CHEESE: How to Buy, Store, Taste, Pair, Serve and Enjoy
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CHEESE: How to Buy, Store, Taste, Pair, Serve and Enjoy

Feed your passion for good food and good cooking, and share in the fruits of a 30-year love affair with Cheese
3.9 (15 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
383 students enrolled
Created by Dan Strongin
Last updated 4/2015
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  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 6 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Buy, Store, Serve, Cook with and Enjoy Natural Cheese, and impress everyone with your knowledge!
View Curriculum
  • Love for the simple things in life

CHEESE –How to Buy, Store, Taste, Pair, Talk About and Serve How to store cheese, cook, serve a cheese plate, pair cheese and wine and find the best cheese types in a Cheese Shop

[March 7, 2015: Upgraded preview video and Course image. March 8 2015: Upgraded audio on lectures 1 and 2, made more lectures previewable. Replaced partial transcript on lesson 1 with full transcript. 3/31/15 improved audio on skinny on fat lecture.]

Do you love cheese?

Whether new to cheese, or already a cheese aficionado, this course will help you deepen your knowledge and enjoyment of our most cultured, kindest food. Get the knowledge you need to buy, store, serve delicious cheese direct from former President of the American Cheese Society and 5 Star Chef Dan Strongin. Feel at home buying cheese direct on the farm, or in a store, among friends or in a restaurant when choosing cheese.


  • How to buy in any cheese shop to pick the winners with confidence
  • How best to store at home to help the flavor grow
  • How to pair cheese and wine without worry
  • How cheese is made
  • Taster without fear, better than a food snob
  • How the fat scare got it wrong and why cheese is an important part of a healthy diet, backed by science
  • and much more... so enroll now... the low introductory price will begin to rise on April 1.

Learn how to buy in any cheese shop and choose with confidence

What to look for, and what not: how to select the best possible piece with confidence.

Learn a flavor enhancing way to store cheese at home, like a mini cheese cave, and keep it better and enjoy it longer and throw less away

How to make your chosen cheese happy, scrumptious and long lasting, at home, including Cheese First Aid.

Learn the secrets of pairing and serving Wine and Cheese without worry,

without snobbery or fancy lingo. After all, it is our birthright to enjoy it.

Learn her secrets: How Cheesemakers can make thousands of types of cheese from a single source: Milk

How they can preserve the goodness of the milk over time. Since all milking animals are mothers, Cheese is the food of Love. Become the kind at cheese trivia based on a deep understanding of what it is.

Learn how to taste Cheese like a Professional, with confidence, without having to use fancy terms

Share a tasting of Brie with me using what I call the Geography of The Mouth™. Flavor on your terms; Cheese tasting for the rest of us.

Learn why a healthy diet should include cheese

I will share the hard science on why the Fat Scare has it wrong, along with the secrets of diet the World Health Organization calls the healthiest diet in the world.


Over 47 short lectures with supporting materials researched and developed by me for my clients, including the California Milk Advisory Board, helping seed the now explosive growth of Farmhouse and Artisan Cheese in the 1990's and more from others.

With the price of good cheese so high, what you will learn in this course will pay for itself many times over, saving you from the disappointment of a bad piece of cheese and helping you to keep cheese delicious longer. Loving cheese is a wonderful thing. Knowing How to love it is many times better! Seize the Cheese! Enroll Now! The price will begin rise on April 1.

Who is the target audience?
  • Any one who wants to add the joy that comes from eating cheese in the know
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
49 Lectures
Welcome to a World of Cheese
12 Lectures 35:35


In this lecture learn how cultured cheese really is, and get a sense of how deliciously colorful and romantic its' story is.


[Video of traditional Dutch Cheeses Market]

Welcome to a world of Cheesei that dates back into the earliest history of civilization.

It's no small coincidence that it is a cultured food, in the sense of taking care of things.

You don't have to kill the animal and no full calorie is more packed with nutrition than cheese.

Every traditional culture that can at least have a goat or sheep has a kind of cheese that it associates itself with going back longer than people's memories.

And, cheese is a preserve. We used beneficial bacteria to convert the milk sugar, lactose, into lactic acid which protect the cheese from other bacteria entering and making us sick, or ruining the flavor of the cheese.

