Monday, January 30, 2012

Secondary Cultures

Secondary Cultures are often added to the acidifying, coagulated milk and curds. They can be applied to or encouraged to grow on the forming cheese. Each culture has unique flavor and texture effects, which help distinguish one cheese form another. Among them are a number of yeasts, molds, and bacteria with many strains and sub strains.

PROIONIBACTERIUM gives Swiss style cheeses certain characteristic flavors as well as holes due to carbon dioxide release in the cheeses interior.

GEOTRICHUM CANDIDUM, a white mold with yeast like traits, contributes to surface ripening of bloomy rind cheeses, as well as some washed ones.

PENICILLIUM GLAUCUM contributes dark blue-green colors and piquant flavors to Gorgonzola and other blues.

PENICILLIUM ROQUEFORTI has similar effects on Roquefort and related blues.

PENCILLIUM CAMEMBERTI which is crucial to Camembert style cheeses. It turns a young cheeses rind white at first, then changes to gray after a few days.

PENCILLIUM CANDIDUM, the equivalent for Brie types but it stays white and accounts for flavor variations.

BREVIBACTERIUM LINENS is a moist, reddish smear of bacteria that helps ripen many washed rind cheeses and tomme style cheeses.

Within each species of microorganism their are different local sub strains, which can account for subtle variations in cheeses. This is how the effect of terroir are played out at the microscopic level.

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