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06:44 May 30, 2001
English to Malay translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: cheese
A Guide to soft cheese

The hundreds of varieties of soft cheese range from Port-Salut to aromatic gaperon, and from creamy Brie to most, crumbly goat cheeses.

Cows’, goats’ and sheep’s milk are all used to make soft cheeses. Both sheep and goat cheeses have a distinctive tang, although their flavor may vary from mild to very strong. Cow’s milk cheeses are produced throughout the year, but goat and sheep cheeses are seasonal; and since the milking period falls in the warmer months of the year, these fast-ripening cheeses are not at their best in winter.

Soft cheeses owe their textures to their high moisture content-the consequence of draining the whey only partially from the curds. To achieve this result, soft cheese manufacture takes place at moderate temperatures, and little or no pressure is used to expel the whey. Unlike simple curd cheeses, all of the cheeses illustrated here have been left to ripen; they derive their individual character from moulds or bacteria that spread during the ripening process.

Soft cheeses can be grouped according to the particular type of microorganisms they harbour. The so-called “ bloomy-rind” cheeses- Brie, Camembert and many goat cheeses- develop a thick white fuzz of penicillin mould on their surfaces. The “washed-rind” type, among them Pont-I’Eveque and Livarot, have been regularly wiped with a cloth soaked in brine or some other liquid such as cider or wine to keep the cheese moist and supple and to encourage the growth of surface micro-organisms. In “blue” cheeses such as Stilton and Roquefort, a blue-green penicillin mould- often artificially added- branches out from the centre through the tiny fissures that remain in a lightly pressed cheese; holes punched in the curd help the mould to spread evenly.

When choosing soft cheeses, bear in mind that those white surface organisms ripen from the outside inwards, while the blue cheeses ripen from the inside-where the mould develops- outwards. An immature Brie has a hard, chalky centre; an immature Stilton has no blue veins near the rind. Cheeses with an ammoniac smell, brown discoloration beneath the rind or a very liquid interior are past their best or have been incorrectly ripened. Soft cheeses only remain in peak condition for a matter of days so it is advisable to buy just enough for a day or two.

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Local time: 14:27
Native speaker of: Malay
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