It preserves the nutrients of milk over time through controlled fermentation. Cheese is an old-fashioned way of working with nature by controlling the rotting process to ensure that the good guys win. and when their work is done, they leave behind their enzymes. And, those enzymes are what makes all the difference, creating the many varieties of cheese from a single source Milk!

Preview 01:28


Who invented cheese, or rather, discovered it? Why? How long have people been making it? ...and more


[50's Horror Film Trailer: Cyclops]

Okay so maybe it didn't exactly happen that way. But, Cyclops may not have been the first person ever to make cheese but without a doubt he was the first celebrity cheesemaker. Between 700 to 800 BC, when Homer wrote the Odyssey, or more correctly, spoke the Odyssey, he gives these words to Odysseus:

"On entering the cave we looked around. The crates were standing loaded down with cheese. Swimming with whey were the vessels, the well-wrought pails and bowls in which he milked."

Most likely the first cheese came about because milk went bad, separating the curds and whey. And, people were hungry so they poured off the whey and ate the curds, and said this is kind of tasty. But, we will really never know.

The Greeks credit Aristaeus, a son of Apollo, for teaching men how to make cheese, (as well as, by the way, how to keep bees, make honey, and cultivate olives, which might explain why he was such popular God).

We know that the first cheese ever made was a goat cheese and that it was over 5000 years ago. And, we know it originated in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, not in Greece or on Olympus.

The first written reference to cheese was from about 3000 years ago: Homer, when writing about the Cyclops, wrote it about 700-800 BC.

Even though we may not know who made the first cheese, we know we owe a great debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church and its monasteries. As so many of the cheeses that we know and enjoy are monastery cheeses like Port Salut, Beaufort, even Monterey Jack which came about from the attempt of Junipera Serra the Franciscan monks as they traveled up the coast of California, building the Missions every 50 miles, to preserve the goodness of milk in the dry cold seasons when the cows didn't milk so that the children could have enough protein in their diet.

A Tidbit of History

So many cheeses, how to know what you are getting when you buy some? YOU WILL LEARN HERE!


So with thousands of cheeses in the world how can we make sense of them all, especially when chances are we can’t even pronounce all of them. We have to make a compromise.

Necessarily any attempt to categorize is imperfect. It's a model of reality, not reality itself. But, compromise can help us wrap our minds around a very complex subject like thousands of cheeses made from one simple white liquid. It's a tool; it's not the rule. The best way to categorize that I found is to use the ones that the cheesemakers and people in the industry use. They try and give themselves a guideline as to what to expect when they first encounter a new cheese.

Based on these organizing principles. By far the first and most important category for organizing this chaos of cheeses is to categorize by animal. Then to categorize by the type of milk, or, what is done to the milk before making cheese with it. Next, by families based on texture, or by the make process because the make-process will tell you what the texture will be. Then categorized by type of rind, and the shape. Perhaps less scientific, but for some people very helpful, categorized by the style of cheese, for instance: according to the audience; or how it is being used: as a cooking cheeses or a party cheese, for example.

Preview 02:07

So many different types of cheese from one apparently simple white liquid?


So how do we get such an incredible variety from this rather plain looking white liquid? There are thousands of types of cheeses worldwide. In France alone there are hundreds of types of cheese produced commercially, in fact, the number keeps changing, depending on who you ask. DeGaulle at the time once said something like: how do you expect me to be able to govern a country that has 750 different cheeses?" That was after World War II; imagine how it's grown.

There are more than 40 countries that export cheese, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Cyprus, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Tibet, Wales, Portugal, Serbia, and the list goes on and on. Have you ever heard of these cheeses from Austria o r these cheeses (pointing to list)?

Don't feel bad, I only had heard of one of these cheeses when I first started doing this research. I certainly have yet to taste all of them. From Belgium; these are all Greek cheeses, but Greek to whom, I mean, I am sure you all know what these cheeses are but; these Irish cheeses.

I mean, it's endless cheeses. There's (reads list of cheeses), and this is just a small part of the list of different types. And, they are not all that are available, and they are all very very different. It's not as simple as just a Monterey Jack with peppers versus Monterey Jack with even hotter peppers. It is amazing what comes from this one magical white liquid.

