Mature, Maturer, Maturing. What do these terms mean exactly? Our cheese expert answers your questions so you better understand cheese making and can enjoy it fully. Love means giving …. explanations without limits. For starters, let’s open ourdictionaryto look up the definition of the word maturing: ‘last phase of cheese making ‘. It is a good start but let’s go further. Maturing a cheese is a phase of manufacturing, but it is also the art of shaping and bringing out the taste and texture of the cheese. An exceptional know-how!
What is maturing ?
It is the maturation stage of the cheese. During this period the cheese matures, develops its aromas and acquires its final texture
What does maturing consists of ?
Provide physical care to the cheese ! The maturer’s mission is to enhance the flavor of the selected milk as well as the farmer’s work.
For a relatively long period (a few days to a few years), the cheese will receive special attention. The maturer is watching ! Temperature, moisture, oxygen level, everything is set up so that they develop under the best conditions. The maturer does not stop there. He turns them over regularly. Objective: have the salt enters the dough, make the ring form and let it develop evenly. Cheese and its flavors are finally revealed in broad daylight. Taste, color, texture, everything is there!
Methods vary depending on the cheeses. For a comté wheel, maturing takes at least four months. It is dusted and flipped over regularly in cellars with a constant humidity of more than 90% (98% for some). For a golden yellow color rind and a soft to buttery dough as we love them!
The epoisses is matured by being rubbed with Marc de Bourgogne. A treatment which gives it its color, its smell and its taste and character. A delight !
The profession of cheesemonger-maturer
The cheese maturer controls quality, maturation, but also the preservation of cheeses. There is no regulation on the use of the term maturer but there are regulations governing the maturing process of the cheese. The profession of maturer requires knowledge and a solid experience to reveal the full potential of the cheeses !
For more information, please come and meet our cheese expert at a cheese tasting workshop in Paris.