The cheese microbiota, whose community structure evolves through a succession of different microbial groups, plays a central role in cheese-making. The subtleties of cheese character, as well as cheese shelf-life and safety, are largely determined by the composition and evolution of this microbiota. Adjunct and surface-ripening cultures marketed today for smear cheeses are inadequate for adequately mimicking the real diversity encountered in cheese microbiota. The interactions between bacteria and fungi within these communities determine their structure and function. Yeasts play a key role in the establishment of ripening bacteria. The understanding of these interactions offers to enhance cheese flavour formation and to control and/or prevent the growth of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in cheese.