Dry Aging Cheese

Beyond the realms of meat, ham, sausage, and fish lies a fifth culinary category that requires patience and a meticulously controlled environment for its intense flavours to flourish.


Enter the world of dry aging cheese, a process harmoniously known as affinage.


This enchanting intriguing French term unveils a realm of esoteric knowledge, demonstrating a deep grasp of the intricacies that transform ordinary cheese into a genuine gourmet delicacy.


Within this sophisticated process of biochemicals involving microorganisms and edible mould cultures, the circulating air surrounding the cheese plays a pivotal role in their maturation.


This is specifically where the DRY AGER™ steps in, offering an ideal setting for the affinage of cheeses from the milk of cows, sheep, and goats.


Beyond its proficiency in humidity control, temperature regulation, and optimal air circulation, the DRY AGER™ boasts reliable sanitising technology, safeguarding against potentially harmful cultures.


Unlike meats that go through dry aging, which entails moisture reduction, dry affinage for cheese operates more like a HUMID AGER.


Throughout the aging process of medium-sized, semi-hard varieties such as Gouda, Cheddar, Pecorino, or Manchego, the cheese, time, and the DRY AGER™ are the sole companions needed.


This particular dry affinage technique not only inhibits the drying-out process but also adds a layer of protection akin to a shield against undesirable moulds.


Routine care involves turning and flipping the cheese wheel, with routine brushing to remove any mould forming outside the rind. The DRY AGER™’s special aging programs cater to both hard and soft cheeses, optimising conditions for the microorganisms within to unveil the cheese’s full, flavour potential.


While whole rounds of cheese are recommended for this process, large cuts of a wheel or half wheels are also suitable, though they demand meticulous attention due to their vulnerability to unwanted germs or mould spores.


Special care tips include occasional olive oil washes for Pecorino and Parmesan, or saltwater washes for Gouda, primarily for preservation rather than flavor enhancement.


The determination of a cheese’s perfectly aged stage depends largely on the thickness of the cheese wheel, as maturation occurs from the outside in.


From Emmental to Comte, larger wheels may necessitate up to three years, whereas smaller, pre-ripened varieties can achieve perfection in the DRY AGER™ within three to four weeks.


For further insights, refer to specialist websites, artisan cheesemakers, or cheese bloggers for a deeper understanding of this fascinating craft.

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