In an interview with José Manuel Escorial, President of the Spanish Association of Cheese Tasters and expert taster of different foods such as chocolate, oil or beer among others, we obtain the keys to make a proper tasting of a cheese.
As the expert tells us, sight is the first organ involved in a tasting, through it we can appreciate and know what a cheese is like externally, appreciate that it is not deformed by a blow or a bad cure. Then we cut the cheese in half and examine its interior.
We examine the entire surface of the cut, depending on the cheese will present a smooth surface, holes or cracks among other features. A cheese may or may not admit eyes (holes), the example of Manchego cheese is shown by the expert, it must have very small eyes and should not be uniform, if not, there has been an error in the preparation. An example that we add is about goat's curl cheese, it should present a homogeneous, compact and smooth surface to the cut, but on occasion, when the requested portion is cut, a thick crack appears in the center of the cheese, this indicates that it was not completely cured and they were already starting to market them, although it can also be produced by transport blows, but that will depend on the interior texture.
Returning to the subject, the nose is a determining and varied aspect, as the expert taster indicates, there are not many kinds of flavors but a great infinity of smells. Then we go to the palate phase, through which we can see if it has matured properly with the necessary time or on the contrary if it has cooled rapidly, a situation that is known because the cheese has a kind of edge or halo around the crust .
José Manuel Escorial indicates that it is preferable that there is no such halo or failing that it is tiny. The tasting of a cheese requires extensive knowledge about many aspects of the different existing cheeses, and as with other products such as wine, experience and knowledge allow a fair tasting.