Photo: mkorcuska, Flickr
The black-greenish powdery film of vegetable ash that runs through the middle of cheeses is often mistakenly identified as mold. In cheeses, such as Humboldt Fog, this layer of edible ash is purely aesthetic. But, when it comes to Morbier, a French cow's milk cheese, it's all about giving the impression of preserving tradition. Hundreds of years ago the line of ash separated the morning milk from the afternoon milk; sadly, that's no longer the case. Interestingly, this custom is being revived and reworked by an American dairy, Prairie Fruits Farm in Champaign, Illinois. In their pyramid-shaped Krotovina (shown above), vegetable ash divides the cheese into two distinct parts – goat's milk and sheep's milk.