Cheese, like any other food, as well as providing basic physical, chemical and microbiological elements, must also taste well. That is, it must also pass the sensory test, since the use of food is, besides providing nutrition for the body, that it also be pleasant to taste.
To discover more or less objectively if a cheese tastes well, perfectly defined tasting protocols are employed. In the case of cheese, a specialized tasting manual does not existe, however the utilization of the international UNE norms can be perfectly applicable to cheese tasting. In the tasting, we discuss the characteristics of the flavor, the aromas, the texture, the color and its aspect.
Cheese tastings are usually done by groups of trained tasters who describe the previously mentioned characteristics in a uniforme and methodical way.
There are Councils of Guarantee of Origins (Denominación de Origen) that have developed well defined sensory parameters for the optimum cheese, so that they can perform a cheese tasting with this D.O. and evaluate it more positively or negatively, depending on how close it comes to those established parameters. Other times the tastings are done in order to evaluate which cheeses have fewer defects and in which we can detect outstanding characteristics. In general, though, the easiest way is to do a tasting to discover which is the closest to a defined set of parameters.
Soon we will prepare a course for those who would like to become amateur cheese tasters.