Cheese EDU: Taste Cheese Like A Pro
Are you a cheese enthusiast or secretly aspire to be? Wondering where to begin?
Doing your own cheese tasting is one of the best places to begin (and the most rewarding;).
It's not only what you experience when you put cheese in your mouth that matters. We experience flavors as much with our nose as we do with our tongue. This is why we smell wine before sipping it for the first time and why professionals treat cheese exactly the same way. In essence, the combination between the two senses is what makes up your palate.
Tip: If you are truly on a mission to explore different cheeses as an ongoing journey, you will want to invest in a journal or cheese tasting notebook to assist you in keeping track of the different cheese experiences that you have.
1. Select 3-4 different cheeses to begin with. You may want to have them range by style, milk type, age and textures.
2. Before starting your tasting, make sure and bring your cheese to room temperature.
3. Record in your notebook the name, country, milk type and any other related important information about the cheese you will be trying.
4. Make sure you have a clean palate. It's helpful to use neutral flavored crackers, bread, apples and water in between each tasting to assist in getting the essence of only the cheese you are currently trying.
5. Before putting the cheese in your mouth you will want to smell it. Observe how strong or mellow it is, if there is something specific you recognize in the aroma and what words you would use to describe them. Write those down in your journal along with anything you have visually observed about the cheese.
6. Once you put the cheese in your mouth, try breathing through your nose as you are tasting. Since your tongue will mostly experience simple flavors, this will allow your nose to do it's job of picking up more complexity. Record this information in your journal as well.
Once you have been going through this process a handful of times, you will begin to pick up similarities between varieties as well as pick out specific flavors that you tend to be more drawn to. You will appreciate having notes to compare your new experiences to.
There are thousands of cheeses out there and so many varieties all made up in dramatically different ways. This puts cheese enthusiasts on a never ending tasty exploration.