Questions to Test Your Cheese IQ – Marcella, the Cheesemonger ACS CCP
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Questions to Test Your Cheese IQ

Mull of Kintyre

Mull of Kintyre

If you are interested in expanding your cheese knowledge, then check out these sample questions that I have compiled from several published sources including ACS sample questions and CMI Competition.

Answers will appear at the bottom of this article.

Sample Question #1: What is/are the legal definition(s) of pasteurization?

A. Heat uncultured milk for 145F for 30 minutes or 161F for 15 seconds
B. Heat cultured, or uncultured milk, for 145F for 30 minutes
C. Heat uncultured milk to 165F for 20 minutes
D. Heat cheese curds to 160F during cheese making

Sample Question #2: A European man walks into the shop and asks for 200g of Comte. 
How many ounces is he looking for?

A. About 3
B. About 5
C. About 7
D. About 9

Sample Question #3: What does washed-curd mean?

A. The individual curds get rinsed with warm water before hooping
B. It’s another term for a post-production brining
C. It’s another term for washed-rind
D. Whey is released from the vat and water is added to change the curd acidity and retain sweetness

Sample Question #4: Which one of the following breeds of sheep is used for making Roncal?

A. Apennine
B. Merino
C. Laxta
D. Manchega

Sample Question #5: On which day do French cheesemakers begin Vacherin Mont d’Or production?20150519_193510-001

A. Nov 1st

B. April 15th
C. Sept 15th
D. August 15th

Sample Question #6: What is the definition of a raw milk cheese, according to the raw milk cheesemaker’s association?

A. Cheese produced from milk that, prior to setting curd, has not been heated above temperature of milk (104F) at time of milking and that the cheese produced from that milk shall be aged for 60 days or longer at a temperature not less than 35F in accordance with US FDA regulations
B. Cheese produced from unpasteurized milk and aged for 60 days or longer at a temperature of not less than 35F in accordance with US FDA regulations
C. Cheese produced from one herd’s milk and aged for 60 days or longer at a temperature of not less than 35F in accordance with US FDA regulations.
D. Cheese produced by hand using traditional methods and aged for 60 days or longer at a temperature of not less than 35F in accordance with US FDA regulations.

Sample Question #7: What is the Italian term used for cheeses made by heating curd and manually stretching it?

A. Stravecchio
B. Due Latte
C. Dolce
D. Pasta Filata

Sample Question #8: Which animal has the highest protein content in its milk?

A. Buffalo, then Sheep
B. Sheep, then Buffalo
C. Sheep, then Cow
D. Goat, then Cow

Sample Question #9: What breed of cow produces the most milk per milking?

A. Jersey
B. Salers
C. Holstein
D. Brown Swiss

Tim Gaddis and Allin Tallmadge ACS CCPs

Tim Gaddis and Allin Tallmadge ACS CCPs

Sample Question #10: Where is animal rennet found in a ruminant animal?

A. The lining of the 3rd stomach, the Omasum
B. The lining of the 4th stomach, the Abomasum
C. The lining of the 2nd stomach, the Reticulum
D. The lining of the 4th stomach, the Rumen

Sample Question #11: What type of culture grows better in higher temperatures?

A. Mesophilic
B Thermophilic
C. Rennet
D. Starter Culture

Sample Question #12: Which 28g serving of cheese is likely to be lowest in calories?

A. Fresh Mozarella
B. Emmenthal
C. Parmigiano Reggiano
D. Farmhouse Cheddar

Sample Question #13: Which rennet is the most traditional form used for cheesemaking?

A. Microbial
B. Vegetable
C. Animal
D. Human

Sample Question #14: Which cheese would you select to create a regional pairing with an Alsatian Pinot Gris (i.e. a wine of Alsace, France)?

A. Munster
B. Chevre
C. Comte
D. Roquefort

Sample Question #15: What is the best way to cut a rinded cheese?

Laura Downey ACSCCP

Laura Downey ACSCCP

A. Trim the rind.
B. Cut to evenly distribute the rind.
C. Brush the rind before cutting.
D. Cut unevenly to give customers a choice.

Sample Question #16: The earliest form of the modern AOC was designed to protect which cheese?

A. Roquefort
B. Comte
C. Cantal
D. Camembert

Sample Question #17: Which British county can you NOT legally produce Stilton in?

A. Nottinghamshire
B. Oxfordshire
C. Derbyshire
D. Leicestershire

Sample Question #18: Which country has the most name-controlled cheeses (PDO, AOC, DOP, DO)?A. Italy
B. Great Britain
C. France
D. Spain

Sample Question #19: A Blue Cheese is pierced with needles for what purpose?

A. To inject mold.
B. Entry for air
C. To Kill mold
D. Entry for cheese mites

daelias-cheese-board-2-300x165Sample Question #20: What is the recommended method for selecting cheese from existing inventory for restaurant cheese service?

A. By degree of ripeness
B. By cheese category
C. By cheese type
D. FIFO (First in, first out)

Sample Question #21: What is the term used for the annual movement of dairy livestock from valleys to alpine pastures?

A. Alpage

B. Transhumance
C. Sopra la Montagna
D. Transalpine migration

Sample Question #22: Which breed of goat, as recognized by American Dairy Goat Association, produces milk with the highest fat content?

A. Alpine

B. Saanen
C. Nubian
D. Toggenberg

Sample Question #23: Majorero is a DOC cheese originating from?

A. La Mancha

B. Cantabria
C. Canary Island
D. Balearic Island

Sample Question #24: Which of the following is a common maxim for proper rotation of cheese inventory for distributors and retailers alike?

