Hard Cheese
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Hard Cheese, which is also called granular or stirred curd cheese, is made by mixing milk protein with the enzyme Rennet, which causes it to coagulate. After it coagulates for a period of time, the mixture is cut and reheated. It is then formed into molds and pressed, brined, salted, rubbed, turned regularly, and ripened for varying lengths of time depending on the aims of the cheesemaker.

Hard Cheese is called “hard” because it is much dryer than Semi-HardSemi-Soft or Soft Cheeses.  It loses moisture as it ages, making long-aged cheeses the hardest and driest.

Varieties

There are thousands of Hard Cheeses.  Aged CheddarEmmentalParmesanAsiago and Gruyère are just a few of the well-known ones. During the ripening process, propionibacterium, one of the three bacteria used in making Swiss-style cheeses, ferments the lactate in milk, which adds sweetness to the cheese. The fermentation also causes the release of carbon dioxide, which makes bubbles, which in turn causes holes to appear in the cheese, a common trait in many Swiss cheeses. In some cheeses these holes are a sign of good quality; in others, not. A good Emmental cheese, for example, should have many holes; a good Gruyère cheese should have only tiny holes, if any.