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How To Select Cheese Without Tasting It

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Camembert cheese


How are you going to select cheese without tasting it? Well, it is not necessary to taste cheese for evaluating it. The outer layer of cheese reveals the type of cheese encased within it, so much so that one can rely on rind condition when selecting cheese without tasting.



 


Cheese rind is the outer skin of cheese that protects, aids the process of ageing or ripening and enhances flavor. It is easily identifiable with its contrast texture and color and thus helps to select cheese without tasting. Here, we have tips for rind properties to select cheese without tasting it.


 


Natural Rinds
natural rind is mostly found on cheese wheels. When the cheese’s outer surface comes in contact with the atmospheric air, it becomes hard and this protects cheese within. This natural rind needs regular brushing to prevent formation of mold. Brushing is also essential for developing an even rind. Sometimes natural rinds are also washed with brine or oiled to help retain moisture as in case of parmigiana reggiana cheese.


 


Artificial rind


Artificial rinds are non-edible wax rind. Different colored wax are used for identifying different types of cheese like herbed cheese or ages Gouda cheese.  Green or red colored wax indicates herbed cheese while black wax indicated aged Gouda cheese.


 


Bandaged or cloth covered cheese


Cheddar cheese is covered with wax or vacuum sealed when prepared traditionally. The cloth covered cheese is rubber with lard to protect and give shape to the ageing cheese and also keeps it moist. This process helps develop a musty root like aroma and a bluish green color rind.


 


Ash Rind
Mostly soft goat cheeses have ash rind. Originally, the purpose of using ash on goat cheese was for protecting cheese from insects while ripening. Ash actually helps to control acidity of cheese while ripening and thereby keeping the flavorsrich.


 


Washed Rind
This kind of rind is usually pale pink and in copper hues. They are moist and somewhat sandy to touch. They smell like barnyards. Cheeses with washed rind are popular for their rind that are pungent to taste and earthy in flavor. Washed rind are named so because they are formed as a result of regular washing using brine, beer, wine or spirits while ripening. Washing helps keep the rind moist that aids in ripening of the cheese within. The addictive smell is also developed during ripening.


 


Herbed Rind
Rind that are coated with herbs for flavorand enhancing aesthetic properties are called herbed rind. Herbs are to be used in moderation or the rind could be bitter instead of imparting a delicate flavor. When the smell is overwhelming, it means the rind is not herbed properly.


 


Bloomy rind


When the rind is white and velvety, the cheese within is soft-ripe. It is mostly seen in Camembert cheese. Good quality Camembert has thin and smooth rind without any cracks. The smell of this velvety moist rind is similar to that of fresh mushrooms. This bloomy rind is caused by penicillium candidum bacterium which is added to promote ripening of cheese. Another cheese having bloomy rind is Italy’s La Tur which gets is crinkly rind from a mould named Geotrichum.


 


Mixed rind
Mix rind is a combination of ash and bloomy rind or washed rind and bloomy rind.


 


Now that you know how to select cheese without tasting, you need not go about tasting every cheese before buying. Buy cheese like and expert and enjoy your cheeses. Cheese rind is also edible in many cases, so try and learn out more on edible cheese rind.


 


Image courtesy: farm6.static.flickr.com 

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