Why is My Cheese Crunchy?

by Thea Miller

.If you have one of our Aged Cheddars, you've likely experienced crunchy cheese crystals. Have you ever wondered what they really are? 

Crystals on the Inside of Cheese
Tyrosine crystals are the crunchy bits that are found on the interior of aged cheese and are bright white in color. They form when proteins in the cheese break down and begin to unravel during the aging process. Amino acids called tyrosine are released and cluster together into hard crystals. Besides Cheddar, you can find tyrosine crystals in Gouda and Parmesan. 

Crystals on the Outside of Cheese

Does your cheese have white crystals on the outside when you remove the packaging? Don't worry. It's not mold. It's Calcium lactate, a salt formed when lactic acid (milk sugar lactose) and calcium combine.

We love the crunch of cheese crystals. It's part of the pleasure of aged cheese.