The second stage, the moulding of the cheese, involves the seperating of the curds from the water, giving the cheese its shape.
From a historical point of view, the French word for cheese ‘fromage’ comes from the Latin ‘forma’ meaning ‘form’ and so ‘to shape.’ This stage symbolises the word ‘fromage.’ In the past, the shape of the cheese was standard (square or round), but today there are many shapes.
The moulding of the cheese is slightly different depending on the type of cheese:
- pressed cheeses are moulded in a cloth held by a wooden mould called a ‘planchet’ in French
- For soft cheeses, the curds are ladled into moulds; these moulds have a pocket so that the whey can drain out.
The moulding of the cheese separates the curds from the whey. The whey can then be used for other things.
The moulding of the cheese is the second stage of the process, and takes place in the cheese dairy.