The first tip is simple, if you forget everything I mentioned in this post but just remember this one tip, you are further than 98.79% of the population in terms of cheese tasting knowledge. Fine, I made up the percentage but you get what I mean.
Here we go:
Cheeses should be consumed in increasing order of flavor… from the gentlest flavors to the more robust.
It is wise to begin with a fresh cheese and then go on to stronger flavors and harder textures. You should always finish with blue cheeses.
Blues should be consumed last for these 2 reasons:
- It offers a nice note of freshness at the end of a tasting
- It contains Penicillium, a fungus that is good for your digestion
Tip #1: Use Cheese Color as a Guide
If no indication has been given and you are unsure which cheese has the strongest or lightest flavor then a tasting order may be hard to implement.
In this case, you should use color as a guide, tasting the paler cheeses first and moving on to the darker ones.
Look at the The Rinds
Thick, hard rinds are readily identifiable from more delicate younger cheeses: start with these fresher cheeses.
If several cheeses have similar rinds, focus on their color and opt for paler rinds before moving on to darker rinds.
Also read: Can I Eat the Rind on Cheese?
What to Do If Rinds Have the Same Thickness and Color
For soft rinds and soft cheeses:
Look at the color of their interior: cheeses with a lighter-colored interior are generally younger than others.
In terms of consistency, taste the firmer cheeses first; these will be younger and often have a heart – a drier, crumbly center – which is not necessarily a downside.
For harder and pressed cheeses:
Go for the softer ones first.
White crystals within the cheese’s hard interior are an indication of age. They are a much sought-after characteristic of mature Cheddar and Comté.
The more white crystals there are, the more mature the cheese.
Tip #2: Use Your Sense of Smell
Following your nose is another brilliant way to enhance your cheese tasting experience.
This tip, however, is not recommended for first-time cheese taster.
Begin with the creamy lactic aromas, and move on to those with earthier mushroom notes, before going for the tangy, fruity, animal, and spiced cheeses on the platter.
Also read: How to ‘Taste’ Cheese Through the Nose
The Order of Cheese Tasting
This is the order in which you should taste:
- Fresh Cheeses
- Stringy Cheeses
- Runny Cheeses
- Soft Cheeses with Natural Rinds
- Soft Cheeses with Bloomy Rinds
- Cooked Pressed Cheeses
- Uncooked Pressed Cheeses
- Flavored Cheeses
- Soft Cheeses with Washed Rinds
- Blue-veined cheeses
Tip #3: Write it Down
Journaling your tasting notes and impressions is an excellent way to help you remember what you liked and didn’t like.
Whether you are a novice or seasoned pro, keeping a cheese journal will help you pinpoint those unique and interesting flavors at a deeper level.
Note: It is important that you list down the variety and maker so you can recall better in the future.
It may feel silly at first, but keeping a journal will help you appreciate cheese better and make your cheese-tasting experience a tad more fun!
If you are fully committed, I would recommend that you invest in a quality journal.
This is the one I’m currently using:
- Handcrafted from genuine top grain leather: Each leather bound journal is specially designed and handmade from premium top grain leather. Artful hand stitching to create a timeless space for your thoughts
- Ideal size: Handheld, medium size (8 x 6 x 2 inches). Easily carry this vintage journal in your daily life and on your most exotic adventures. Features 2 bookmarks to help you easily keep track of important notes. Perfect for use as a prayer journal, writing journal, DnD notebook, poetry journal and more
- Thick lined journal paper: 240 pages of thick, natural 115GSM kraft paper. Perfect for use with many pen types. Thick paper prevents bleed through. Pages are lined with 5.5mm spacing. Note: page count is 240 pages, 120 sheets
- Tell your story: We designed this classic leatherbound journal as a time capsule for your thoughts. Capture your important memories, accomplishments (and failures), life-changing moments and evolving dreams as a keepsake to reflect upon in years to come
- A special keepsake: Give your loved ones something truly special that will last for years to come! Great for a birthday, anniversary, or graduation. The perfect leather journal for men and women
Another good option is the one I have used in the past:
- Blank Paper: No lined feature, you can draw mind maps, sketch ideas or write notes freely on the page.Perfectly work as writing journal, drawing pad, scetch book, travelers notebook, diary planner, coupon organizer, photo album and so on.
- Refillable Notebook: Take out pages that aren't important and swap in for blanks to keep filling it out.Take paper out or in easily so that you can record any instant memory no mater where and when you are.
- Leather Journal: Made of high quality PU leather,soft in hands,durable for travel or outdoor adventure.Inserts are craft paper which can keep your writing and drawing the same as beginning to help you reread easily in future.Both cover and insert work to give you a permanent memory.
- Convenient Journey Diary:Perfect size for handbag and schoolbag(5x7inch);Built-in small binder help you add refills planner,calender pages easily;Available for any pen,gel pen,pencil,ballpoint pen and so on.More surprise you will find when getting Maleden journal.
- MALEDEN Brand:Come with MALEDEN exquisite package.A perfect Birthday gift,Halloween gift,Christmas present for yourself,families and friends.
Tip 101: Cheese tasting can be quite messy at times so it is wise that you invest in a leather cover and quality paper journal so it can better protect your written notes.
I am sure you can agree that a beautiful journal will inspire you to jot down and write more.
If you come across a cheese selection with spices on the rind and/or in the interior (cumin, chiles, herbs, etc.) eat them last.
This type of cheese can dominate the palate and overwhelm any subsequent taste.
And remember, leave the blue cheese for the end. 🙂
Articles you might like:
- 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 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API