Cheese-o-pedia: A

  1. Affine

    The French word for "to finish or refine"; also used to describe a perfectly ripe cheese.

  2. Aging

    The process of curing or ripening cheeses in carefully controlled environments to allow the development of microorganisms that accentuate the basic cheese flavors.

  3. American cheese

    American cheese is widely recognized by its mild and creamy flavor, white or orange-yellow coloring and easy-to-melt quality. You can count on this all-time family favorite to be at home everywhere — from the dinner table to the picnic table, and from lunch boxes to luncheon buffets.

    Not only does American cheese make delectable grilled cheese sandwiches and superb chef’s salads, it’s also perfect in cream-based soups. It melts beautifully over vegetables and baked potatoes, and makes a classic topping for cheeseburgers.

    Pair American cheese with red wine, beer, milk, iced tea or soft drinks.

  4. Ammoniated

    A term describing cheese that smells of ammonia as a result of being overripe or improperly ripened. A hint of ammonia is not objectionable with white bloomy rinds after they are first unwrapped, as they should be allowed to breathe.

  5. Annatto

    A natural vegetable dye used to give many cheese varieties—especially New York and Wisconsin Cheddars and many English cheeses—a yellow-orange hue.

  6. Asiago cheese

    Asiago is an Italian cheese with a flavor similar to a blend of aged Cheddar and Parmesan. This cow's milk cheese is named after its point of origin—a quaint village in the Northern part of Italy. Young Asiago has a mild and sweet flavor while aged Asiago is well-loved for its sharp, fruity flavor.

    Young Asiago can be chunked or sliced for sandwiches, wraps or snacking. Aged Asiago is the perfect grating cheese and can be added to soups and salads.

    Pair Asiago with Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Burgundy, Merlot, Dolcetto or Barbera.