Incredible Variety

Cow? Goat? Sheep? Camel? Is cheese really made from all of these? Yes, and more!


And when we categorize by animals we are lucky in that we only have to deal with mammals because by the very definition, mammals are those animals, like us, that produce milk for their young. But not all mammals make milk that can be used for cheese.

The principal animals whose milk is used for cheese production include the cow and the most common varieties are the Holstein, the Guernsey, the Shorthorn, the Ayrshire, the Brown Swiss, which is obviously very popular for Swiss cheese, in the same way that the Ayrshire is very popular for Cheddar, and the jersey which is that cow with the big eyes.

Many cheesemakers favor a hybrid between the Jersey and the Holstein (Friesen). The Holstein is more popular among the Dutch and among the people produce milk because they have a very large quantity of milk.

Jerseys are popular in the south of Brazil for instance because they both produce milk, but they also produce good meat, and the Holstein doesn't, it is a bony animal.

The principal goat types are the Nubian, the Alpine, the Saanen, the La Mancha, the Oberhassli, and the Toggenburg.

Milking sheep are East Freisan, Sardinian, Zwartbie, the Awassi, the Chrrom and the Chios. Then, the Assaf, Manchega and Comisana.

Many people in the US are not familiar with milking sheep animals because we've not developed sheep in that way until the last 20 years. But sheep are very popular throughout the world, and for instance, in the Balkans they milk by hand, actually moved a little door behind the guys here, you can see this little door behind the guy here, and he let us sheep out to the little door and they catch them. At best they get about three squirts of milk per sheep, but lest you think that the shepherds work too hard, don't worry, the dogs actually take care of the sheep and keep the wolves away. Shepherds generally eat feta and drink wine and sleep at night in the open sky ,not a bad life.

This water buffalo is not the pure water buffalo. It is a very difficult animal, so they use a hybrid to make a lot of the mozzarella.

And then there is the horse. W the horse as we know in France they sell horsemeat right in the grocery stores, but also some cultures make cheese from it.

Then there's the yak. A friend led a special project in Mongolia to help to make Jack cheese out of it.

There's the reindeer; yes, they make cheese out of reindeer milk. If you're ever in Lapland you can have some, and finally the camel.

This table showing milk production around the world is taken from 2001 from United Nations. Much more cows milk produced than anything else, then next, interestingly enough, is buffalo milk. If you are from United States or Europe you would probably think goat but no, it's next, then sheep milk and then all of the others.

Friendly Flocks That Give Us Milk

A lot more is done to milk than you imagined! Learn what, and why, and get a glimpse into why bigger is not always better.

What is Done to the Milk Beforehand

Learn why one cheese is soft, and the next not so: what puts the texture, or mouth feel into cheese?


And, the next way to categorize the cheese besides the animal would be by the texture of the cheese. We can do that the easy way, that is just simple textures like fresh unripened, soft-ripened, semi-hard and hard. That will cover almost all cheeses. It is a simple categorization. It's the one I used to use when I was running the market. Great for people who don't want to be cheese aficionados but want to understand the differences between the types of cheeses that you're selling.

The next method iscategorized by make-process, and when it comes to cheese it's very hard to do anything wrong if you follow the French. They describe the cheese by its' body, which surprisingly enough, is exactly same as describing it by its make-process or its texture, because the body and texture are really very similar. You can pull fine hairs about the difference if you want to. The body and texture come from the make process, as we shall see, and who better to help us since we're talking about cheese then that great country of La Belle France?

In the case of chese they have:

  • Processed cheese, Patê fondue,
  • Stretched cheeses like mozzarella. (When you tear the paste of the cheese it comes often little strings),
  • Fresh,
  • Soft bloomy rind,
  • Soft washed rind,
  • Blue, called patê persillée for parsely, (because the blue looks like chopped parsley, I suppose),
  • Pressed uncooked,
  • Pressed partly cooked,
  • and pressed cooked.

We will go through examples of these different cheeses in just a little bit, but you can see this pretty much drills down really into the detail of the connection between how the cheeses made and the kind of body or texture it has.

