Im having this discussion of the necesity of the straw for the maturation\ripening of this cheese.
I'm saying, the straw serves a functional role and a unique presentation item.
As this cheese doesnt encourage aerobic mold\yeast growth in the paste, (molecular) oxygen serves no real porpuse or has major influence on ripening.
Putting aside the Geo yeast which plays a role in this cheese,
The accual ripening of the paste (alternation of fatty acids for example) is related to the oxidation-reduction reactions promoted by enzymes (from milk,coagulant,LAB) not oxygen. am I right or wrong?
The other side argues that it does make a big difference and it helps the cheese "airate"\"breath" and promotes a nutty taste. (this does have a chemical reasoning as oxygen can oxidize fats , I think nutty is the mid step before rancid