Cheese

cheesewedge2Cheeses are milk based food products that are a result of adding enzyme to milk which causes coagulation of the casein portion of the milk protein. The combination of the protein and the milkfat form the cheese curd. Curds are then formed in to the final cheese product. Cheese is typically made from cow, goat, buffalo or sheep milk. There are several methods to processing cheese curd, all of which typically involve draining or pressing the curd to remove the whey. After removal of the whey other techniques that influence flavor and texture are:

Stretching (Mozzarella, Provolone): Curd is stretched and kneaded in hot water, developing a stringy, fibrous body.

Cheddaring: (Cheddar, other English cheeses) the cut curd is piled or “stacked” up and as the pile increase, moisture is pushed away. The curd is also mixed (or milled) which involves stirring or turning of the curd to take the sharp edges off the cut curd pieces.

Washing: (Edam, Gouda, and Colby) the curds are washed in warm water which results in lower acidity and more mild tasting cheese. 

Processed Cheese

cheesewedge2Pasteurized processed cheese is a cheese made by heating and blending together several natural cheeses with an emulsifying agent excluding certain cheeses such as cream cheese and cottage cheese. However, Pasteurized Cheese may contain one or more specified “optional ingredients” (includes both dairy and nondairy items). Moisture and fat content percentage requirements vary according to standards for constituent cheeses, but in most cases fat content must be 47% or greater.