Mouth Feel



I will take a moment and discuss this thing about pressed, cooked, and uncooked. There are some important things that are accomplished by cooking or un-cooking the curd and pressing or not pressing the curd, and they all have to do with moisture content.

The more the curd is cooked the more moisture is expelled. The more the curd is pressed the more moisture is expelled. So, for instance, if you wanted to have a soft Camembert or Brie type cheese, or a cheese like a Fromage Blanc or St. Nectaire, you would want to keep the temperature relatively low, lower than the animal blood temperature, and you would want carefully ladle the curds so you don't press too much liquid out of them just letting natural gravity function making a soft texture with high moisture content.

However, if you're making a Cheddar or a Fontina or a Gruyere, any of these cheeses, you would heat more in order to drive out more moisture, and you would press them.

So that's where you get the pressed cooked, the pressed uncooked and the unpressed curd, which are your fresh soft and soft ripening cheeses.

There's one other thing about the moisture and the temperature, they both affect what type of bacteria grow. The Bacteria affect not only the texture but also the flavor of the cheese.

Like every system, you can't pull one part out and disconnect it from every other part, it's all connected. But in general, when you see pressed cooked you find a drier tighter cheese like a Swiss cheese all the way up to a Gruyere or Parmesan. When you see pressed uncooked your going to see a St. Nectaire type, or any of the softer cheeses.

Cheddar is partially cooked, a little bit higher than blood temperature. In the old days, before pasteurization, it was the temperature from the animal blood temperature, in general is about 98 F or 36.7 C, that you measured from to know whether or not it was cooked or not. So Cheddar you would say would be a partially cooked cheese, but that's splitting hairs. Most feature it under the pressed uncooked cheeses as it it is so close to that temperature.

The next question is how do we describe this Brie that we been talking about. Well, so far, we can say, since we know the animal and the body our brie is a cows milk, double cream, softbodied...

Cooked or Uncooked Curd



So about our Brie, is it a no rind? No!

No rinds include 40 pound cheddar blocks and most vacuum packed cheeses in your grocery cheese case. They are generally industrially produced cheeses, because you need to have vacuum packing machine, and we have natural rinds.

Is Brie a natural rind cheese? Well its rind is natural, but it doesn't look like these here. Most traditional Cheddars most Tommes, in fact, most any gray fluffy cheese from Europe we consider natural rind.

And, if you're not sure what is, this is a grey fluffy rind cheese from Europe. It is The grey fluffy cheese Tomme Savoie.

Then you have a Pristine or Rubbed rind. Is that a Brie? No again! They rub these cheeses in oil to maintain control over the mold population until the rind dries the surface, and the mold can't grow. This includes traditional Ementalers and Goudas. They continuously wipe them clean, sometimes with oil, even with vinegar, but only if they have a protective coating, never on the cheese. There's a big misconception about this. You should not be using vinegar to clean the body of cheese as you can affect the flavor. On the surface of Goudas and Edams, they have this thing called Cheesecoat, which is a plastic coating that goes over the top and replaces the old wax coats, allows the cheese to breathe, and lets you control the mold.

It's also edible and it comes off very easily and in in warm water. Did you ever notice when you got a Gouda that what you thought was a wax coating until now came off very easily. Well then it wasn't a wax coat but cheesecoat. And then we have the old fashioned wax rinds, which some people still make.

We have washed rinds which are washed with brine or whey and sometimes wine and beer or other things. These include the American Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Taleggio, the old-fashioned Limburger.

What it does is encourage the bacteria called bacteria linens, which is the reddish color, and yeast to grow on the surface. This creates the famous stinky cheese, although, as we shall see, if you don't eat the rind and just eat the paste of the cheese in a well-made washed rind cheese it's not overwhelming. In fact it's quite surprisingly subtle and delicious.

Now we have the Soft Bloomy Rinds like our Brie, Camembert, Humboldt fog, and Mount Tam and many other cheeses in this cheese category. This cheeses are uncooked, unpressed, just the natural weight as it sits in the moulds. The best are made by hand ladling the curd as small artisan producers do. It is that way you get the most moisture retained in the Curd to get the best mouth feel, as opposed to more industrial Brie, which is more standardized because of the way to machines who handled the curd, and also because they wash the curd with warm water to get the texture of Brie without having to actually go through a complex aging process.

