Cheese - Where are all the good bits?

The best bits of hard cheese are the white specks that sparkle on the tongue and make you ratchet up to the next price or age range, and give your cheese maker more of your money.

These tasty white specks on aged cheese are the result of enzymes and other interesting things acting on complex fats that are broken down into free fatty acids. Whatever "free fatty acids"are.

I'll let you know if they turn out to be important, but compared to how important cheese is, I'm guessing they rank a distant second at best, so this is probably the last you will hear of them from me.

The result is these little crystalline bursts of awesomeness that you can see distributed around in cheeses like parmesan.

They are delicious.

Go and open the fridge or climb down into your celler now and have a look.

Better yet dig out all the crystalline bits and eat them all, and see what I mean.

Nobody else in your house will mind.

I'll wait.

See how absurdly delicious they are?


It turns out these crystals of goodness form over time as the cheese drys from the outside in. As a result, you should buy cheese from the outside of a round rather than the inside, as even though the entire cheese is the same age, the cheese on the inside hasn't "aged" as much.

Probably to do with it drying or it's exposure to air or something.

It doesn't matter. Buy the stuff nearest the rind, and nearest to the outside of the round.

But my question is...

Why dont they just make parmesan with a hole through the middle like a doughnut to allow the air into the centre?

120ThingsIn20Years is eating cheese, and thinks it should be even better.

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