Cheese is known to be one of the most fascinating dairy products. It is the curdled milk of goats, cows, sheep or other mammals. It can be found in wide variety of incarnations from the softer curds of farmer’s cheese to the much harder ones such as Parmesan.
To produce cheese, an enzyme complex produced in the stomach of mammals called rennet is introduced to milk. Rennet has an active enzyme in it called rennin and this caused the milk to separate into solid curds.
After forming the curds, they will be drained and pressed to separate them from the whey. Cottage cheese or the loosely packed curds are consumed widely and they contain little amount of whey since it is not fully drained.
Curds are usually drained as well as pressed repeatedly to remove all of the water out. And as they start to firm up, the curds turn into farmer’s cheese, a soft and easy to spread variety of cheese with mild flavor. This is the type of cheese can be freshly eaten.
Once they are pressed dry, these curds will be packed into mold and weighted. According to most people, it is where the magic of the cheese stars because depending on the diet of animals to release milk, fat content, ambient molds and bacteria, pasteurization and ripening time, different cheese products can be produced. The mold can be treated and brined in many ways for desired flavor. The flavor of the cheese can also be introduced by smoking, adding herbs or soaking in liquids like wine.
If the cheese ages longer, it will be able to develop more flavors. These cheeses are acidic and can kill any harmful bacteria. Some of the molds are found in only in specific regions or in certain cheese caves.
Cheese molds are extraordinarily complex and the efforts to type the cheese have not been successful. One single cheese may contain various types of mold and cheese from various parts of the same cave. Most gastronomists suggested that cheese is the end product of carefully controlled decay, that present smelly, colorful and gooey cheese that we are incorporating in the dishes we make.