Brined cheese, also sometimes referred to as pickled cheese for some varieties, is cheese that is matured in a solution of brine in an airtight or semi-permeable container. This process gives the cheese good stability, inhibiting bacterial growth even in hot countries. Brined cheeses may be soft or hard, varying in moisture content, and in colour and flavour, according to the type of milk used; though all will be rindless, and generally taste clean, salty and acidic when fresh, developing some piquancy when aged, and most will be white.
Washed-rind cheeses are periodically cured in a solution of saltwater brine and/or mold-bearing agents that may include beer, wine, brandy, and spices, making their surfaces amenable to a class of bacteria Brevibacterium linens (the reddish-orange "smear bacteria") that impart pungent odours and distinctive flavours, and produce a firm, flavourful rind around the cheese.
Many varieties of brined cheeses are produced. Varieties of brined cheese include feta, halloumi, sirene and telemea, a variant of brinza. Brined cheese is the main type of cheese produced and eaten in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.
Additional brined cheeses include:
- Abbaye de Tamié
- Akkawi is a white brine cheese named after the city of Acre in Israel. It is commonly made using cow milk, but can be made with goat or sheep's milk as well.
- Alpujarra cheese
- Appenzeller cheese
- Ardrahan Cheese
- Some varieties of Asiago cheese are brined.
- Balkánský sýr is a white brined cheese produced in Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is a salty semi-hard white cheese, and is analogous of the Bulgarian sirene and the Greek feta.
- Beaufort cheese
- Berner Alpkäse
- Cantabrian cream cheese
- Caprino di Cavalese
- Chechil is a brined string cheese that originated in Armenia and Anatolia.
- Cherni Vit
- Corleggy Cheese
- Egyptian cheese
- Hâlûmi resembles Cypriot halloumi, but is a different cheese. It may be eaten fresh or brined and spiced. The name comes from the Coptic word for cheese, "halum".
- Some varieties of goat cheese are brined prior to the aging process.
- Gruyère cheese
- Ibores is sometimes brined in its production.
- Lighvan is a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Iran. Having a sour flavor, and a shape covered by holes, the cheese is produced from sheep’s milk.
- Mallorca cheese
- Maredsous cheese
- Maredsous Abbey cheese
- Mozzarella is sometimes brined.
- Murcian cheese
- Murcian wine cheese
- Munster cheese
- Nabulsi is one of a number of Palestinian white brined cheeses made in the Middle East.
- Oka cheese
- Pallone di Gravina
- Parmigiano-Reggiano is brined in its production process.
- Pasta filata is sometimes stored in brine, which enables preservation and for the product to be shipped.
- Pecorino Sardo
- Red Hawk cheese
- Teviotdale cheese
- Tulum is a traditional brined Turkish goat's milk cheese ripened in a goatskin casing, called tulum in Turkish.
- Tzfat cheese
- Tamime, A.Y, (2008). Brined Cheeses. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 1405171642.
- Dariani, Davood Nadjarian (1979). A Chemical, Sensory and Consumer Evaluation of Soft Pickled Cheese Manufactured from Cow and Goat Milk. University of Georgia.
- Media related to Brined cheese at Wikimedia Commons
- Media related to White Brine Cheese at Wikimedia Commons