have a white and fluffy rind due to the growth of a bacteria.
Triple cream: a soft and French cheese containing at least 72% fat.
Creamline: gooey layer just under the rind.
Earthy: earthy cheeses will have strong flavors of soil, mushrooms, or grass.
Buttery: buttery cheeses have a high fat content.
Nutty: nutty flavors develop due to 3 compounds called Strecker Aldehydes; nutty is characteristic of many Swiss cheeses.
Fruity: fragrant and sweet.
Tangy: a sharp and sour flavor that is associated with high acidity levels; goat cheese is usually described as tangy.
Sweet: tasting of honey or sugar and having a low acidity level with a pleasant odor; mascarpone is considered sweet.
Piquant: very strong flavor sometimes described as spicy; common flavor of gorgonzola or blue cheese.
Veining: result of the ripening process caused by the growth of Penicillium roqueforti; blue cheeses develop veining and the areas that lack veining are called “blind spots.”
Silky: melts in your mouth and has a creamy feel.
Piney: aroma of cheeses wrapped in tree bark.