UNDERSTANDING ASH IN CHEESE
Why are some cheeses coated in ash?
Coating cheese with ash is a traditional preservation method that has been used for centuries since the beginning of cheese making. Back in the day, the ash was collected from the burning of grapevine clippings. It protects the cheese from insects, microbes and mold spore from developing while also keeping the surface of the cheese dry.
Today, cheesemakers use ash from the burning of dried vegetables which is sterile, odourless and tasteless, safe for consumption. Ash coating adds to the aesthetic of the cheeses giving it a unique and striking appearance. On a platter, it is always a great idea to include at least one ash-coated cheese for the colour contrast from the typical light-coloured cheeses.
Here are some of our artisanal ash-coated cheeses.
- Valencay Fermier AOC (220g)
$18.50/Whole, Unpasteurised Goats’ Milk, France
A Classic French goats’ cheese from the Loire Valley. Originally pyramid shaped, Napolean famously (allegedly) sliced off the top after a disasterous campaign in Egypt and thereafter the cheese was made as a flat topped pyramid…! It is smooth and densed with a mild, lactic and lemony taste. Click here to shop.
- Sainte-Maure de Touraine AOC (250g)
$21/Whole, Unpasteurised Goats’ Milk, France
A classic goat cheese from the Loire Valley, which has been hand ladled and covered in vegetable ash. A straw runs through it to helpthe cheese-makers turn the delicate cheeses during maturation. Lovely walnut aromas and a slightly citrus finish. Click here to shop.
- Sottocenere al Tartufo (Truffle)
$8.2/100g, Unpasteurised Cows’ Milk, Italy
Aged for about 2 months, Sottecenere al Tartufo, made with truffle slices, is a semi-hard cheese, rubbed with cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, anise and truffle oil and then packed with beech ash.
From Veneto, its’ beautiful grey rind is thin and the flavour is sweet and long with truffles. The various spices mainly contributes to the exotic hints of forest aroma. Click here to shop.
$6.5/100g, Unpasteurised Cows’ Milk, France
Morbier is named after a small village in France-Comte. Its distinctive blakc link is made from ash and runs through the middle of this cheese. It has a mild and slightly aromatic flavour. Click here to shop.
An traditionally ash coated, lactic set goats cheese from Somerset, South West England. Semi soft zingy goats milk with a clean citrus finish. Click here to shop.