top of page

How old do you like your cheese

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Cheese maturation is the scientific process which develops the flavour and texture of cheese over time. The length of this process varies between cheeses, for example, the process takes longer for a strong blue cheese compared to a mild cheddar.

I will give you an example of a cheese I used to make. A semi-soft “Brie style” washed curd cheese made with guernsey cow's milk; this cheese is matured for approximately 4 weeks and then wrapped for a further six weeks with a best-before date for consumption. The best-before date is the producer's indication to the end consumer stating when the cheese will be at its prime (item to be kept at refrigeration temperature). Any time after this date the producer feels that the product will not be at its best. This is especially evident with soft and semi-soft cheeses.

I liked to eat this cheese in the following ways;

A young cheese, 2 to 3 weeks before the producer best before date where the curd texture is firm, the rind is white powdery and fresh looking with a general robust structure throughout. The flavour is mild and in its infancy, that combined with the firmer texture was very pleasant experience.

As many weeks beyond the producers best before date as I dared. The rind will become brownie in places the whole cheese will be very soft to the touch and a bit smelly but when you cut it open all the yellow curd will ooze over your chopping board (like fondue) then you can eat it up with a spoon. The flavour being fuller and more complex.

Hard cheese never really goes off you can keep scraping and trimming the ends loving it until you eat it really. The longer the hard cheese is matured it just becomes tighter firmer potentially more crystallised and hardened; imagine a Parmesan aged for years so hard it’s like rock but lovely to grate and when melted lovely to eat.


bottom of page