Cheese Glossary: The Letter S

Swiss Cheese

Salting

The process of adding salt to cheese! Salt can be added when the cheese is still in curd form or it can be rubbed on after the cheese is pressed, depending on which cheese it is. A salt solution can also be used. This is known as brining. Whilst some of the flavor of cheese is achieved through salting, the process also preserves the cheese.

Semi-hard

Cheeses vary from hard to soft based on their body and texture. Cheddar and Swiss are examples of semi-hard cheeses.

Semi-soft

Semi-soft cheeses are usually made from whole milk and melt when heated.

Sharp

A flavor term referring to the fully developed flavor of aged cheeses. Cheeses that might be sharp include Cheddar, Provolone and blue-veined cheeses like Danish Blue.

Smoked

Smoked cheese is produced in a similar way to smoked meats. There are various ways to do this including adding smoking over wood or adding liquid smoke to brine. We stock a wide variety of smoked cheeses.

Soft

Cheeses with a high moisture content. They are usually set with the addition of lactic acid cultures and include cheeses such as cottage cheese, mascarpone, and ricotta.

Soft-ripened

These cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, have a thin white or cream rind that is soft and edible. They are usually soft inside and have a luscious, creamy texture.

Stabilizer

An ingredient added to products, including cheese, to improve consistency and texture.

Starter

A culture that normally has varying percentages of lactic acid, bacteria or mold spores, enzymes or other microorganisms and natural chemicals. Starter cultures control the process of curdling milk during cheesemaking by converting lactose to lactic acid. They can also give the cheese particular flavor and characteristics.

Stirred-curd Cheese

These are sometimes called granular cheeses. They are made in a similar way to cheddar cheese but do not go through the cheddaring and milling process. It tends to have a higher moisture level than other cheeses. The granular aspect comes from the open look to the
cheese.

Stretched

Cheeses that have stretched curds are kneaded with hot water, which gives them a fibrous structure. The most common example would be mozzarella.

Surface-ripened

Cheeses that ripen from the outside in when a mold, yeast or bacteria is applied to the surface.

Swiss

A holey, semi-hard cheese with a creamy color, Swiss cheese has a nutty, slightly piquant flavor whilst simultaneously being somewhat creamy. The process of making Swiss cheese involves natural bacteria consuming the lactic acid in the cheese. This releases carbon dioxide gas, which forms bubbles that become the holes in the cheese. These are often referred to as “eyes”.

We hope that you continue to enjoy our cheese glossary!

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