Simply explained – cheese stinks – but why? -Kids


Cheese: For some it may smell strong, for others such a smell is a reason to leave the room. But why do certain types of cheese smell particularly strong and others not at all? And what do cheese feet have to do with it?

The smell of the cheese is not directly related to a specific ingredient. It is created during ripening.

Mold and bacteria

Cheese is made from milk. Tiny living organisms – so-called microorganisms – are added to it. These include bacteria and mold. This may sound a bit strange, but these molds do not make you sick and are added on purpose. So they are not dangerous bacteria.

Maturation and transformation

The cheese usually ripens in a cool, damp room. During this ripening period, the various components of milk – primarily protein and fat – are broken down and converted. This is where the bacteria and mold come into play because they are responsible for this decomposition.

Depending on the bacteria and mold, different substances are created that are partly responsible for the special smell and taste of various types of cheese.

The older, the “stinker”

Not only the different substances, but also the age of the cheese are responsible for the extent to which the cheese “stinks”. A young Gruyère, for example, that has only been aged for a few months does not smell as intense. After 24 months of maturation, the Gruyère smells and tastes very intense and spicy.

Holes in the Emmental

The Emmentaler is primarily world-famous for something: its holes. And these holes also arise due to the “work” of the bacteria. The gases created by these bacteria cannot escape from the cheese because of the rind. This is why cavities, i.e. holes, form.

Who makes the cheese feet?

The bacteria in the cheese are responsible for the smell and the holes in the Emmental. And related bacteria are also at work on our feet: When we sweat on our feet, bacteria break down our sweat. Some of them are related to the cheese bacteria. That’s why this decomposition produces similar substances and therefore similar smells to those of cheese.

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