There are three reasons cheesemakers wrap or cover wheels of cheese towards the end of the cheesemaking process: protection, flavor and aesthetics. What types of things do cheesemakers wrap cheese in? Below are five examples.
- Leaves and Bark
Cheeses wrapped in herbs, leaves or bark absorb flavor from their wrapping. These cheeses are often described as earthy, herbal, grassy or floral.
- Grape leaves – Sally Jackson Goat, Banon
- Chestnut/Walnut leaves – Pecorino, Sally Jackson Sheep and Cow, Capriole’s O’Banon
- Cedar fronds– Lovetree Farm’s Trade Lake Cedar
- Nettle leaves – Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat
- Hoja Santa leaves– Mozzarella Co.’s Hoja Santa goat cheese
- Sycamore leaves– Valdeon
- Spruce bark – Jasper Hill Farm’s Winnimere, L’edel de Cleron
An outer coating of herbs adds flavor, although often the rind of herbs is too dry to be edible.
Examples: Brin d’Amour/Fleur du Maquis, Herbillette, Cowgirl Creamery Pierce Pt., Willow Hill Farm’s Alderbrook, Lovetree Farm’s Big Holmes
Moist cheeses, like blues, are often packaged in foil to keep them from drying out.
Examples: Roquefort, Gorgonzola
Wax is an airtight seal that protects the cheese during aging.
Examples: Le Chevre Noir, Cheddars, Leyden
Cloth protects the outside of a cheese but also allows air in, creating a natural rind beneath the cloth. Cheese wrapped in cloth is often called bandage-wrapped.
Examples: Bravo Farms' Silver Moutain, Cheddars, English Cheeses like Cheshire and Lancashire