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 warmer climates.[1] 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.[1]

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.[2]


Many varieties of brined cheeses are produced. Varieties of brined cheese include feta, halloumi, sirene and telemea, a variant of brinza.[1] Brined cheese is the main type of cheese produced and eaten in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.[3]

Brined feta cheese
Traditional Oscypek
During the aging process, Saint-Nectaire is twice washed in brine and aged on rye straw.
Part of the process of making Swaledale cheese involves soaking the cheese in brine for 24 hours

Additional brined cheeses include:

  • 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".[citation needed]
  • Some varieties of goat cheese, prior to the aging process

See also


  1. ^ a b c A. Y. Tamime. Brined cheeses. Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. p. 2. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Washed Rind Cheese at Practically Edible Food Encyclopedia
  3. ^ A. Y. Tamime. Feta and Related Cheeses. Woodhead Publishing, 1991. p. 9. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 

Further reading

External links