Aged to Perfection: The Delicious Art and Science of Cheese Aging
Posted by gmv on 7/18/2023 to Cheese
Hey cheese aficionados, gather around! Today, we're delving into the fascinating world of cheese aging, where science meets gastronomy. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the exquisite aged cheeses from Simply Cheese—allow us to take you on a flavorful journey featuring their heavenly asiago, parmesan, and the ever-popular Fly Away Cheddar.
But first, let's explore the scientific wonders that unfold during the cheese aging process. Brace yourself for a fusion of culinary expertise and the magic of microbial transformation.
When cheese is freshly made, it's packed with moisture, milk sugars, proteins, and a plethora of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Aging cheese is a controlled process that provides the perfect environment for these microorganisms to work their flavorful wonders.
As the cheese ages, various chemical reactions occur, transforming its taste, texture, and aroma. Let's break down the science behind some key aspects:
Proteolysis: Enzymes present in the cheese gradually break down proteins into smaller fragments. This process, known as proteolysis, contributes to the development of complex flavors and the formation of savory compounds, such as amino acids and peptides. That's why aged cheeses often have more pronounced and robust flavors.
Lipolysis: Fats present in cheese undergo lipolysis, which leads to the release of fatty acids. These fatty acids contribute to the cheese's aroma and mouthfeel, enhancing its overall flavor profile.
Microbial Magic: The microorganisms within the cheese play a crucial role in aging. Bacteria consume lactose, the milk sugar, producing lactic acid as a byproduct. This acidification process not only contributes to flavor development but also alters the cheese's texture. Meanwhile, molds, such as those found in blue cheeses, create unique blue veins, adding a delightful tangy taste.
Moisture Regulation: Aging involves controlling the cheese's moisture content. Through evaporation and exposure to air, moisture gradually dissipates, leading to a denser texture and a concentration of flavors. Cheese artisans carefully monitor and adjust the aging conditions to strike the perfect balance between moisture loss and flavor development.
Now that we've unraveled the science behind cheese aging, let's indulge in Simply Cheese's extraordinary selection of aged cheeses:
Asiago: Originally hailing from the Veneto region of Italy, Middlefield's asiago is a true masterpiece. Aged to perfection, this cheese boasts a rich, nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Its firm texture adds a delightful bite, making it a versatile choice for grating over pasta or enjoying on a cheese board.
Parmesan: Ah, parmesan—the king of aged cheeses. Middlefield takes this timeless classic to new heights with their expert aging techniques. With its unmistakable sharpness and crystalline texture, their parmesan is a showstopper. Grate it generously over pasta, shave it onto salads, or savor it on its own for an explosion of savory delight.
Fly Away Cheddar: Brace yourself for a cheese adventure like no other with Middlefield's aged Fly Away Cheddar. This cheddar, matured to perfection, is a flavor explosion waiting to happen. With its complex, tangy taste and crumbly texture, it's a crowd-pleaser at any gathering. From cheese platters to gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, the Fly Away Cheddar is bound to take your taste buds on a joyride.
Whether you're a cheese connoisseur or a curious cheese novice, Simply Cheese's asiago, parmesan, and Fly Away Cheddar are must-have experiences. Let their aged creations transport you to a realm of exquisite flavors, where the scientific wonders of cheese aging unfold in every bite.