Borrowed from The Nibble for educational purposes.
Here are descriptive terms for cheese. Different cheeses have specific characteristics. For example:
- A fresh can be milk white, floral or herbaceous, moist and soft.
- A Roquefort can be ivory, sweet, salty, pungent, mildly acidic, complex, creamy and crumbly.
- A Brie can be ivory, buttery, mushroomy, elastic and melting.
- An aged Cheddar is deep yellow, crumbly, moist, sharp and peppery.
hay, pale hay, rich hay; white, milk white, chalky white, ivory; yellow, yellow gold, deep yellow, orange
bicolore, bleached (for rindless cheeeses) brown, dull, faded, mottled
Aroma & Flavor
acid(1), barnyardy, bold, buttery, clean, earthy, flat, floral, fragrant, fruity (and particular fruits, e.g. blackberry in Robuchon and plum in Comté), gamey, goaty, hay, herbaceous, intense, mild, mushroomy, nutty, pasture, peppery, persistent, pungent, milky, salty, satiny, sharp, sheepy, silky, straw, sweet, tart, typical, well balanced
Aroma: ammoniated(2), sour, spoiled
Flavor: astringent(3), bitter(4), biting, chemical(5), fermented, flat, mealy, metallic, oversalty, pungent, putrid, rancid, , soapy, sour, sulfurous, unbalanced, weak
coarse, compact, crumbly, elastic, fibrous, firm, flaky, grainy(6), hard, moist, rubbery, soft, smooth, sticky
mealy, oily, pasty, waxy
buttery, chewy, creamy, finely granular, melting, soft, sticky
chalky, grainy, gummy, sandy
(1) A pleasant tang and sourish flavor due to a concentration of acid.
(2) Ammoniated or ammoniacal designates the heavy smell or of ammonia as a result of being overripe or mishandled (i.e., held at fluctuating temperatures). This condition can afflict bloomy rinds, such as Brie, Camembert and some chèvres. A hint of ammonia is not objectionable, but heavy ammoniation is.
(3) A harsh taste with a puckery, almost medicinal quality.
(4) An unpleasant, biting flavor, usually a bitter aftertaste, sometimes associated with variations in manufacturing and curing or aging procedures in high-moisture content cheese.
(5) An aroma or flavor taint which usually indicates improper manufacturing or contamination with foreign materials.
(6) Grainy is a characteristic of grating cheeses; it’s desirable in those cheeses and a flaw in others.