Cheese: Taste Terminology

Cheese: Taste Terminology

Many factors affect the flavor of cheese. The type of milk used, the animals’ feed, and the techniques of the cheese maker all combine to make the individual versions of cheese varieties unique. In other words, there are many Cheddar cheeses—although they are similar in many ways, each version provides the consumer with a unique flavor and texture profile. In addition, keep in mind that the characteristics of cheeses change with serving temperature, age, and other conditions.

The following is a general list of terms often used to describe cheeses. These terms were prepared to provide a baseline vocabulary to help you describe and discuss cheese with your customers. But there is no substitute for experience, so, according to your store’s policy, taste the cheeses you sell for yourself. Try a few of the recommended examples to experience the described flavors. Then apply this vocabulary to additional cheese varieties. Lastly, there are no “right” or “wrong” ways to describe cheese. Have fun, try new cheeses, and share your experience with your customers.