What influences refining parameters?
Finally comes the mystical stage, refining! We must understand that it is thanks to the mastery of the previous steps that refining makes sense. This is not a more important step than another but this one is sometimes more difficult to grasp.
(Photo: a fleurine Mount Combalou)
Refining is the step that should help to sell the product at its best profile. The three essential parameters to master are interdependent. This is the humidity, temperature and ventilation which shape the work of bacteria, molds, yeasts and enzymes in the curd. Four mousquetaires perform their work both on the surface and inside of the curd.
During ripening, the cheese is stored on shelves or racks called shelves, in natural caves or parts equipped with control tools of humidity and temperature. For cheese like parmesan, this step can be relatively long, up to 4 years! Another feature of this cheese, it accepts a wide temperature range during its ripening.
The cellars of the most famous refinements are perhaps those of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, where Roqueforts lie in some ways in a natural refrigerator. These cellars are indeed an almost constant temperature of 9 ° C with a humidity of 95%. These are the existing gaps in the rock of this small mountain, called fleurines, which allow naturally ventilate the cellars of Mount Combalou. This is the temperature difference between the cellar and the outside which causes a regulator air stream.
Other beautiful caves exist in the center of France, in the Jura, the Alps or the Pyrenees (see pages Places). These are areas which produce large cheeses. Indeed, before refrigeration equipment exist, it was necessary to keep milk in the mountains summer before returning in the winter valley. Producers transformed into milk fourme, or grinding wheel. Thus were born the majority of great cheeses. I encourage you to visit these secrets and exciting places that smell of milk, wood, mushrooms and damp moss.