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Brined cheese

File:White brine cheese 2.jpg
Cubes of Bulgarian white brined cheese

Brined cheese, also sometimes referred to as pickled cheese for some varieties, is cheese that is matured in a solution of brine in an airtight or semi-permeable container. This process gives the cheese good stability, inhibiting bacterial growth even in hot countries.[1] Brined cheeses may be soft or hard, varying in moisture content, and in colour and flavour, according to the type of milk used; though all will be rindless, and generally taste clean, salty and acidic when fresh, developing some piquancy when aged, and most will be white.[1]

Washed-rind cheeses are periodically cured in a solution of saltwater brine and/or mold-bearing agents that may include beer, wine, brandy, and spices, making their surfaces amenable to a class of bacteria Brevibacterium linens (the reddish-orange "smear bacteria") that impart pungent odours and distinctive flavours, and produce a firm, flavourful rind around the cheese.[2]

Brined cheeses

Many varieties of brined cheeses are produced. Varieties of brined cheese include feta, halloumi, sirene and telemea, a variant of brinza.[1] Brined cheese is the main type of cheese produced and eaten in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.[3]

File:Saint-nectaire.jpg
During the aging process, Saint-Nectaire is twice washed in brine and aged on rye straw.
File:Swaledale Cheese cowsmilk.jpg
Part of the process of making Swaledale cheese involves soaking the cheese in brine for 24 hours

Additional brined cheeses include:

  • Hâlûmi resembles Cypriot halloumi, but is a different cheese. It may be eaten fresh or brined and spiced. The name comes from the Coptic word for cheese, "halum".
  • Some varieties of goat cheese are brined prior to the aging process.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c A. Y. Tamime. Brined cheeses. Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. p. 2. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Washed Rind Cheese at Practically Edible Food Encyclopedia
  3. ^ A. Y. Tamime. Feta and Related Cheeses. Woodhead Publishing, 1991. p. 9. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 

Further reading

External links