Cheese production

Step 8: Ripening

The conditions of the ripening process cause cheese to naturally produce gas. The gas produced creates holes within the cheese which give certain cheeses their distinctive character and appearance. In the case of Gouda and Edam cheese these small holes are distributed throughout the cheese. Maasdam cheese has much larger holes which is why a lot of people also refer to it as ‘holey cheese’. Incidentally, the bigger the holes, the sweeter the cheese tastes.

 

Frico cheeses undergo a ripening period that varies depending on their variety:

Gouda

Length of ripening process

Mild

Minimum of 4 weeks

Mature

8 – 12 weeks

Extra Mature

26 weeks

 


The end of the ripening process

Once a cheese has matured enough to be sold the ripening process is halted. The cheese is immersed in a paraffin bath to seal it off from the outside air. This ensures that the cheese is no longer able to breath, as a result of which the ripening process automatically stops. In addition, the paraffin layer forms a protective shield against dehydration and mould. This way Frico can guarantee that the cheese retains, over a considerable period of time, a quality flavour and texture.