Ash Coated Cheese

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A traditional method of enhancing the appearance of cheese, to make it look distinctive or artesian crafted. The edible ash coatings are made by burning the wood of junipers, white pines, or grape vines, or the remains of vegetables such as bell peppers and eggplants to create a compound for the coating. The ash is then processed further by mashing or pounding it into a fine-textured powder that is dispersed over the area of cheese to be coated.

Typically, goat cheeses are the most common varieties with an ash coating, containing a thin outer or inner layer of edible ash. Although other cheeses made from cows or sheep’s milk may have an inner ash coating, such as Morbier or Mobay, it is the goat cheeses that are the types most often associated with an ash coating. Morbier cheese contains a layer of goat's milk cheese and a layer of sheep's milk cheese separated by the layer of ash. Mobay cheese, made from unpasteurized cow's milk contains a layer of ash to separate the first and second batch of curds used in the production of the cheese. Similarly, Humbolt Fog cheese is a variety of goat's milk cheese produced with an inner layer of ash separating two layers. Goat cheeses with an ash coating over the outside surface of logs, disks and cylinders include notable varieties such as Saint-Maure or Selles-Sur-Cher.

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