How cheese is made
How to make cheese step by step
Cheese making is one of the most ancient practices known. Industrial and technological advances have automated an a priori artisanal process that large and small producers still maintain.
Cheese is a solid food obtained by ripening the curd of the milk after the whey has been removed. The different varieties depend on the origin of the milk used, the production methods used and the degree of maturity reached. It may arise from the curdled milk of cows, goats, sheep, buffalo, camels, or other ruminant mammals. Beneficial bacteria are responsible for acidifying the milk, and also play an important role in defining the texture and flavour of most cheeses. Some also contain moulds, both on the outer surface and on the inside. core/classic-block Their different styles and flavours are the result of the use of different species of bacteria and moulds, different levels of cream in the milk, variations in the curing time, different treatments in their processing. Other factors include the diet of the herd and the addition of flavouring agents such as herbs, spices or smoking. Whether or not the milk is pasteurised also affects the taste.
But how is cheese made step by step?
1. Coagulation of the cheese
Once the fermented milk is obtained, renneting or coagulation takes place. This step consists of adding lactic ferments or vegetable or animal coagulants. This is when the cheese changes from liquid to solid or semi-solid. This creates a kind of curd.
2. Cutting and extraction of the whey
Once the curd has the perfect texture, we make the cut. The blades used are called “liras” and depending on the cut made and the “grains” that are generated, one cheese or another will be made. The whey is then drained and the pieces are placed in a mould which is turned upside down so that the whey drains completely. This will determine what kind of cheese we get.
3. Pressing the Cheese
After putting the product into the mould, the mass is pressed to remove the whey. core/classic-block. Sometimes a porous cloth is used to make it faster.
This is the most basic and fundamental process to preserve the product well, to allow the crust to form and to prevent micro-organisms from emerging. It also enhances the flavour and aroma.
5. Cheese ripening
In this process the cheeses are kept in ripening caves or controlled chambers where temperature, humidity, air, etc. are checked. Sometimes, so that the cheese is not deformed and ripens evenly, it is turned over or the rind is brushed and seasoned with brine.
Depending on the maturing process, we can obtain cured, semi-cured, soft or fresh cheese. The ripening process determines the flavour – strong or mild – the aroma, the shape and the consistency of the cheese. This process can take days or months depending on what we want to obtain. core/classic-block A task that seems simple but needs expert hands to get good results. Cheesemakers’ mouths are demanding and making good cheese is essential.