Cheese Fest

We love cheese


Like all specialist subjects, cheese comes with its own language. Here are meanings to some of the more obscure words.

Aged Fresh Cheese

It sounds like a contradiction in terms. How can something be both fresh and aged? However, fresh cheese, is manufactured in a slightly different way and although is normally eaten fresh (hence the name) can be stored for up to a month or so.


A natural orange food colourant made from the fruits of achiote tree. It is used to give cheeses like Double Gloucester and Red Leicester their orange / red colour. I may also be added to the wash to give a cheese a pleasing orange rind. Funnily enough, during the middle ages, annatto was added to poorer quality cheese to make them look more yellow, like the better cheeses of the day.


Appellation D‘origine Contrôlée – A French certification that indicates that a product is manufactured within its assigned geographical region and in accordance with traditional methods.


Brebis is the French word for sheep or ewe, but is often used to refer to a sheep’s cheese.


The solids that are produced by the curding process. This is used to manufacture the cheese once the whey has been drawn off. (Although some cheeses are made with the whey ie. Ricotta).


Denominazione di Origine Protetta – The Italian certification of product geographical and traditional authenticity. Equivalent to France’s AOC.

Fresh Cheese

Fresh cheeses are normally consumed within days or hours after production. Examples are Ricotta and cottage cheese. They differ from other cheeses because they are made with the whey left over from the production of other cheeses. Typically, because this is the second curdling, fresh cheeses are low in fat.


The Italian word for sheep’s cheese.


Rennet is a liquid containing enzymes that start the curdling process. Traditionally rennet is produced from the lining of calves stomachs, but there are vegetarian alternatives available.

Triple Cream

A cheese that contains more than 75% fat… not for those on a diet.


A wheel of cheese which is taller than it is wide. In shops, a truckle normally refers to a, quite small, whole cheese that may be sold as such. Although in manufacturing terms, truckles can weigh up to about 25Kg, not something you’d pop in the shopping basket.


The art of divination through studying the coagulation of cheese.


A method of treating cheese during maturation. Washing involves brushing with or dipping cheeses into brine, wine, beer, water flavoured with herbs, etc. This can be done once, twice or many times during the maturation process. This often gives these cheeses a very unique flavour and very often a very strong smell.


A whole round cheese. Normally wheels are wider than they are tall.


The liquid that is drained off when the milk is curdled. Whey is a whitish, translucent, watery liquid containing mainly water, with some sugars, vitamins and simple proteins. Although whey can be used to make other products (including some cheeses like Ricotta), very often the whey is discarded during the cheese making process.