It is truly amazing how many cheeses there are that have a very peculiar smell if not a very bad smell. However, a bad smell is not bad at all when it comes to cheese. Its not like the bad smell of sour milk, whereas it has actually gone bad, and you wouldn’t dare think of drinking it.
We all know that certain types of bacteria form in almost anything we eat, and when they go to work, its not good for the food we normally would eat, as most often times, it will make you sick. This is not the case with the kinds of bacteria that builds up in cheese. Quite often, the worse it smells, the better or more pronounced the taste.
Regardless of what does happen in the process of making a good cheese, I would say that for the most part, we wouldn’t be too quick to eat it if we were to witness the bacteria in action as the process and aging begins. There are some things that do get better with age, and cheese is one of them.
A cheese that is aged to perfection is a taste from the Gods of cheese. At your local supermarket, you can order a domestic, or imported cheese, and you can tell the difference between the two immediately. The imported was most likely aged more, and the taste is much sharper than its domestic counterpart. So what does cause this marriage of curd and bacteria that provides us with great tasting cheeses?
The most direct and shortest of reasons is what happens when it starts with a plain curd that hardly has any smell at all.
As a result of different chemicals in breaking down in the curd, like fat and protein, there are several different types of bugs, which would include bacteria, yeasts and molds, and they make “new” chemicals that change the smell and flavor of cheese.
The more a cheese ages so does its smell and taste. The holes in swiss cheese are as a result of the gases that other types of bacteria builds up in the cheese.
So when we eat cheese, do we ever think of all the complex goings on to make it taste so good and yet smell so bad?
Regardless, there’s nothing like cheese to satisfy an appetite despite what the nose tells you. To be honest, if there were no cheese, eating can be a very boring experience.