Cheese is a widely loved delicacy. It’s easy to eat a lot of it with some crackers in a single sitting, but what about the mastered art of tasting cheese? There are a lot of steps and strategies involved when it comes to truly tasting cheese. Melbourne on the Move’s bus hire services can open up your world to a myriad of cheese tasting experiences down the Peninsula, but you’ll want to be prepared for it. So, here are some easy steps to help you get started on your cheese tasting journey.
1. Understanding your tastebuds
To understand how to properly appreciate and truly taste cheese, one must first understand their own tastebuds. The tongue can taste at least five basic tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. You may have heard of the first four but the fifth is not known to many. Umami is typically described as being “yummy”.
It was a Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda who first brought the idea of umami into the public in the late 19thcentury. Scientifically speaking, when meat is cooked or cheese is aged, the protein breaks down and turns into various other units. The idea of umami is often furthered by imagining the yummiest parts of a meal.
One of the various molecules released from the break down is named L-glutamate and is solely responsible for how we taste umami. Just like the other four tastes, we sense umami when particular taste receptors on our tongue bind with L-glutamate, sending a chemical reaction through our bodies that results in a good taste.
2. Observing the cheese
The physical shape of the cheese plays a lot into the overall taste of it as well as how it has been stored, believe it or not. Do not smell it or taste it just yet – simply observe the cheese in all its glory. Has the cheese been cut? What does the interior look like? If it’s blue cheese, observe the mould. Appreciating the physical complexity of the cheese before you can indulge in its wonders is a key part of cheese tasting.
3. Feeling the texture
Cheese can come in a variety of textures. Some cheeses have multiple textures that can be altered by temperature. To get a feel of a cheese’s texture, cut off a small sample and place it on your tongue, allowing it to sit for a moment. The cheese may soften up a little. Pay attention as you begin to slowly chew on it. Is the texture soft and gooey? Or is it a harder, crumblier texture? The more you concentrate, the more you will notice these small intricacies.
4. Taking in the aroma
Some cheeses hold a pungent smell that can envelop an entire room. Others need to be brought right up to your nose for you to get a hint of any sort of aroma. ‘Smelly cheeses’ can smell unpleasant to most but are among the best tasting. When taking in the aroma of cheese you must think about what you can sense – what does it remind you of? Is it woody, milky or grassy? Or something completely different perhaps? Each person’s tastebuds are different, so you may experience something different to the person beside you.
5. Tasting the cheese
Now that you’ve prepared yourself adequately, you can, at last, indulge in the cheese. Remember, less is more. Do not cut yourself large pieces. The larger the piece, the more chewing you’ll have to do and the more likely it is you’ll forget what the taste is like. Long, thin pieces are the preferred cut for cheese tasting.
Let the piece sit in your mouth for 8 – 10 seconds without chewing and taste the multitude of flavours contained within. Does it have a salty taste? Perhaps a meaty broth-like flavour? Let your mind wander and you’ll find what the cheese tastes like to you. Pay attention to the after-taste as well as the lingering flavours can be the best part of the cheese.
Are you looking for a bus hire service?
One of the best parts about tasting cheese is the relaxing feeling it can give you. So, if you’re looking at doing some cheese tours down the Mornington Peninsula, then why not consider a bus hire service like Melbourne on the Move! Our bus hire services are a great way to get a group of friends together and go down the peninsula for a nice relaxing day.
If you’re looking to book a bus or would like to know more about the bus hire services we offer, then please give us a call on 1300 558 686 or send us a message through our website.