Smoked cheese is any cheese that has been specially treated by smoke-curing. It typically has a yellowish-brown outer pellicle which is a result of this curing process.
Smoke-curing is typically done in one of two ways: cold-smoking and hot-smoking. The cold-smoking method (which can take up to a month, depending on the food) smokes the food at between 20° to 30° C (68° to 86° F). Hot-smoking partially or completely cooks the food by treating it at temperatures ranging from 40° to 90° C (104° to 194° F). Another method of "curing" used in less expensive cheeses is to use artificial smoke flavoring to give the cheese a smoky flavoring and food coloring to give the outside the appearance of having been smoked in the more traditional manner.