A Guide to Cheese Tasting Terms

A Guide to Cheese Tasting Terms


Firm, hard, tough consistency, hard to break in fingers. When it breaks it does so in a woody manner. It is apparent at a very firm curd during draining.

Possible Causes | low fat content, lack of acid development, overheating, lack of moisture, too much salt.

Possible Solutions | 50% fat in final cheese, pH 5.3 after 3 days old, max temp 104F high fat, max100F low fat, 35% moisture content.


Cheese falls apart when sliced, or breaks into crumbs when rubbed in between fingers. Breaks like chaulk.

Possilbe Causes | Excess Acidity

Possible Solutions | Don't use over acid milk, add less starter, lessen ripening time. Cut curd sooner and into smaller pieces, heat curd higher and quicker.


You can see size and shape of original curd particles.

Possible Causes | Low moisture content which delays curing, lack of proper acid development, too much salt, too low a storage temperature.

Possible Solutions | Increase moisture content, store at 55F.


Corkiness, curdiness, excessive hardness.

Possible Causes | Lack of moisture due to excess acidity, excess rennet, excess stirring, too long drying in a warm room.

Possible Solutions | At ripening reduce acid development. Reduce starter, add rennet sooner, reduce amount of rennet, decrease heating temperature, keep acid level low.


Sandy, cheese looks and feels rough, not waxy smooth as in normal cheese.

Possible Causes | Excess acidity.

Possible Solutions | Cut down acidity.


Soft in consistancy, sticky, clings to fingers.

Possible Causes | Excess moisture, high fat content in milk, lack of acid, insufficient heating, heating to rapidly, incomplete removal of whey.

Possible Solutions | Take off soem cream, use more starter, ripen longer, add more rennet, cut curd earlier, raise temperature more slowly, heat higher.


Soft consistancy.

Possible Causes | High fat content in cheese, oil or greasy, too high moisture.

Possible Solutions | Lower moisture content.


Gassy, Undesirable flavor, round gasholes, like a sponge, cheese is swelled or puffed, curd rises to the surface of the whey, can smell difference, after cutting curd is soft.

Possible Causes | Contamination of cutures with fermenting yeasts and unwanted bacteria.

Possible Solutions | High quality milk, chemical sterilizer, check starter, pasteurize milk, ripen milk to max, heat cheese as if for a low moisture content.

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