Culy explains: what exactly does a cheese affiner do?

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Areally good cheese requires a lot of work. In many cases, several specialists also come into play. Like, for example, a cheese affineur. We hear you thinking: a cheese affineur? Yes, you read that right. Without this specialist, your favorite cheese would not be so incredibly tasty. We explain why.


Refining cheese is a true craftsmanship. In short: the cheese affineur knows exactly when a cheese is at its best and above all: how to achieve this. The biggest challenge here: this happens without tasting. After all, after a cheese has been cut, the cheese does not develop any further in taste.


How does that work? A cheese affineur obtains young cheeses from the best artisan cheese producers. These are raw milk cheeses, as raw milk can evolve richly in taste, structure, color and aroma. A good foundation is essential to get started.

Each cheese needs a different care, a personalized maturation, so to speak, which is decisive for the final taste. While some cheese makers hand over their young cheeses to a cheese affiner for the best result, there are also cheese makers who themselves act as affineur and supervise the ripening process.


The well-known Belgian cheese affinators Van Tricht have various maturation cells for this. Some cheeses can mature for at least two to three years and age in perfect conditions, we read in this interview . This happens with the regulation of temperature, humidity and air circulation. On average, Van Tricht’s cheeses are stored in a ripening cell for about 6 weeks.

cheese affiner

Would you like a career as a cheese affiner? Unfortunately, the way there is not just a ready-made training mapped out. It’s all about gaining experience and getting to know cheeses inside and out. This is possible in a cheese shop, a cheese maker who refines his own cheeses and of course at a cheese affiner himself.

Source: Culy by
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