Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society series Reactions explains what makes some types of cheese smell terrible.
The experts at St. James Cheese Company describe the chemistry behind many washed-rind cheeses that creates repulsive smells that are surprisingly paired with amazing flavors.
Once the cheese curds are placed in their wheels to age, they are washed in a liquid such as wine, beer, salty brine, or liquor. The outer cheese layer becomes moist and salty and attracts bacteria that emit potent gases as they break down proteins on the rind.
Despite having a strong scent that tends to smell like feet, washed-rind cheeses have an acquired taste that people love.
Video Credit: American Chemical Society