Have you wondered why organic cheeses are tastier than industrially produced cheeses? Read about the controlled cheese-making process that brings forth valuable milk products.
In the first part of our article, we will tell you about types of ripened cheeses and stages of their production, and later you will learn about differences between organic and industrial cheeses. This will help you appreciate aromatic ripened cheeses from certified EU farms!
We appreciate semi-hard pressed rennet cheeses for their distinctive taste and a variety of their uses. We use them as snacks, an addition to dishes or fondue. Cow’s and goat’s milk products can be made in every season of the year, and sheep milk products can be made only in spring, summerand early autumn[i]. Do you know what types of long-ripening cheeses can we distinguish?
They are divided into very hard, hard, semi-soft and soft cheeses. Their hardness depends on the seasoning period. Products with a shorter ripening period (e.g., 4 months) are softer and more delicate in taste. Those with a longer seasoning time (up to a few years) have a distinctive spicy taste and are hard.[ii]
One of the most recognisable Polish cheese is called ‘oscypek’. It is a traditional hard smoked cheese, made from the milk of the Polish Mountain Sheep breed, sometimes with a small admixture of the milk of the Polish Red Cow breed.[iii]
The production of a majority of semi-hard pressed rennet cheeses is divided into a few stages[iv]:
1) Preparation and treatment of milk with rennet – an enzyme responsible for its solidification[v]
2) Mechanical and thermal processing of curd
3) Forming, pressing, salting
4) Seasoning (ripening) period
5) Final product cultivation
Cheeses are a source of protein, with its content ranging from 24 to 39%. The digestion of protein results in the formation of active peptides and amino acids necessary to keep the body healthy.[vi]
Ripened cheeses contain also calcium. Due to the high content of calcium (720–970 mg/100 g) and soluble vitamins D3 and K2, 50 grams of cheese fulfil 40% of the daily demand for this mineral ingredient.[vii]
Cheeses produced in organic EU territories are considerably different from industrial products. Why do they have a richer taste and aroma while being also safe?
The first reason is the ripening time. For organic cheeses, it is longer because producers do not use artificial enhancers, preservatives or chemicals accelerating the effect of rennet.[viii]
The quality of milk – the most important material – also matters. In organic farms, cows, sheep and goats have an adequately large area of facilities and pastures and, therefore, do not feel stress.[ix] The applicable law prohibits also the use of feeds, seeds and additions from GMOs.[x] Thanks to such regulations, we receive tasty and nutritious milk[xi]. It is the basis for excellent natural cheeses.
Controlled at every stage, the production process allows us to obtain high-quality dairy products. This is a guarantee of safe and tasty food on your table!
[i] W. Teister, Skąd się biorą prawdziwe sery?, Gość Niedzielny no. 32/2021, online version https://www.gosc.pl/doc/7030194.Skad-sie-biora-prawdziwe-sery (access: 10.03.2022)
[ii] J. Górka, Sery długodojrzewające: Premiumizacja w praktyce, Forum Mleczarskie Handel 2/2018 (87), https://www.forummleczarskie.pl/raporty/855,sery-dlugodojrzewajace (access: 10.03.2022)
[iii] Official website of the Zakopane Oscypek Museum: https://www.muzeumoscypka.pl/oscypek/poznaj-oscypka (access: 10.03.2022)
[iv] E. Mucha-Szajek, Sery podpuszczkowe, dojrzewające, wędzone: produkcja i rodzaje, website of the Mleczarskie Technologie magazine https://www.spozywczetechnologie.pl/mleko/produkcja/449/sery-podpuszczkowe-dojrzewajace-wedzone-produkcja-i-rodzaje (access: 10.03.2022)
[v] K. Jaworski, Tradycyjny wyrób sera - praktyczny przewodnik dla każdego, Local Government of the Masovia Province, publication for 2014-2020, p. 33
[vi] G. Cichosz, Sery dojrzewające kwintesencją zdrowia, AGROindustry, online magazine https://www.agroindustry.pl/index.php/2016/03/14/sery-dojrzewajace-kwintesencja-zdrowia/ (access: 10.03.2022)
[viii] Commission Regulation (EC) no. 889/2009 of 5 September 2008 (OJ L 250, 18.9.2008, p. 1), pp. 95–99
[ix] A. Litwinów, Ekologiczny chów zwierząt w świetle nowych przepisów prawnych, Radom 2020, p. 22
[x] Ibid., p. 8.
[xi] P. Wójcik, J. Walczak, Parametry jakościowe mleka w gospodarstwie ekologicznym, Wiadomości Zootechniczne, R. LI(2013), p. 78