Prerequisites for this topic : The student should be familiar with the types of milk, pasteurization of milk, curdling of milk, types of micro-organisms
- Definition of Cheese
- Steps in Cheese making
- Classification of Cheese
- Varieties of Cheese and their country of origin
- Uses of Cheese in Cookery
After going through this session the student will be able to:
- explain what is cheese
- explain the steps in cheese making
- classify cheeses
- name some well known cheeses and their country of origin
- state the uses of cheese in cookery
- name some common preparations which have cheese as one of the major ingredients
The following are pictures of certain food items, some of which contain cheese as one of the ingredients. Drag and drop the pictures into the correct boxes given below
Instructions for Flash animation of above activity
- Pictures similar to the above should be used.
- Pictures should be dropped into the given boxes
- If the picture does not go into the correct box it will bounce back
- Burger, Macaroni & Cheese, Pizza, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Vegetable au Gratin, Quiche Lorraine & Palak Paneer should go into the box of food items containing cheese
- Macaroni Salad, Cucumber Sandwiches, Shepherd’s pie and Russian Salad should go into the box of food items not containing cheese
Many different types of cheeses have been used to prepare the above dishes. Some of them have been shown below.
After the above exercise you must have realized that cheese is a part of many dishes. Have you ever wondered what it is and how it is made ?
What is Cheese?
Cheese is a nutritious food which is prepared from the milk of cow’s, but also the milk of other mammals such as goats, sheep, buffalo, asses, camels, yaks, reindeer and mares.
There are 100’s of different types of natural cheeses and each is made using the same basic principle of coagulating the milk protein to form curds and separating the curds from whey. Typically the milk is acidified by addition of an acid or of a starter culture of bacteria which convert lactose to lactic acid . Then the enzyme rennet may be added which causes coagulation of milk. The solids are separated and pressed into the final form. Some cheeses have moulds on the rind or throughout.
The different types of cheeses arise from the variations in the type of milk, amount of fat, bacterial culture used, whether they are ripened or unripened and the processing conditions.
Cheese has a better shelf life than milk and is also a good source of protein, fats, calcium and phosphorus
Steps in Cheese Making
There are many different types of natural cheeses produced varying in colour, texture, size and flavor. However, the basic cheese making process is common to all.
A typical cheese making process for natural cheeses has been described briefly below
1.Acidification :The milk used could either be raw or pasteurized depending on the type of cheese to be made. The milk is first tested for acidity and then made sour by adding a starter culture ie bacteria which convert lactose to lactic acid.
2.Coagulation : Rennet i.e enzyme from the stomach of calves is added which causes the milk to curdle
3. Cutting: The curds are stirred, or cut using a knife or tool resembling a rake and allowed to settle. The liquid whey is then run off .Generally, smaller the curds are cut, the harder is the cheese. Soft cheeses are hardly cut at all. Harder cheeses may further be cooked as cooking changes the texture, making it tender rather than crumbly.
4. Salting : The curds are ground and salted. Salt adds flavor and also acts as a preservative so that cheese does not spoil during the long months or years of ageing.
5.Shaping: The cheese is put into a container or mould to form it into a specific shape and a skin or rind is allowed form . If a hard cheese is being made, further pressure is applied in order to squeeze out more of the whey
6. Ripening or Curing : When set the cheese is removed and kept in a special room where temperature and humidity is controlled in order to mature and develop flavor. This is known as ripening or curing or ageing. For some cheeses mould is introduced, either by spraying onto the cheese or injecting it into the cheese.
Ripening or ageing is an optional step and many cheeses are not aged. For example cream cheese, cottage cheese.
and study the diagram on the process of cheese making.
You may click on the following and watch videos on cheese making.
|Arrange in steps in cheese making in the correct sequence|
Instructions for flash animation
1.The names of the steps should be dragged and dropped in the correct sequence in the boxes.
2. If it is in the correct box it will remain there , if not it will fade away.
3.The correct sequence is as follows:
1.Acidification 2.Coagulation 3.Cutting 4.Salting 5.Shaping 6.Ripening
Classification of Cheese
Cheeses may broadly classified as per the following diagram.
Classification of Natural Cheeses Based on Moisture Content
Blue Vein Cheeses : They are characterized by a network of green blue veins of mould throughout the body of the cheese. They include varieties such as Stilton, Roquefort, Gorgonzola.
To understand the difference between natural cheeses described above and processed cheese click on the following
Uses of Cheese in Cookery
Cheeses are used for :
- Sandwich fillings
- Topping for Pizza, Pasta
- Garnish for Soups
- Eaten by itself for example as a selection of cheeses on a cheese board
The type of cheese would also decide the use of the cheese. For example Cream cheese is a type of cheese which is not aged or ripened and is meant to be eaten fresh. It is soft & creamy and used in savoury snacks, cheesecakes and salads. Other soft cheeses which have a mild flavor can be used in omelettes or even as pasta fillings and in dips .
Semi- hard cheeses have a stronger flavor and may be used in casseroles and for certain kinds of meat. Mozzarella is used particularly on pizzas.
Hard cheeses such as Parmesan can be grated and used is a topping for pasta
Cheeses and their Country of Origin
Cheeses originate in several countries and the specific flavor of the cheese depends on the country of origin. For example, the famous Swiss cheese is originally from Switzerland and it is characterized by holes known as eyes.
Feta cheese is a Greek cheese made with a combination of goats and sheep milk which is ripened for several months and has a salty and tangy flavor. Cheddar cheese originated in the English village of Cheddar.
Given below are the names of some of the famous cheeses or Europe. Drag & drop the names of the cheeses according to their country of origin.
Instructions for flash animation
- The individual names of the cheeses to be dragged and dropped onto the countries shown on the map.
- If it is not dragged onto the correct country it should bounce back
- The correct answers are as follows.
United Kingdom – Stilton, Cheshire, Cheddar, Cream
France – Brie, Camembert, Roquefort,
Switzerland – Emmental, Gruyere, Swiss
Greece – Feta
Italy – Mascarpone, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Ricotta
Netherlands – Gouda, Edam
Cheese is a product prepared from milk by curdling milk with acid, bacteria or rennet enzyme and then undergoing further processing.
There are many different cheeses as a result of the variation in the making and curing of each variety after initial curdling has taken place. They are generally classified into 4 categories – Soft, Semi-hard, Hard, and Blue vein Cheeses.
Cheese is used in a number of dishes in cookery- in fillings, sauces, salads as a garnish and as a component of many dishes.
- What type of cheese is the following
- Blue vein
- Edam Cheese is from
- The process of keeping cheese in special rooms with controlled humidity and temperature in order to mature and develop flavor is
- Soft cheeses which are not aged such as cream cheese
- Have a shelf life of a few days
- Have a shelf life of several days
- Have a shelf life of several months
- Parmesan is an example of
- Soft Cheese
- Hard Cheese
- Semi-Hard Cheese
- Blue vein cheese
- Find out the names of 3 products each prepared from cheese in the following categories
- Main Course
- Find out more about the different cheeses of the world by referring to the following websites