IELTS® Listening Practice 58

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Listening Script Vocabulary

(Section 2: You will hear a radio presenter giving a talk on the topic of cheese. First, you will have some time to look at questions 11 to 20 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 11 to 20.)

Radio presenter: 

Hello and welcome to the Good Food Show. Yesterday we discussed what to look for when buying fruit and vegetables for your kitchen supplies, and today I'd like to talk to you about cheese. 

There are many different ways of categorising cheese, but perhaps the easiest way is to break them down according to their texture and the style of manufacture.

First off, we have fresh cheese – that is, cheese that is almost ready to eat the moment it is made such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, Fromage Frais, Ricotta, Mozzarella. They have high moisture content and therefore a relatively short shelf life – you can't store them for long.

Next, there is soft cheese. These cheeses have a very soft texture. Some of the best known are Brie and Camembert, which do require time to reach maturity and full flavour. Again, they have relatively high levels of moisture and need to be eaten within a defined period once sold. On white mould cheeses such as Brie and Camembert the young cheese is sprayed with penicillium candidum to help ripen the cheese from the outside in. An unripe cheese will have a chalky white strip running through the middle of the cheese. 

Semi-hard cheeses, as the name suggests, sit between being soft and hard. Often, they have a rubbery texture, such as Edam, and will be sold at the relatively young age of a few months. Other examples would include St. Paulin and Port Salut and certain other cheeses where the rinds will be washed with brine, beer, wine or fruit juices to add flavour to the cheese during the maturation process.

Hard Cheeses can be divided in two categories – firm and crumbly. Firm cheeses have been pressed to remove as much of the whey and moisture from the curds as possible to ensure a long keeping product. Cheeses may be matured from anything between 12 weeks, in the case of mild Cheddar, up to 2 years, in the case of vintage Cheddar, Parmesan or Manchego. Other British examples of firm hard cheese include Red Leicester and Double Gloucester. Continental varieties include Emmental and Gouda.

As for the crumbly hard cheese, these are pressed to remove much of the moisture but because they are sold at a relatively young age - typically between 4 and 8 weeks of age - they retain a crumbly texture and a fresh flavour. Older more mature versions of these cheeses will tend to become firmer and may lose their crumbly texture and hence fall into the firm hard cheese category. They will also have a stronger flavour.

There are blue cheese variants of many of the cheeses mentioned earlier. What puts them into the blue cheese category is that penicillium roqueforti - a blue mould - is added to the cheese at various stages in the making process. Sometimes, it is added to the milk at the start of the process. In other cases, it is sprayed onto the curds before being shaped. Normally the cheese will be pierced with stainless steel needles to allow air into the body of the cheese, which then activates the blue mould and starts to break down the protein which in turn creates the blue mould. The process is a way of accelerating the normal development of the cheese and means that quite strong-tasting cheese is produced within a few months. Blue Stilton is perhaps the best-known blue cheese product in the UK, but there are now more than 70 different blue cheeses being produced within the UK. Imported examples include Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Cambozola and Danish Blue.

Last, we have the blended cheese. These are also known as fruit cheeses or herb cheeses. Though we think of these as modern cheeses, it is well known that the Romans routinely blended their cheese with fruits and herbs. High quality hard cheeses are chopped into small pieces and herbs or fruit added and the whole mixed together before being shaped into cylinders or blocks. Most popular examples in the UK are Wensleydale with Cranberry, White Stilton with Apricots, Cheddar with Caramelised Onion, Double Gloucester with Chives and Onion and Lancashire with Garlic.

These categories can apply to any cheese regardless of the animal from which the milk came.

Now, let's move on to talk about the best type of bread to go with each of these cheeses…

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