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What Is Cheese Salt?

Updated on February 10, 2012
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What Kind Of Salt Is Cheese Salt?

Salt is a common ingredient used when making cheese.

Cheese salt is used at various times during the make process, depending on what kind of cheese you are making and has several purposes including helping to expel whey, flavour enhancement, preservation and discouraging growth of unwanted organisms on the surface of the cheese.

Each cheese recipe will require that you add the cheese salt at different times. It could be added prior to coagulation (mixed into the milk before Rennet is added), mixed into the set curd before pressing, sprinkled or rubbed onto the surface of the molded cheese or mixed with water to use as a brine soak after the cheese is made and ready to age.

Cheese Salt By Any Other Name

The name used for the salt required for cheese making can differ, depending on the author of the recipe.

Some refer to it as cheese salt, others canning, pickling or preserving salt and a few authors advise to use Kosher salt.

So with all of these different names, exactly what kind of salt do you need for cheese making?

Essentially cheese salt is any flakey or fine ground non-iodized salt.

The non-iodized part is the most important element when it comes to cheese making.

The problem with using iodized salt is that it will damage those wonderful cultures and bacteria that you WANT in your cheese.

So is there a preference for rocks vs flakes vs grains, when it comes to cheese salt?

The key consideration is how quickly (or slowly) the salt is taken in and how this aids in the process of extracting whey, forming a rind and inhibiting the bad bacteria.

Flakes seem to be the preference of many cheese makers and rocks are used less often.

Of course rock salt is perfectly useful for making brine as they will dissolve quite fine with the water but are much harder to absorb into a cheese when applying to the surface of a cheese or mixing it with curd.

So what is cheese salt?

Simply it's any non-iodized salt. Nothing too technical, no hard to find special ingredients.

Sea salt, rock salt, himalayan mountain salt, salt flakes, ground salt - as long as you know it's non-iodized salt.


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