What’s a turophile, you say? Why that’s you, cheese lovers! It’s defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as, “a connoisseur of cheese” or “a cheese fancier.”
As you can see, there’s quite a few fancy cheese terms out there and we’re going to educate you. Every few days we’ll be posting some new cheese terms, so that when we discuss brining or describe a cheese as gamey in other posts, you’ll understand what we’re talking about!
Acidity, in cheese terminology, is a way of describing the tangy, tart flavor of a cheese which is caused by a concentration of acid. The correct acidity in a cheese can result in a delightfully tangy flavor. Likewise, a cheese with too high a concentration of acidity, indicated by an unpleasant sour taste, is usually a sign of defect!
While “affinage” is the science of aging cheese, an affineur [a-fi-neur] is an individual who cares for and is skilled in the art of aging cheese.
Aftertaste refers to the lasting flavor a cheese leaves on your palate. Quite a few cheeses will leave you with lingering flavors that you didn’t experience upon first bite!
Some cheeses need a little bit of time to reach their optimal flavor! Aging is the process where these cheeses are kept in carefully controlled environments for extended amounts of time until they have reached their peak flavor. When a cheese is referred to as aged, that means it’s been kept in these monitored environments for a minimum of six months, if not longer!
When a cheese is ammoniated, it emanates a scent of ammonia. A hint of this aroma is considered normal for cheeses with bloomy rinds (think brie). But anything more than a trace indicates that, sadly, your cheese has reached the end of its life. You do not want to consume a cheese that is heavily ammoniated, and it would be wise to discard it!
When a cheese is referred to as Artisanal, it means that it was crafted by hand with extra care in the tradition of the cheese maker. These cheeses are usually made in limited batches and with milk from a small, localized area. When you think artisanal, think the opposite of mass produced, and know you’re getting an outstanding, unique product!
Tune in next Monday for another set of Turophile Terms!
See other Turophile Terms!