It's a little cheat, but if you are shipping cheese around the world it is not a sin. But it's certainly not as good as when you get a really good hand ladeled Brie or Camembert, or for that matter goat cheese.

So these are types of rinds are you are most likely to find: no rind, natural rind, pristine or perfect rind, wax rind washed rind, and bloomy rind. So now we can say that our Brie is a Cow's milk, Double Cream, soft bloomy rind...




And we can also describe this cheese by its shape, and the shape does affect the flavor. For instance, we have wheels in all different sizes, including our Brie. The most common form of cheese that we see.

Then there's rectangles, like Brind'Amour, Tallegio a Carré de lÉst are all rectangles.

There's geometric cheeses, a kind of loaf like almost rectangle, and a flattened disk. Then there's the Bermuda triangle there's logs and true loaves, and others. There's balls which include get Edam and Mimolette, and there's cylinders, and truckles...




But we can also have by style, in this case i'd like to introduce styles different than just by how it's used, whether its cooking or slicing or grating. And the first of those is called Farmhouse. I'd like to define it as made on a small farm by the farmer or a family member mostly by hand in or near the milking barn with milk from the farmers own herd, principally by hand, with respect for age-old cheesemaking traditions. Farmhouse is the most artisan of all, the highest level of the cheesemaking art. Some called it Farmstead but I find I prefer keeping terms friendly when talking about cheeses as after all, they come from mother's milk. Cheese should be something that's really approachable. (Note, in Britain stead may be such a warm and friendly word, but in the US?)

A good example is Jamie Montgomery. He makes his Montgomery cheddar from his own cows on his farm by hand.

Some people call larger producers Farmhouse as well, but I call them Farm Cheese. Ut's like farmhouse but it's made mostly from farmers own milk and from farms nearby, mostly by hand with respect for traditions in a larger more commercial manufacturing facility, not necessarily attached to the dairy, Still very high quality cheese but with a little higher volume sales and a little bit more of the repetitive industrial process applied. It should be a little bit more affordable than then the farmhouse cheese.

Artisan cheese is like Farmhouse and Farm, but made with milk from other farms, perhaps many other. A great example of this kind of producer is Mr. Sid Cook, one of the most decorated cheesemakers in the United States.

Next comes the Specialty Cheese category, a higher volume industrially produced cheeses, but with good flavor and variety. Most French imports that come into the United States are not really artisan cheeses but Specialty. They may make them to appear like artisan cheese, like St. André, but they aren't. Which has no bearing on how delicious or well made they are.

And then you have commodity cheese. Commodity should not be a knock on industrially produced cheese made in large volumes to compete on price. It should not be seen as inherently negative as there are some absolutely wonderful commodity products made, but it's not the same thing as a cheese made by hand in a farmhouse with from the milk of the20 cows the farmer has on his farm, and turned into cheese by his wife, or his son or daughter. It is a lot like the difference between, let's say, a very good car like a Volkswagen, or Toyota and a Lamborghini or a top of the line Mercedes-Benz. Sometimes the price differential may seem very close to that.. The quality can be very high in both, but it's a different level of perceived quality and a different level of attention given to detail.

But no matter how you categorize it, it remains cheese! So let's go back to our Brie. We can now say with a certainty that our Brie is a Cows' Milk, Double Cream, Soft Bodied, Bloomy Rinded Wheel of Specialty Cheese, in most cases, though from some producers it may even be a farm cheese.

Farmhouse, Farm, Artisan or... (By Style)

Academic Descriptors
6 Lectures 20:36

Finding Great Cheese in Cheese Shops

Scrumptious Cheese in Gourmet and Conventional Stores

Avoiding the Not So Delicious

Buying Online

Buying Cheese Let the Buyer Beware
2 Lectures 06:40
Both Raw and Pasteurized Milk Make Great Cheeses, So Why Use Raw?

