Info bite: Cheese maturation and its influence on taste and consistency
Published on Thursday, 16. October 2014
The next time you buy a cheese and wonder why this time it is much softer/firmer/milder/stronger than usual, take a look at the best before date: for a cheese matures not only in our cheese dairy, it also carries on maturing long after it has left the cheese dairy and is in the supermarket or at home in your fridge.
The result is that a very young cheese (best before date is still a long way off) often has a firmer consistency and a milder taste. When it is still very young the cheese can still be very mild. In this case either put it back in the fridge and wait a while or cut off the amount you are thinking of eating and leave it to stand out at room temperature for up to an hour. Because warmth also accelerates the maturation process and intensifies the flavour.
When a cheese is approaching its best before date it achieves its best consistency and its best taste. If the cheese becomes too mature the taste is quickly too strong for some people. If you are one such person, the next time you are shopping you can look out specifically for a young cheese (best before date a long way off).