Beyond Strong and Mild

While fact-checking today’s Fromage of the Day, I stumbled onto this fine bit of advice on describing cheese appearance and flavor from a Murray’s Cheese 101 class.


This is only a partial listing of descriptions and you should not feel limited to it. As each taster has a different palate, s/he will also have a different reaction to the cheese which also evokes unique feelings and memories. At Murray’s, that’s what makes our descriptions of cheeses so creative and interesting. No two people will ever speak exactly the same way about a cheese.

APPEARANCE: smooth, snowy, rindless, bright white, fluffy, furry, brown mottling, straw colored, shiny, orange, rough, moldy, cloth-bound, craggy, glossy, pudgy, punctured, waxy, veined

AROMA: citrus, milky, hay, ammoniated, stinky, barnyardy, pungent, bodily, wet dirt, straw, nutty, grassy, herbal, leathery, fruity, wet stone, mushroomy, earthy, cave

FLAVOR: milky, lactic, tangy, lemony, mushroomy, buttery, milky, bacony, fruity, meaty, salty, grassy, earthy, dates, hazelnuts, carmelized onions, butterscotch, metallic peppery

TEXTURE: dry, dense, thick, creamy, pliable, runny, bulging, curdy, firm, elastic, hard, flaky, oozing, soft, high moisture

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About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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