Equilibrium, aroma, finish. Much like wine tastings, cheese tastings also involve specialized vocabulary, hard to grasp for the uninitiated. But help is on hand: The Taste Workshop Cheese: It’s Easy to Say “Tasting,” on Friday September 20 at 7 pm, offers a straightforward lesson in how to taste cheese and use the right words to describe it, perfect for all cheese lovers, whether gourmets, restaurateurs or just enthusiastic consumers.
Led by Laurent Mons and Susan Sturman of Opus Caseus Concept, the training center for cheese and dairy professionals created by the Mons brothers, affineurs in Saint-Haon-le-Chatel in the Rhône-Alpes region of France, you’ll blind-taste five cheeses, learning the basic vocabulary for describing them perfectly. At the end, you’ll receive a free copy of a Slow Food Editore’s book.
The workshop offers a crash course in the methods and terminology of cheese production and tasting. How much do you know about smoking, for example? It’s a preservation technique used for many cheeses. Plant materials (wood, pine needles, hay) are burned, and the smoke they release is absorbed by the cheese’s superficial and internal water. And did you know that while most cheeses are made with animal rennet, a few use vegetable rennet? Extracted from fig latex, wild cardoon or yellow bedstraw flowers, it can give the cheese a slight bitter flavor. Moving on to the actual tasting, finish refers to the taste sensations that linger in the mouth after the cheese has been swallowed, while equilibrium conveys the balance between the different sensory sensations perceived during tasting. The more harmonious their relationship, the more sensorily balanced the cheese. We guarantee this will be an educational and surprise-filled workshop!