The rind of cheese is home to a fascinating—and beautiful—community of microbes.
Red Hawk, Cowgirl Creamery
Bacteria and fungi growing together make up a microbial ecosystem, and as the microbes grow they contribute to the flavor, smell, and texture of the ripening cheese.
Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne
The colonies you see in these images are formed by individual microbes, which were isolated from cheese rinds and grown on petri dishes in the laboratory.
Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot
Stichelton, Stichelton Dairy
My research is focused on understanding the various ways in which these microbes interact with each other.
Bayley Hazen Blue, Jasper Hill Farm
Mt. Tam, Cowgirl Creamery
Twig Farm Goat Tomme, Twig Farm
Ultimately, I hope to discover what cheese microbes can teach us about the microbial ecosystems found throughout nature.