A.) Last in, last out
B. ) First in, first out
C.) Buy less more often
D.) First in, last out

Sample Question #25: Starter cultures added to milk perform what primary function?

a.) Coagulation
B.) Fermentation
C.) Separation
D.) Formation

my-books-169x300Sample Question #26: Which one of these cheeses is wrapped in grape leaves soaked in pear brandy?

A. Rogue River Blue

B. Capriole O’Banon
C. Valdeon
D. Up In Smoke

Sample Question #27: At its root, a HAACP plan is?

A. A means of identifying critical control points in a process

B. A method of establishing traceability in the event of a recall
C. A federally mandated requirement at all levels in the cheese industry
D. A system of quality-driven performance audits

Sample Question #28: Which group of cheeses must all be made with raw milk?

A. Cheddar, Reblochon de Savoie, Taleggio, Morbier

B. Comte, Mahon, Epoisses, Robiola Tres Latte
C. Parmigiano, Brie de Meaux, Banon, Pleasant Ridge Reserve
D. Stilton, Roquefort, Tarentaise, Queso de la Serena

Sample Question #29: Ammonia aroma in cheese is:

A. An indication that the cheese is nearing its maximum shelf life

B. Always dissipated after allowing the cheese to breath
C. A natural part of rind development
D. A sign that non-breathable wrap was used to store the cheese

Sample Question #30: Name the highest consumed AOC/PDO cheese in France.

A. Brie

B. Comte
C. Roquefort
D. Chevre

Kristin Sande ACS CCP

Kristin Sande ACS CCP

Sample Question #31: What mineral in cheese works in conjunction with Vitamin d to promote healthy bones?

A.) Calcium
B). Riboflavin
C.) Phosphorous
D.) Retinol

Sample Question #32: Which two factors are key to pasteurizing milk?

A.) Time and temperature
B.) Milk and cheese type
C.) UHT and HTST
D.) Age and moisture

Sample Question #33: According to Max McCalman and David Gibbons from their book Mastering Cheese, a 4 ounce piece of solid farmhouse cheese supplies how much of the adult nutritional requirements for protein, fat, calcium and phosphorous?

A.) same as an egg
B.) more than half
C.) Less than half
D.) 100%

Sample Question #34: What constituent aspect of cheese has the greatest bearing on whether or not it will melt well?

A.) protein
B.) fat
C.) acidity
D.) lactose

Sample Question #35: Why milk is thermized in cheesemaking?

A.) introduces a desirable cooked flavor
B.) pasteurizes the milk using gentle heat
C.) kill all pathogens prior to cheesemaking
D.) reduce the overall bacterial load

Sample Question 36: Everything else being equal, which two cheeses give a clear illustration of the difference between a lactic-set cheese and a rennet-set one?

Marieke Gouda Tasting with Pepper Fig Spread and Sourwood Honey

Marieke Gouda Tasting with Pepper Fig Spread and Sourwood Honey

A.) Cantal and Salers

B.) Livarot and Pont L’eveque

C.)Brie de Melun and Brie de Meaux

D.) Epoisses de Bourgogne and Affidelice


Sample question 37: Which cheese most directly inspired the recipe for Pleasant Ridge Reserve?

A.) Comte

B.) Appenzeller

C.) Gruyere

D.) Beaufort

Sample Question 38: A cheese becomes ammoniated when:

A.) Proteins breakdown faster than the cheese is able to dissipate the ammonia

B.) Fats breakdown faster than the cheese is able to dissipate the ammonia

C.) Ammonia becomes bound to the salt

D.) The fat and protein become out of balance with the salt

Sample Question #39: At what age are Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses inspected and graded for quality?

A. At least 14 months
B. 12-14 months
C. 12 months
D. Anytime before 20 months

Shannon Tallman, ACS CCP and Peggy Smith, Current ACS President

Shannon Tallman, ACS CCP and Peggy Smith, Current ACS President

Sample Question #40: Jasper Hill Farm is known for its herd for Ayrshire cows. For what reason was this breed chosen?
A. The animals are more compact, and better suited to walking the steep hills of northern Vermont
B. Their milk yield is lower but the fat and protein content higher than any other breed
C. The fat globules are smaller, and the milk less prone to flavors of rancidity.
D. The breed was created in northern France expressly for cheese and butter production.


1.) a    2.) c    3.) d    4.) c    5.) d    6.) a    7.) d    8.) b    9.) c    10.) b 11.) B    12.) A    13.) C    14.) A    15.) B    16.) A     17.) B     18.) C    19.) B    20.) A  21.) B     22.) C      23.) C    24.) B    25.) B     26.) A     27.) A     28.) C     29.) C     30.) B     31.) A       32.) A     33.) B     34.) C      35.) D     36.) C    37.) D     38.) A   39.) C     40.) C

Interviews with All Cheese Professionals: Cheesemakers andCheese Professionals

Interviews will continue throughout 2015… sometimes, they will be “stand-alone” and sometimes they will be presented as round-table discussions with several Cheese Professionals answering the same question. Those participating includeCheesemakers, ACS CCPs™,Cheesemongers and Cheese Professionals and Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.

List of all Interviews from 2013: Cheesemakers, Cheesemongers.

List of 2015 Cheese Professionals.

List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.

Please “Like” MarcellaTheCheesemonger Page on FaceBook.

Taking the 2015 Exam? Please see my page on Tips for Studying for the Exam. Want support? Come join our 2015 Cheese Study Group.


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