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Cheese Vocabualry


Acidic: A tart flavor caused by lactic acid.

Ammoniated: When past prime, some cheeses develop a smell and taste of ammonia.

Bitter: Sharp, sometimes disagreeable.

Buttery: High in fat and/or has a slightly sweet, butter flavor.

Caramely: Tastes similar to caramel.

Creamy: Thick, and tastes of cream.

Earthy: Rustic, grassy flavors and aromas.

Flowery: Has flavors reminiscent of flowers/plants.

Fruity: Has flavors reminiscent of fruits.

Gamey/Barnyardy: A taste that strongly reflects its animal source.

Mild: A gentle, unassuming flavor.

Milky: When a cheese still tastes like its original source.

Mushroomy: An earthy, almost meaty taste reminiscent of mushrooms.

Nutty: A nutty flavor, usually hazelnut.

Piquant: Pleasantly sharp or spicy.

Rich: Complex taste with depth.

Salty: High in salt content.

Sharp: Biting and strong.

Smokey: Has a faint smoked/smokey taste. 

Strong: A powerful, penetrating flavor.

Sweet: A hint of sweetness.

Tangy: A slightly acidic, distinctive flavor.

Umami: A savory flavor that some foods have.



Brittle: Hard in texture but breaks easily.

Buttery: High in fat content, tasting similar to butter.

Chalky: Dry and fine in mouthfeel.

Chewy: Dense, tough, takes time to chew.

Close: Well packed, seamless, and smooth.

Creamy: Thick, smooth, and buttery in flavor.

Crumbly: Breaks apart easily into small, solid pieces.

Crystalline: Contains small butterfat crystals in the paste.

Dense: Compacted and thick.

Dry: Low moisture content.

Firm: Dense, well packed, stable. 

Flaky: Breaks apart easily into thin pieces.

Grainy: Gritty, textured, containing small bumps.

Oily: Visible/tastable oil.

Open: Not fully bonded, doesn’t mold well, contains openings.

Runny: Somewhat liquid.

Smooth: Has consistent and minimal texture.

Soft: Responds easily to pressure.

Spreadable: Easily spread with a utensil across a surface.

Springy: When squeezed, quickly returns to its original shape.

Sticky: Gluey, clings to surfaces.

Supple: Bendable, moldable, flexible.

Affinage: The process of aging or ripening cheese.

Annatto: A vegetable dye used to give cheeses an orange color.

Aromatic: A cheese with a strong smell.

Artisanal: Cheese made with traditional methods, by hand, in small batches.

Eyes: Holes in the body of cheese.

Farmstead: Cheese made from a farm’s own milk.

Mouthfeel: The physical feel of the cheese in the mouth.

Paste: The interior of all cheeses.

Terroir: The tiny details and characteristics unique to the location a cheese is made in.

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