As its name suggests, the cheeses in this cave are washed in a salt solution—typically water, brine, or alcohol—which inhibits the development of mold while promoting yeast and bacterial growth, and results in each cheese being imbued with a distinct, new flavor. This cave involves the most active form of affinage, due to the necessary intervention of the affineur in the washing process.
Warmer temperatures in our Washed Rind Cave help the bacteria flourish, and high humidity keeps the rinds supple and delicate.
Cheeses are washed with a salty solution a few times each week. By washing these cheeses, their rinds continue to develop complexities in aroma, which helps give each cheese its own distinct taste.
Flora & Microbes:
The surface of washed rind cheeses typically develop in multiple phases. Often, the yeast Debaryomyces hansenii can be found de-acidifying the surface of and paving the way for the famous Corynebacterium known as Brevibacterium linens. This microbe is just one of many that help develop that characteristic orange rind and contribute to the pungent aromas of the washed rind family.
Assertive notes of methional (meaty) to methanethiol (cabbage) are typical of this style of cheese.