In the past cheeses were considered poor food and served with no care, perhaps next to salami and croutons. Today people, have finally recognized the great value they have.
Like for the wine, it is necessary to observe some rules before tasting cheese. In this way, the food you bring to table becomes culture, experience and emotion.
So we want to explain some small tips to follow to taste cheese.
8 rules for cheese tasting
1. Tasting time
Cheese is a very complex food, so our senses need to be rested to taste it in the good way. The best time to taste cheese is late morning (from 10:00 to 12:00) and late afternoon (from 17:00 to 19:00). If you have guests you could serve a nice aperitif.
2. Location of tasting
Of course you don’t have to change your home or color to the walls of your kitchen to taste cheeses properly. But maybe we can help you to choose the best place to taste it. The environment should be quiet, with a temperature not too hot nor too cold. The environment should be bright but without lit colors, well aerated so there is no smell of smoking or closed.
3. Physical conditions for proper tasting
First, to taste cheese you have to be on an empty stomach. It is in vogue in many restaurants, not only gourmet, to propose cheeses at the end of the meal before the dessert. Nothing more wrong.
This habit has been borrowed from french tradition that made this choice for a very precise reason. The intensity of the flavor and smell of its cheeses.
In Italy we don’t have so many intense cheeses, so the risk of “corrupt” our dinner is much lower.
It’s also important not to drink coffee or alcohol in the minutes before the tasting, don’t smoke and avoid chewing gum.
4. Tasting time
This section only applies to those who have to open whole wheel of cheese. If you need to start a wheel of cheese, it’s important proceed to tasting as soon as possible. Exposure to light and air partly modifies the organoleptic characteristics of cheese. In addition, the most volatile olfactory characteristics may be dispersed.
5. Cheese serving temperature
The right temperature to taste the cheeses is essential. If you store them in a refrigerator you have to keep them out for a while, so that they reach the room temperature.
For fresh cheeses and soft dough, the temperature should be around 15° C. For others it must reach 20°C.
6. Correct portion
When we make a tasting with several cheeses, no matter if they are the same or different type, the size and shape must be the same. Each piece must have the crust and the correct amount is about 30 g per portion.
7. Tasting order
Of course it is nice that the cheeses to taste are of different typologies and seasonings.
So if you want to serve together cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s cheeses make attention not to exagerate. Tasting order depends on intensity of smell and taste. You have to starts with cheeses with less intense flavor to end up with those of the most decided taste, keeping them separate for families. Unless you have herbaceous tasting such as gorgonzola, or “Moena’ s puzzone”, you have to starts with the vaccines and ends with the goat’s cheese. The order to be respected in each family is given by the degree of maturation. You start from the fresh to get to the seasoned ones. If there are herbaceous, it is important that these are tasted at last.
8. How to taste
When you have a piece of cheese in front of you, start to taste from the heart, which has a more delicate taste and end to the external part, certainly more flavorful.
Now you have a few good tips to surprise your guests transforming conviviality into an experience.