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ash

Cheesemakers have long used ash coatings to protect and dry a cheese's exterior, to promote ripening and sometimes simply as a stylish accent. Ash is used most often with cheeses made of goat's milk (see chèvre). Though traditionally made from burned grapevines and roots, ash today is more commonly a powdered mix of charcoal and salt. Vegetable ash is made from dried vegetables reduced to ash.