What is rennet?
Rennet was traditionally a complex set of enzymes harvested from the fourth stomach of young ruminant animals. The enzymes have a natural coagulating power and are used to curdle the milk, causing the casein protein in the milk to cling together and to separate the curd from whey. Today, rennet is also made from plants, microbes, and genetically modified DNA of ruminant animals.
What is starter culture?
Starter cultures are the bacteria that start the transformation of milk into cheese. The bacteria turn the natural lactose sugar in milk into lactic acid which begins to curdle the milk. By reducing lactose sugar in milk, the starter culture also prevents the growth of bad bacteria which need lactose sugar to thrive. The type of starter culture used in milk will have a significant impact on the eventual flavor, aroma, and texture of the cheese.
What is cave-aged cheese?
Some cheeses are aged in caves where the consistent temperature and humidity are ideal for producing certain varieties.
What is smoked cheese?
Smoked cheese is a cheese that is exposed to smoke from a wood-burning fire to add flavor. Smoked cheese will also last longer without refrigeration.