Cheese - So far

So far, I get the feeling its relatively easy to make cheese, it's just difficult to make a particular cheese.

I also get the feeling my cheese making will be seen to have failed two months down the track when I taste it. So it's important to take my cheese making history into account when reading everything I have to offer on cheese. That bit's worth reading twice.

Almost all the research I have done points to really only a few steps to making cheese. Almost all the cheeses have these steps. Sometimes not all the steps, and occasionally in a slightly different order.

  • starting a culture 
  • acidification
  • setting the curd
  • heat treating the curds
  • separating the curds from the whey
  • pressing the curds
  • aging the cheese
  • eating the cheese
There some obvious exceptions to these, say, in the case of the fresh cheeses that are eaten before aging, and might not be pressed. Or even in the case of haloumi where the final process might be to fry it. Mozzarella is another exception where there is a cooking and pulling stage. I might have to make mozzerella, it looks like fun. Then there are cheeses that are dosed with mold as in the case of the blue vein cheeses. But even those cheeses are made with many of the basic steps shown in the bullet list.  

Each different variety of cheese may be only due to a tiny change in the temperature, or a small difference in the amount of pressure used to press it. Some cheese even has two faces, in that it can be eaten as a table cheese in its first few months of aging, and then goes on to be a hard cheese suitable for grating and cooking with as it ages a year or more. 

Making cheese to be aged takes a lot of preparation, a lot of time, and, if you are anything like me, every dish, pan, and kitchen surface you have in your home. It also requires some specialist equipment. Making cheese to be aged for a few months has so far been an extremely interesting, and fun thing do, and I'll definitely do it again once I equip myself better. Then there is also the issue of storage. Where does one store one's cheese for up to a year at 12 deg C and 85% humidity?

My recomendation to the novice would be to make my fabulously successful haloumi.

  • It worked well.
  • It tasted better than anything I've ever eaten in the whole wide world.
  • It was easy to make.
  • It was easy to make the second time (although quite different)
  • It was good value for money.
  • It was relatively child friendly in that it, for the most part, it needed low temperatures.
  • It could be eaten within hours or starting the project, meaning you get to see if it worked right away, and you don't need a storage facility to protect it through it's aging process, and any children involved will not have grown up and moved out before its tasting time. 

If you try it, you will make it again, and again, and it will become an heirloom dish for your family. I promise!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts