Cheese Ripeness: How Long Does it Take?

Learn the tips and tricks to judging the ripeness of cheese so you can serve when the savory flavors are at their peak.

| June 2019

when-to-eat-aging-1 

When should you eat it?

The French measure the ripeness of Camembert in quarters, each quarter representing a week. By law, AOC Camembert is not allowed to be sold before the age of 21 days and somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks of age is regarded as the peak of maturity. However you can enjoy your cheese at any stage depending on your tastes. A young, firm cheese of 1-2 weeks old is best for cooking with and for those who prefer a milder flavor. Those who prefer a stronger flavor, thicker rind and runnier interior may prefer to leave the cheeses for 4-5 weeks before eating them. If you are maturing your white mold cheese in a kitchen refrigerator, allow up to 7 weeks for it to ripen.

Judging Ripeness

The photo below shows the progression of the ripening as the molds grow and the pH of the interior changes, altering the texture of the cheese. An unctuous bulging paste with a slight a slight hint of chalkiness at the center is the peak of ripeness. If the paste runs rather than bulges when the cheese is cut then it is past its best.

when-to-eat-aging



How do you judge ripeness when you’re selecting an uncut cheese to share with guests? If the surface of the cheese feels like the soft flesh at the base of your palm, then it is good to cut. If the surface is firm with little give in it, then it is still too young. If a cheese smells strongly of ammonia and is very loose around the edges of the skin and very soft to the touch it may be over-ripe.

How should it taste?

A properly ripened cheese should have a fresh earthy smell that uncharitable people compare to wet sports socks. We prefer the aroma of mushrooms and damp hay. It has a clean, subtle flavor some people compare to cauliflower. The flavor is mild and sweet when young, getting stronger with age.






Umansky

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR ONLINE

All-Access
Learn at Home!

Register now to get access to ALL current video workshops and prerecorded webinars plus anything new that we add through the end of 2020.

LEARN MORE





Become a Fermentation Member Today!

Fermentation

Discover how EASY and HEALTHY crafting your own money-saving fermented masterpieces can be. 

Transform mealtimes like never before and stay healthy at the same time with a one-year membership to Fermentation for only $29.95. Learn to regularly include fermented food and drinks in your diet naturally, combat bad bacteria and strengthen your immune system.

Fermentation will open up your world to the foods you can eat to improve your health. You'll learn how to make them, how they originated and what tools and ingredients you'll need to create your own delicious fermented foods and drinks. Become a member today and save as much as 25% off the newsstand price!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

fermentation