Classification of cheeses by the processing process

FRESH CHEESE

It is the cheese that does not undergo a curing process, which is why it is the softest. In addition to not having a healing period, it has a higher percentage of water and less fat, but it is also the one that has the least hard time and which deteriorates or contaminates more easily. Coagulation can be by enzymes, lactic or mixed acid.
Fresh Spanish cheese is becoming increasingly popular, in part because it has found a place in a wide variety of salads and vegetable dishes and also because of its high nutritional value. In addition to the traditional cheese, such as Burgos cheese, a true classic that is widely consumed in Spain, the cheese makers are producing new varieties, many of them made with goat’s milk, to keep in line with consumption trends.

MATURED CHEESES

When cheeses have a very short healing period of 15 to 30 days, we call them soft. Although less percentage also have more water than others, less fat and also deteriorate more easily.
From here we can talk about cheeses that have a ripening process and depending on the time we will classify them into semi-cured, cured or old cheese.
The semicurado is left in the chamber for 2 or 3 months, it is drier than the fresh cheese but it still has more water than the ones that carry greater degree of maturation. It also has a stronger flavor and logically, by decreasing the amount of water and passing a ripening, a much harder texture.
Cured cheese has an even higher maturation that oscillates between 4 and 7 months, has very little water and is very fatty (it is the least suitable for people who are on a diet). Besides its flavor is very strong since it is greatly enhanced by ripening.
Finally the old cheese is one that has a maturation period above 7 months, has the most intense flavor and the lowest water content and the most rigid surface.
The majority of cheeses still have a long period of aging and healed until completely ready. During aging in the molds, new microbes are introduced into the cheese, intensifying its flavor. Slowly casein and fat become a complex internal network of amino acids, amines and fatty acids. It is usual in some gastronomy that after the aged, is conserved in oil.
During the curing process you can also apply other techniques of preservation and taste modification, such as increasing the salt by introducing it in salt water, smoking, or even seasoned with spices or wine.

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Montse Gonzalez