How is cheese made?
Cheese is made by adding a starter culture and rennet to milk. The starter culture helps convert lactose in the milk to lactic acid which gives the cheese its flavor. And the rennet enzymes in cheese help to coagulate the milk and separate the liquid whey from the solid curd which will eventually become cheese. The curd may be salted, brined, pulled, stacked, pierced with steel rods, or cut into pieces to create different kinds of cheeses. Finally, the curd is shaped, formed, or pressed into a cheese mold to dry and age.
Why do some cheeses have rinds?
Cheese rinds are formed by bacteria or mold that grows on the exterior cheese, or by exposure to air that forms a thin crust on the outside of the cheese. Most rinds are edible.
How is parmesan cheese made?
Parmesan cheese is made like other cheeses, where milk is coagulated to separate the curd from the whey. The parmesan curd is broken up into small pieces to extract more moisture and then pressed into large wheels and immersed in a salt brine for several weeks to give it its signature flavor. The cheese is aged for 12 to 36 months to allow the flavor to develop.
How is feta cheese made?
Feta cheese is a fresh cheese that's traditionally made from sheep's milk or from a combination of sheep's and goat's milk, though many cheesemakers today use cow's milk as well. After separating the curd from the whey, feta cheese is cut into small blocks and salted and dried for several days. It's then submerged in a salt brine for several weeks before it is ready for consumption.
Is it safe to make cheese at home?
Cheesemaking at home can be safe if you follow proper food safety guidelines. It's important to do your research here, as allowing the wrong kind of bacteria in your cheese can harmful. That's why, in Wisconsin, every cheesemaker is required to be licensed, ensuring that they understand and follow the highest standards of food safety.