What makes it a soft ripened cheese? Soft – high moisture curds Primary ripening (acidification) with bacterial culture Shaped in molds/hoops but not pressed Secondary ripening with fungal mold – from the outside in “Bloomy” or wrinkly exterior Perishable – brief time window of perfection All about flavor – not a milk preservation method
Types and styles Fully ripened (brie, camembert) – Thin profile enables full paste ripening before spoilage Chalky core (humbolt fog, gratte paille) – Thick profile retards mold ripening of center Surface ripened – Lower moisture inhibits spoilage as cheese ages/dries Cow, goat, sheep and mixed-milk varieties Majority from France, some in Spain, Italy, Germany, US, UK Other common features: – Vegetable ash – encourages mold, discourages bacteria. Most common on goat cheese.
Examples – Provided by Mary Palmer Taste Artisan Cheese! Brie de Meaux Whole cow’s milk France Explorateur Triple cream cow’s milk France Humboldt Fog Goat’s milk Ash midline and exterior dusting Sonoma, California Monte Enebro Goat’s milk Blue mold ripened Spain