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Pack Date

A code date put on cheese to indicate the date the cheese was packed by the manufacturer.

Pail

For practical and economic reasons, getting products in an industrial-size container is the way to go. Products packed this way are typically heading for a commercial kitchen.

Paneer

A fresh cheese originally from India. A farmerstyle cheese that would typically be unsalted. This cheese is acid set and has vegetarian appeal because of the lack of animal rennet. The texture is similar to Queso Blanco.

Paraffin

A wax coating applied to the rinds of some cheese varieties for both protection during export and extended life spans. Paraffin may be clear, black, brown, yellow or red.

Part-skim

A term used to denote the manufacture of a cheese, such as Mozzarella, with partly skimmed milk. This yields a lower-fat cheese that may have desirable properties compared to the full-fat cheeses. See Skimmed Milk.

Pasta Filata

Translated literally from Italian, to spin paste or threads. Pasta Filata refers to a type of cheese where curds are heated and then stretched or kneaded before being molded into the desired shape. The resulting cheese has great elasticity and stretches when cooked or melted. Cheeses in this family include Mozzarella, Provolone and String.

Paste

A descriptive term for the interior texture of soft-ripened cheeses, such as Brie, that exhibit a semi-soft to runny consistency.

Pasteurization

The process of heating milk to a specific temperature for a specific period of time in order to destroy any disease-producing bacteria, also checking the activity of fermentative bacteria.

Pasteurized Process Cheese

A blend of fresh and aged, natural cheeses that have been shredded, mixed and heated (cooked) with an addition of an emulsifier salt, after which no further ripening occurs.

Pasteurized Process Cheese Food

A variation of Pasteurized Process cheese containing less fat and a higher moisture content. It differs from Process cheese in that either nonfat dry milk or whey solids and water have been added, thus reducing the percentage of actual cheese in the finished product.

Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread

A variation of Pasteurized Process cheese containing a higher moisture content and lower milkfat content than Process Cheese Food. A stabilizer is added to prevent separation of ingredients.

Pasture-grazed

A term describing cheese made exclusively from the seasonal milk of pasture-grazed animals.

Pear

A Provolone style that weighs between 20 and 40 pounds and resembles the shape of a pear. Ropes are tied around the cheese for hanging for proper aging.

Penicillium

Principal genus of fungi used to develop molds on certain cheese varieties during ripening. Penicillium candidum is used to develop many soft-ripened cheeses, such as Brie; Penicillium glaucum or roqueforti are used for Gorgonzola and Roquefort® cheeses, respectively.

Peppery

A descriptive term for cheese with a sharp, pepper flavor. Aged Cheddar may be described as peppery.

Performance

Refers to the way a particular type or variety of cheese responds to handling during preparation, from mechanical manipulation (e.g., slicing, shredding, grating, etc.) in its cold state, to the quality of the cheese's response to heating (e.g., characteristics such as melting, stretching, browning, etc.). Performance also describes how cheese flavors combine with each other or with additional ingredients.

Persille

The French translation for parsleyed, which refers to delicately veined Blue varieties, such as Roquefort,® Blue and Stilton,® where the mold resembles sprigs of parsley.

Pickled Cheese

A term used to classify cheeses that are stored and packed in a brine solution, such as Feta.

Piquant

A descriptive term for cheese with an appealing sharpness, flavor or aroma. Aged Asiago, Aged Provolone, and Blue-veined cheeses are sometimes described by this term.

Plastic Curd

A classification of cheeses whose curd is heated and then kneaded to form various shapes. The Italian term for these cheese varieties is Pasta Filata. Mozzarella, Provolone and String are plastic curd-type cheeses and may be described as string-like. See Pasta Filata.

Pressed Cheese

A descriptive term for cheese whose curd has been placed in a mold and literally pressed to form the intended shape of the finished cheese. Fresh, uncured cheese varieties, such as Cream or Feta, and cured cheeses, such as Brick, Cheddar, Parmesan and Romano, are examples of pressed cheese.

Print

A rectangular style of cheese that has been cut from a 40-pound block. Prints are normally 10-pound loaves.

Process Cheese

See Pasteurized Process Cheese.

Process Cheese (Pasteurized Process Cheese)

A blend of fresh and aged natural cheeses that have been shredded, mixed, and heated (cooked) with an addition of an emulsifier salt, after which no further ripening occurs.

Pronounced

A descriptive term for cheese that exhibits a distinct aroma or flavor stronger than mild but not as powerful as intense. See Intense.

Pull Date

A code date stamped on cheese to indicate when the product should be removed from stock as being too old.

Pungent

A descriptive term for cheese with an especially poignant aroma or sharp, penetrating flavor. Limburger cheese aroma is classed as pungent.