Savoring the aroma of cheese does not only mean smelling its odor; when we put food in our mouths to taste, the nose is actually doing most of the work in a process called retronasal olfaction.
The temperature of the mouth, our chewing action, and the butterfat melting into our saliva release the volatile aromas from the cheese. This stimulates our olfactory receptors (our sense of smell).
Next time you feast on cheese, be reminded to engage your sense of smell to truly immerse in the taste and aroma.
Cheese tasting elicits all the senses but most of us just forget to engage our sense of smell.
This one simple trick will enhance your cheese tasting experience without a doubt.
How to Smell Your Cheese to See if It Has Gone Bad
A good way to tell if your cheese has gone bad or not is through your sense of smell because most of the taste comes from the nose than the tastebuds.
If a cheese emanates the following odors or these aromas exist, it is generally not a good sign:
These aromas are positive signs that your cheese is good:
- Fruit and hazelnuts (Abondance, Comté)
- Earthy, mushroom notes (Bries and some blue cheeses)
- Milk and leather (Sheep’s milk and matured cow’s milk cheeses)
In cheeses, the overall palette of aromas you will find are:
- Lactic aromas (fresh milk, yogurt, butter)
- Plants (hay, damp grass, garlic)
- Fruit (hazelnut, chestnut, banana)
- Toasted aromas (smoked, broiled nuts or grains, coffee)
- Animal (stables, countryside, meat stock)
- Spice (Pepper, nutmeg, mint)
- Tart and piquant aromas
Also read: Why do the French Like Raw Milk Cheese?
Did you know?
- A scent or odor is detected in the nose.
- An aroma is what is detected by the nose when the cheese is on the palate.
- Flavors are released on the tastebuds. When we speak of flavors, we refer to the five basic flavors detected by the palate: sweet, salty, acid, bitter, or umami.
Recommended book to read:
- Centamore, Adam (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 160 Pages - 10/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Quarry Books (Publisher)
Cheeses can release very distinct aromas that may be deemed a quality in some cheeses but a flaw in others.
Just because some cheese experts fall in love with a cheese does not mean you will like it too.
We have to learn find our own ‘taste’ and judge for ourselves.
Articles You Might Be Interested:
- The 4 Seasons of Cheese Production (CLIMATES)
- 4 Common Types of Animal’s Milk Used to Make Cheese
- Goat Cheese vs. Cow Cheese (THE DIFFERENCES)
- The History of Cheese 101 (TIMELINE AND FACTS)
- 35 Words Every Cheese Lover Should Know (TERMS)
Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API