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I read on https://www.northlightfoods.com/blog/2015/12/15/host-your-own-cheese-tasting-party:

Organize your cheese tasting order from mildest cheese to strongest cheese.

That's a typical advice I used to hear in France.

However, I was told that cheese strength is subjective, and may be a factor of several elements such as "tensile, compressive, shear, ductile, elastic, plastic, brittleness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardness, flexural" (quote from bob1). Should I instead base the cheese order on one of these factors? Or do the order in some other way?

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    The question of how should I order my cheese? is too broad for this website (it is just opinion-based), but the question if I am trying to order my cheeses by strength, how can I do it? is answerable, so I have answered it.
    – dbmag9
    Feb 5, 2023 at 22:03
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    There are many factors in cheese but wear resistance isn't one of them. In any case I hope you get some gouda advice...
    – GdD
    Feb 6, 2023 at 8:44
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    More importantly, you need a palate cleanser.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Feb 6, 2023 at 14:01
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    "Should I instead base the cheese order on one of these factors?" -- um, that comment was a joke. Ordering cheese by corrosion resistance? (facepalm)
    – Dan Mašek
    Feb 6, 2023 at 14:32
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    This question reads as if it's not from a native English speaker. Do you know what the words "tensile, compressive, shear, ductile, elastic, plastic, brittleness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardness, flexural" mean? Do you realize that not one of them applies to the strength of flavor, but are instead actually various measures of physical strength of a material?
    – brhans
    Feb 6, 2023 at 22:28

3 Answers 3

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As was pointed out in the comments to your other question, there is no objective definition of 'strong' when it comes to cheese.

But good news! Cheese tasting parties don't have to be based on objectively measurable qualities! Just taste the cheeses yourself (or make assumptions about their taste, based on what you know about them, if you don't want to start them before your guests) and arrange them how you want. If you want to follow this advice (which is entirely optional, and not universal) then you can do so based on your impression of which is stronger than which.

It's also worth noting, in case the ironic tone wasn't clear, that bob1's comment to your other post was about the many definitions of 'strong' in English, not a set of suggestions on what 'strong' might mean when applied to cheese. When people describe a cheese as strong, they are making a subjective judgement about the experience of eating it.

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    Youngest to oldest can also be a decent approximation of strength of flavor, if you want to starting point. There's exceptions of course, like blue cheese, but certainly most people will say that fresh mozzarella is not nearly as strong a flavor as an aged gouda.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 6, 2023 at 2:40
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Also, you don't only order cheeses from mildest to strongest. You may order cheese in some other way, depending on what you're tasting.

For example, you might taste manchego cheeses at different ages: fresh, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years. If so, you'd usually do it youngest to oldest.

Or maybe you want to taste cheese with flavorings. Then you'd, say, start with a plain gouda, followed by one with caraway, one with garlic, one with rosemary, and one with coffee.

Or maybe, you're going to taste the same cheese made with cows milk vs. goat milk vs. sheep's milk, vs. mixed milks. Those could be in almost any order.

It's really up to you! Just figure out some kind of logical ordering that lets your guests have an enjoyable experience comparing cheeses and finding out what they taste in them.

The only reason for the "mildest to strongest" general instruction is that some cheeses are really quite tastebud-dominating, and would make it hard to taste other cheeses afterwards. For example, if you just ate 40g of Rogue River Blue, you won't even taste the lovely, delicate mozzarella di bufala because your mouth will still be full of blue cheese taste.

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    Cheeses at different ages would be the same as mildest cheese to strongest cheese . You could also add more common to less common for the local food culture. Going from parmeggiano and brie in the direction of blue cheese and red smear sounds like an adventure where everyone can test the limits of their comfort zone. Feb 6, 2023 at 9:51
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    One does not simply eat Rogue River Blue before other cheeses!
    – asgallant
    Feb 8, 2023 at 17:19
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"Given two cheeses, which order of eating requires the least amount of effort to be able to properly taste the second cheese eaten?" -- that's the order they belong in. Now that you have a pairwise comparison, you can use any sorting algorithm you wish to determine the final order (something like insertion sort would be good).

Note that cheeses aren't necessarily well ordered--you can have A stronger than B stronger than C stronger than A. In that case, just arbitrarily break the cycle where ever it seems most convenient. Likewise with solving ties, just pick one.

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