Cheese: characteristics and fat content of different varieties

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  • Cheese: characteristics and fat content of different varieties
  • How much fat is in the cheese?

Whether on bread, as a snack for wine or for baking, cheese enjoys great popularity with the Germans. Cheese consumption has risen steadily in the last decade. In 2016, every German consumed an average of 23.63 kilograms of cheese. Cheese is a very valuable part of the daily diet because it contains protein, fat, carbohydrates and calcium as well as many vitamins. It does not matter if you like your cheese fine and mild in the aroma or if you prefer it hearty. Here only the taste and smell nerves are decisive.

How to differentiate cheeses

Cheese is going to five different criteria distinguished:

  1. type of milk
  2. Method of coagulation
  3. raw materials
  4. maturation
  5. consistency

1. Milk: Which milk is cheese made from?

In our region cheese is primarily made cow's milk manufactured. However, specialties are becoming increasingly popular Sheep, goat and buffalo milk. For example, mozzarella is becoming increasingly popular. Originally, this is a cheese specialty from Italy, which is made from buffalo milk. However, Mozzarella is predominantly offered as a cow's milk product that tastes much milder than the original.

2. Coagulation method - rennet or lactic acid bacteria

The basis of cheese production is based on the "Thickening" the milk. This process can be done by using lab or lactic acid bacteria. The protein coagulates and the milk thickens. It then creates the so-called Labkäse, to which the majority of cheeses belongs, or sour milk cheese such as hand and basket cheese.

Who pays attention to the fat content of cheese, by the way, well served with sour milk cheese. It always belongs to the types of cheese of the lean stage (under ten per cent fat in the dry mass).

Lab is an enzyme that occurs in calf stomachs and causes milk protein to clot. In addition to an animal lab from calf stomach, the enzyme can today also be obtained from microorganisms or molds and from genetically modified bacteria.

3. Raw materials: raw milk or pasteurized?

This is usually before the milk is thickened pasteurized, That is heated to about 75 degrees Celsius for a few seconds to make the product last longer and harmless unwanted microorganisms. In the production of raw milk cheese however, the milk is not pasteurized but only heated to a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius.

As a result, both naturally occurring microorganisms, which are important for the flavoring and maturation of the cheese, as well as unwanted bacteria from the raw milk in the cheese pass. These include the Listeria. These are bacteria that can trigger the so-called listeriosis, a disease that can lead to death and premature birth in pregnancy. Raw milk cheese must be marked "from raw milk".

Many cheeses, originally known as raw milk cheese (for example, Parmesan and Emmental) are now also commercially available as pasteurized cheeses. If the cheese does not contain a separate "raw milk" label, it can be eaten without hesitation.

5 facts about cheese - © istockphoto, HandmadePictures

4th maturation - the duration varies

To develop the taste, aroma and appearance, every cheese has to mature. The time required for this is different from cheese to cheese. For example, Camemberts require a maturation period of one to two weeks. Edam, Gouda, Tilsiter and Edelpilzkäse mature for about five weeks. An Allgäu Emmentaler has to mature for at least three months. The only exception is the cream cheese, this does not require time for maturation.

5. Consistency: from hard cheese to soft cheese

Depending on the type of cheese, the consistency varies from spreadable cream cheese to hard cheese (for example Emmentaler, Gruyère, Parmesan).

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