It's all about Cheese!
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Step by step
From milk to cheese
Depending on the milk used (raw milk, filtered, strained or pasteurised milk), selected starter cultures are added and pre-maturing takes place. By adding rennet, the coagulation process begins and the milk curdles.
Coagulation varies between 30 minutes and several hours depending on the type of cheese. The temperature, which usually lies between 27° C and 32 °C, has an additional influence. The product resulting from the coagulation process is also called " curd ".
3. Curd and separation of the whey
As soon as the "curd" has reached the right consistency or firmness, it is cut into pieces of different sizes depending on the type of cheese. The size of the crushed curd has a direct effect on the hardness of the finished cheese. The finer the curd is crushed, the more whey can settle and the harder the finished cheese becomes.
4. Moulds and final whey removal
If the curd reaches the desired consistency, the mass is filled into variety-specific moulds and the remaining whey is separated from the curd through various processes such as draining, turning or pressing.
5. Bathing in brine
Another important step is bathing in brine. This serves to keep away unwanted and harmful bacteria and to develop the formation of the rind.
This process is used for almost all types of cheese, except fresh cheese
This final step gives each cheese its very special character and contributes to the unmistakable taste of each variety. The cheese may rest during the maturing process. In special ripening chambers, which provide the required temperature and humidity, the loaves can be turned regularly and treated as required. During this period, which can last from a few days to weeks and months to years, the cheese develops its full aroma.
How do the holes get into the cheese?
During maturation the starter cultures, i.e. bacteria, remain active. They form organic acids and carbon dioxide during their metabolism as degradation products. The gas can no longer escape as a result of the curd being pressed and the firm cheese rind being formed. This creates small pea-sized holes in the cheese. Emmental is produced either from silage-free raw milk or thermally treated or pasteurised milk and contains additional propionic acid bacteria in addition to the starter cultures. These convert lactic acid into acetate, propionate and a lot of carbon dioxide. This results in significantly larger holes in the cheese and the cheese receives an additional sweet aroma.
Cheddar cheese originally comes from the county of Somerset in the south west of England and is a semi-hard or hard cheese.
The production of cheddar has a long tradition and is often referred to as "cheddaring". The raw milk or pasteurised milk is heated to 29-31°C and then coagulated by adding rennet and starter cultures over a period of 30-40 minutes. The subsequent scalding reduces the curd to approx. 0.5-1.5 cm and heats it to 39 °C for 20-60 minutes. This separates the whey from the curd, which is then scooped into moulds so that the whey can drip off further.
After the curd has hardened, blocks of approx. 15 cm in length are cut, left to rest for 10 minutes and then two blocks are stacked on top of each other ("stacking the loaves"). These are also allowed to rest for 10 minutes. The stacking process is repeated until the desired height is reached ("cheddaring").
It is important to turn the stacks regularly. Milling involves crushing the finished stacks again, stirring the curd to prevent it from sticking again and mixing in additional salt. The curd is then filled into moulds and pressed. The cheese is now allowed to mature for 1-15 months, sometimes longer.
Pasta Filata – Mozzarella
Mozzarella is a traditional pasta filata cheese. The name derives from the Italian "Formaggio a pasta filata" which means "cheese with spun dough". Mozzarella is made by leaving the medium-size curd to rest for a while, then removing it from the whey and blanching it with water at a temperature of around 80 °C. The curd is easy to shape with this consistency and can be kneaded, drawn and formed into small balls. Mozzarella matures for 1-3 days and is then stored in brine or whey.
The coagulation of fresh cheese is also obtained by using starter cultures and rennet. Fresh cheese does not undergo maturation and has a very high water content of approximately 73 % compared to other cheeses.
Soft cheese requires a maturing period of approx. 2-8 weeks. Depending on the type of soft cheese, maturing either takes place from the outside to the inside or takes place evenly. As the cheese matures, the quark-like consistency becomes firmer, resulting in an even, creamy-soft structure. The longer the soft cheese is allowed to mature, the more intense the aroma becomes. The surfaces of the various types of soft cheese can be provided with fungal or bacterial cultures as required.