Food Safety and Cheese Made with Raw Milk
5 Lectures 15:49
Managing Nature to Preserve the Goodness of Milk

Animal, Breed, and Delicious Butterfat

Seasonal Influences

Terroir Terror! Marketing Speak or Something Real?

Flavor Revealed in the Aging Room
3 Lectures 04:59
Storing Cheese at Home
8 pages

Learn what matters when it comes to cooking with cheese, and be sure to download the lovely artisan cheese recipes I developed for my client, the California Milk Advisory Board.



Everybody knows for instance how the Italian cook with cheese: sprinkle some Parmesan on top or use ricotta to make a filling in different pastas or in that wonderful dessert Canoli. But. cheese has a broad application across the spectrum of types food that we make from appetizers to desserts and can be used in ways that are bit surprising.

For instance we have Kasseri cheese and Mexican Frying cheese that can be cooked as the curd is cooked to a high enough temperature that you can grill it or fry it, or dip in a little egg and breadcrumbs or flour and flambé. Which is what tis done in Saganaki.

But, most cheeses melt. There some advantages to that. for instance, with spicy food melting cheese on top, as they do in Mexico, can help coat the mouth and buffer the effect of the very hot spices. That's why you also find cheeses an important ingredient of some kinds of Indian cooking.

In sauces, because it melts, cheese can act as a binding agent, or an enriching agent, or both. Rather just adding cream you can coarsely grate some cheese and blend it in and you have a completely different sauce. It thickens up because of the cheese.

The advantage of grating it in as a seasoning, particularly when you have a very well aged cheese like Parmesan is that it has much of the same effect as salt as the salt is already in the cheese, but you put less sodium into the food.

And, when you talk about softer cheeses like a brie, those semisoft ripened cheeses, they make excellent binders for salad dressing. Try it sometime. Take some brie. If you want to trim off the rind throw the cheese in with a simple vinaigrette dressing of four-part soil to one part vinegar and a little seasoning into the blender and you got yourself a wonderful creamy dressing.

And, of course, they can be flavoring agents in stuffing. the fresh cheeses are generally what we use in stuffing, mixed with eggs and cream.

Serving cheese with meals is very common in the Mediterranean diet, but is rarely seen outside that region. They place a wheel of cheese on the table at every meal. When n the mountains of Greece, or on the Islands, there is always a hunk of cheese and it isn’t just feta cheese; always a cheese in the table. You take a hunk cheese and eat it, and it becomes one of the key sources of protein.

It's normal in the mediterranean to eat a little less meat; not make meat the center of the plate. Really the vegetables are the center of the plate and the meat or cheese the garnish. The important thing to remember is that the real key is how we eat our entire diet over a period of time, which is the main principle of the Mediterranean diet. Consuming more calories than what we burn leads to gaining weight. So, you want to choose your calories carefully; to have the most nutrition that you can possibly have in each calorie. And, there is no calorie that is more nutritious, more packed with nutritional power than cheese.

So I am sharing with you in the materials you can download some simple recipes that you can do you can play around with, and start learning how to work with cheese as a cooking ingredient, not just on a party tray or something you put on a hamburger or on your bread in the morning. But, as a part of your diet as areplacement for some of the meat protein. Because, in traditional cultures they often do not have the luxury of killing the animal that creates the milk to produce meat. They get to eat meat every great once in a while and much of the protein they do eat will come from cultured milk products and cheese. I'm also including in the fat section some information on the Mediterranean Diet, proven to be the healthiest diet for most of us in the world.`

How to Cook with Cheese

Serving and Pairing Cheese
6 pages
7 Lectures 15:06
Taste with Confidence, Describe without Fear
3 pages

What You Will Need

Experience and Share: Tasting is Not a Spectator Sport

Fearless Tasting

Step by Step Instructions

My Tasting Results and a Challenge
9 Lectures 37:28
Is Cheese Alive

The Skinny on Fat in Cheese: The Science

Secrets of the Healthy Mediterranean Diet

Learn the difference between intolerance and allergy and what you can do about it to be able to enjoy cheese again!


I have a confession to make

I am lactose intolerant

and you may want ask, as many people do, how can you eat cheese if you're lactose intolerant?

