This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
The storing of the newly made cheese is the next point that engages the attention of the maker and wholesale dealer. The same principles which influence the maturation or ripening of fermented liquors also operate here. A cool cellar, neither damp nor dry, and which is uninfluenced by change of weather or season, is commonly regarded as the best for the purpose. If possible, the temperature should on no account be permitted to exceed 50° or 52° F. at any portion of the year. An average of about 45° F. is preferable when it can be procured. A place exposed to sudden changes of temperature is as unfit for storing cheese as it is for storing beer. "The quality of Roquefort cheese, which is prepared from sheep's milk, and is very excellent, depends exclusively upon the places where the cheeses are kept after pressing and during maturation. These are cellars, communicating with mountain grottoes and caverns which are kept constantly cool, at about 41° to 42° F., by currents of air from clefts in the mountains. The value of these cellars as storehouses varies with their property of maintaining an equable and low temperature."
It will thus be seen that very slight differences in the materials, in the preparation, or in storing of the cheese, materially influence the quality and flavor of this article. The richness of the milk; the addition to or subtraction of cream from the milk; the separation of the curd from the whey with or without compression; the salting of the curd; the collection of the curd, either whole or broken, before pressing; the addition of coloring matter, as annotta or saffron, or of flavoring; the place and method of storing; and the length of time allowed for maturation, all tend to alter the taste and odor of the cheese in some or other particular, and that in a way readily perceptible to the palate of the connoisseur. No other alimentary substance appears to be so seriously affected by slight variations in the quality of the materials from which it is made, or by such apparently trifling differences in the methods of preparing.
The varieties of cheese met with in commerce are very numerous, and differ greatly from each other in richness, color, and flavor. These are commonly distinguished by names indicative of the places in which they have been manufactured, or of the quality of the materials from which they have been prepared. Thus we have Dutch, Gloucester, Stilton, skimmed milk, raw milk, cream, and other cheeses; names which explain themselves. The following are the principal varieties: