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Glossary of Terms

Affinage A french word referring to the process of maturing and ripening of cheese.
Affineur A French word referring to a person who's specialty is maturing and ripening cheese. 
Ammoniated The state an overripe cheese can fall into, indicated by the aroma and flavour of ammonia. 
Annatto A vegetable extract deriving from achiote seeds that is used to colour cheese red, orange or yellow.
Artisanal Any product made by hand. Artisanal cheese is cheese made with very little or no mechanization. 
Blanc French word for white.
Blue Mould Refers to any cheese that has blue/grey mould throughout the pate of the cheese.
Brebis The French word for a ewe, or a ewe's milk cheese. 
Brine Very salty water. 
Buche The French word for log. 
Cendre Denotes the coating of cheese with dark ash. Commonly seen on young goats milk cheeses. 
Chevre Chevre is the French word for goat. It is often used to describe young goats milk cheeses. Chevre typically has no rind or a rind of ash.
Coagulation The clotting of milk, usually by the addition of rennet.
Curd The coagulated fats and other solids produced from milk by natural ripening and renneting.
Dry Matter The remaining solids after all the water in a cheese has been eliminated. Usually accounts for about half of the end product in a piece of cheese.
Fat Content The amount of fat in any cheese. Fat content is determined by analising the fat in the dry matter of the cheese.
Fraiche French word for fresh.
Frais French word for fresh.
Fresh Curd Is the name for cheese that has not been ripened or aged.
Fromage French word for cheese.
Fromaggi Italian word for cheese.
Hard Cooked Refers to cheeses that have been cooked, pressed and long aged. Hard cooked cheeses need to loose as much as 70% of their moisture from the beginning of the cheese making process to fall into this category. A good example would be Parmigiano Reggiano.
Lait French word for milk.
Maturation Part of the cheese making process,when the cheese is stored at a certain temperature and humidity for a period of time to allow the flavour and texture to develop.
Pasteurised The process of controlled heating of the milk to destroy harmful or undesirable micro organisms.
Pate French word for Paste. In relation to cheese, it is everything that appears within the rind of the cheese.
Queso Spanish word for cheese.
Unpasteurised Unpasteurised milk is not heat-treated to kill organisms in the milk. In Australia cheese cannot be made with unpasteurised milk, however the importation of some unpasteurised cheeses is allowed. Examples are Roquefort, Grana Padano and Swiss Gruyere.
Rennet An enzyme used to coagulate milk during the cheesemaking process.
Semi Hard Refers to cheeses that are pressed during production to remove moisture. The end result is a cheese that can be easily sliced or grated without to much fuss. A good example would be cheddar.
Soft-ripened Type of cheese that has mould on the rind that encourages the cheese to ripen closest to the rind first, then the ripening progresses towards the middle of the cheese. Such cheeses often have a runny/flowing texture closest to the rind and are firmer in the middle.
Starter Healthy bacteria that helps to flavour the cheese and start the acidification of the milk. Specific starter cultures are used to make specific cheeses.
Stretched curd Stretched curd cheeses go through a step during the cheesemaking process when the curd is pulled and twisted. This gives the cheese a texture that is slightly stringy. In creamy stretched curd cheeses, this stringiness should hardly be detectable.
Tomme The French word for a wheel of cheese.
Triple Cream A soft-ripened cheese made with the addition of cream, which brings the fat in dry matter content up to atleast 75%.
Washed Rind Used to describe cheeses that have been washed periodically in a brine solution in order to promote rind growth and develop flavour. The rind can also be washed with water, cider, beer, spirits, wine, etc..
Whey Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese.
White Mould Refers to any soft cheese that has a rind coated in white mould.
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