Here's the good news: cheese is made by fermenting milk sugar and the by product is acid: Lactose is milk sugar, and lactic acid, well, I am not intolerant milk acid.

What happens is my body lacks enough of an enzyme called lactase, strangely enough. Lactose, Lactic Acid, Lactase… a lot of Lac’s. Lacking lactase, the milk sugar does not break down, it stays complex, like an old roommate of mine…. this attracts a whole different kind of critter into my stomach and creates a secondary fermentation, the result of which is not called Lac Gas, but it should be.

Since making cheese eats up the sugar and spits it out as acid, I can eat cheese. Anything from a brie on up will have little to no lactose. I can eat with impunity. Fresher cheeses may have some. I can eat a fromage blanc, or a goat cheese, but ricotta forget it. Ricotta, made from the whey, has a lot of “residual” lactose.

I can eat yogurt though. The heat loving critters that ferment milk into yogurt eat ALL the lactose fast! Notice how it always tastes a little sour?

But I have more good news: There is a relatively new pill on the market called Digestive Advantage. I have put the link in the transcript. It combines lactase, with some probiotics, which means not only can I eat ice cream and ricotta again, within reason, but I only have to take one pill a day, instead of a pill every time I eat them that didn’t really work. Changed my life, I highly recommend it. You can get it on Amazon or at your local pharmacy.

If you are eating cheeses from brie and above, and your stomach is not happy, you may be allergic to milk. That is very different than lactose intolerance. See your doctor! Anyone who knows someone who has goats knows that a surprising number of children, tragically, are allergic to milk. But many that are allergic to Mother’s Milk or Cow’s milk, can digest goat’s milk. They find anyone they can that has goats as you can imagine.

So, to sum it up: Lactose Intolerance and Milk Allergy are two very different things. If you are eating cheese and it is bothering you, it is unlikely it is lactose intolerance, unless you are chowing down only on fresh cheeses and ricotta. See a doctor to find out if you are allergic. If you are truly lactose intolerant, you can eat anything pretty much from a Brie on up in aging, and may be able to eat other more fresh cheeses, but only if they are cultured. Beware of cream cheese for many add the culture after the cheese is made for show. You can also take Digestive Advantage like me. It changed my life for the better.

Preview 03:56

Frankenfood Follies

How a Safe Frankenfood Saves Lives

Why Pasture and Grass Matter

What You Can Do About It
3 Lectures 09:04
The Art and Science of Crafting Flavor


I did the research and wrote much of this presentation for my client, The California Milk Advisory Board. They have generously made it available for me to share with you so if you want to dig in further into flavor in cheese, you can. It was originally done in the early years of the current renaissance of Artisan and Farmhouse cheese production in California to educate and encourage farmers, prospective cheesemakers, Chef's and the media. It explains why the skill of the cheesemaker is the most vital ingredient in making mouthwateringly delicious cheese.

Cheese Flavor: a Slide Deck Done for my client The CMAB
41 pages

4 pages
1 Lecture 11:08
Suggested resources, including books my friends wrote for further study.
1 Lecture 00:00

There are a number of wonderful books and videos available on great cheese. I will list the ones I have either read personally, or know the author personally and respect their work. You can count on these!

Other Great Resources
2 pages
About the Instructor
Dan Strongin
3.3 Average rating
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Past President of the American Cheese Society-Chef and Coach

I bring many years of experience along every step of the food chain from farm to table, sharing my experiences, making people smile, helping people enjoy life more, and make great products profitably. My life's work has been about enjoying, nurturing, collaborating and cultivating in harmony with Nature.

A former 5 Star Chef, including 8 years with the prestigious Ritz Carlton Corporation, in the 1980's I pioneered the introduction of restaurant quality food to the Supermarket Industry in Northern California.

I was President and Chairman of the Board of the American Cheese Society, and am a founding member of the Deming Collaboration. In the 1990's I worked behind the scenes helping to plant the seed and cultivate the renaissance of high quality, local foods, from family farms in the US, working with, among others, the California Milk Advisory Board, The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Alliance (EVA), and the Dairy Business Innovation Center.

He blogs on productivity in harmony with Nature and is a monthly columnist for the Cheese Reporter.