diferencia entre queso curado y madurado

Difference Between Cured and Ripened Cheese

Cheese is a very common dairy product in our diet, and it's incredibly delicious! There are fresh cheeses and aged cheeses; made from sheep's, cow's, goat's, or buffalo's milk; creamier or less creamy. The variety of types and flavors is so extensive that we could eat for weeks without repeating the same cheese. But do you know the difference between cured and aged cheese?

At Enrique Tomás, we're passionate about ham, but we also love cheese, and we're going to explain it to you so that when you organize your next wine and cheese tasting, you'll leave your guests amazed!


What Is the Difference Between Cured and Aged Cheese?

The first thing to consider is that we can categorize cheeses as fresh or aged based on the time they spend curing in the drying rooms. The longer the curing period, the fattier and more intense our final product will be, and the less water it will contain. Now, let's take a closer look at them:


Fresh Cheeses

Those we know as fresh cheeses are ready to devour as soon as they are produced because, at most, they need to cure for a maximum of seven days if they weigh more than 1.5 kg.

This type of cheese must be consumed immediately because it spoils quickly, and it should always be stored in the refrigerator, preferably in an airtight container.

Some of the most popular ones are mozzarella, Queso de Burgos, or Feta cheese. They are healthier because they contain less fat and less salt.


Aged Cheeses

On the other hand, aged cheeses are those that require a curing process of between 105 and over 270 days. In other words, if they weigh 1.5 kg. or more, they need a minimum of four months of aging to be ready.

Depending on how long this period is, we can distinguish between cured, old, and extra-aged. Cured cheeses need around 100 days, old ones around 180, and extra-aged ones a total of nine months or more. As mentioned earlier, these cheeses are fattier, drier, and stronger than fresh ones, and one of their main advantages is that you can store them for a longer period than fresh cheeses.

For example, if you have a whole wheel and haven't opened it yet, no problem, you can wait a little longer because the rind will protect your product. However, if you've already started it, things change. In this case, it's important to isolate it well in an airtight container and also store it in the refrigerator.

Although it will last longer than a fresh one, it's advisable to eat it as soon as possible because, otherwise, mold may appear due to humidity. If this happens and it's only on the surface, just cut that part off, and the rest of the cheese will still be delicious!

The most popular aged cheeses include Manchego, Pecorino, or Parmesan.


Semi-Aged Cheeses

A special mention goes to semi-aged cheeses, a variety that doesn't quite fit into either the fresh or aged category. To be at their best, they require a total of 35 days of aging if they weigh more than 1.5 kg. One example of a semi-aged cheese is smoked paprika goat cheese.

So, what is the difference between cured and aged cheese? Well, as you've seen, cured cheeses are one of the three varieties of aged cheese, requiring the least time.

Now that you know, how about organizing a tasting of the different varieties?

You're in for a treat!



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