Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Making cheese

Those are blue cheeses I made last Thursday and decided to age in the refrigerator. Apparently, they're going to be late bloomers.

See this?
A chunk of the very same blue cheese that I decided to age in the "cave." This hussy is already wearing a tube top and watermelon lip gloss. She smells like blue cheese dressing; I have a feeling she's growing up too fast.

This is the cheese cave:
The temperature reads 64 degrees on a hot day and in the low fifties on a cold day -- overall, just a bit too warm for optimal cheese ripening. But I have limited refrigerator space and some of the cheeses -- camembert, cheddar -- have come out of the cave in spectacular condition.

I started making cheese after taking a Davis Co-op camembert workshop back in April and it's my favorite thing ever. If you have any interest at all -- even a flicker of interest -- you should try it. Don't be intimidated. Buy this book and order supplies from this guy. Take a class, if you can. Improvise your cheese molds using soup cans and strawberry baskets. It's harder than baking bread, but easier than stuffing sausage or decorating a cake and far more gratifying, at least to me. Watching a pinch of powder and a few drops of rennet effect transformations on a gallon of supermarket milk is the closest I've ever come to performing magic. I've been about 50% successful with the cheeses, which is 100% more successful than I'd expected.

No verdict yet on either the blue cheese or the Taleggio.
You wash down the rind of a Taleggio every few days with salt water to control the mold, but these babies have still been growing an awful lot of fur.

Chocolate chip cookie update coming soon.

61 comments:

  1. Whoa. Those cheeses look crazy. I haven't even tried yogurt yet, even though my sister loves her yogurt.

    Do you just toss the bad cheeses? Is it scary to taste them?

    Yay for the Davis Co-op! My family lives in Davis, and it is a great place for food. My first farmer's market experiences were there in the 80's, I used to make my aunt buy apple cider and a fabulous bread.

    ReplyDelete
  2. TESTIFY! I wish more people would make cheese. It's so much easier than they realize.

    Which reminds me, I need to go flip my gouda.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lindsay -- the Davis Co-op was almost enough to make me move to Davis. It puts Whole Foods to shame.
    Yeah, it was scary tasting the first camembert, but after that, not. However, I will definitely be scared to taste the blue cheese.
    Yogurt is the gateway. . .

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would consider mozzerella a gateway cheese. Easy, but hard to perfect. Still working at it, one gallon of milk at a time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. to me, this is the perfect tipsy post. the blue cheese that's growing up too fast is, uh, vintage.
    and then your obvious soul sister (layne) chiming in. you two should go on the road in the wheat belt. you would knock them dead. or the west village. either one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is there a point where the chemistry aspect of this process turns you off to the food aspect?

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  7. My gynecologist say only low-fat cheese because cholesterol. But cheese helps for calcium that women need.

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  8. I have recently discovered the marzolino soft cheese by renieri.net italian producer but do you have any ideas how to make it?

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