A Sensory Experience
The enjoyment of cheese is a sensory experience that truly needs to be savoured using all our senses.
Firstly, as you approach a cheese, stop and take the time to observe and admire the colour, texture, surface rind, softness, crumbliness, freshness or age of the cheese.
Once you cut or pick up a piece of cheese, feel it between your fingertips,and take notice of its body, texture and temperature. Is it soft or hard, smooth or grainy?
Aromas will vary greatly from cheese to cheese depending on the style or age of the cheese. From mild and milky to full, earthy aromas that really make an impact.
Taste and Flavour
When eating a cheese, this is the time to really concentrate. Flavour is a combination of both taste and smell so take the time to savour. Can you taste salty, sweet, sour, bitter? Allow it to linger – are there any secondary-flavours?
Aged cheeses can also contain a fifth taste identified by the Japanese, called ‘umami’. Meaning delicious flavour in Japanese, it describes that meaty, savoury taste that is found in many foods including meat, broth, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Even our hearing comes into play as we subtly detect things like the crunch of crystals in aged Parmesan or the ‘squeak’ of a young cheese in the mouth.