Abstract Cryo-scanning electron microscopy was used to visualize the microstructure of two types of cheese (Karish and Feta) and milk fermented with different ropy and non-ropy strains of lactic acid bacteria. Specimen frozen in liquid nitrogen slush were transferred in a frozen state and under vacuum into the preparation chamber where they were fractured, etched and coated with gold. Specimen were then transferred under vacuum onto the cold stage and imaged using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Milk fat and exopolysaccharide (EPS) were visible in pores within the protein network. Cheese and fermented milk made with EPS-producing cultures exhibited a porous structure in which the largest pores were associated with visible EPS. A compact structure with small pores was seen in cheese and milk fermented with EPS non-producing cultures. EPS and protein appeared to be segregated in both cheese and fermented milk. EPS formed a network-like structure. Differences were observed in the microstructure of EPS between moderately ropy and highly ropy strains. A relatively long etching (sublimation) time caused EPS to appear as thin filaments similar to those seen with conventional SEM.