A taste of the mountains

Can you guess what I have been up to today?

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what’s in the pots?

Well, since it isn’t knitting or crochet, it must be… cheese-making. I recklessly decided to make two cheeses today – a hard cheese which I have made many times before and a new variety. I was so busy concentrating on the new cheese that I made a mistake with the order of additions for the hard cheese… I coagulated the milk before adding the microbial culture. I think it’s going to have an odd texture as a result but, who knows, it might be a triumph!

Anyway, the new variety is an alpine-style cheese; something akin to Raclette. Interestingly, it does not use a cheese culture to start, but instead it is inoculated with yoghurt. The result was some very stretchy curds, but then the key characteristic of Raclette is that it’s very stretchy when melted, so maybe this bodes well. It is pressed only overnight, unlike the hard cheeses, which are pressed for up to 48 hours, and the pressure applied is lower, both of which mean it will retain more moisture. Currently both cheeses are pressing and since I only have one cheese press, I am using my alternative (bought specially for the purpose):

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one cheese press and one clamp

The hard cheese is in the clamp since there is no gauge, but I have a good feel for the amount of pressure that needs to be applied. The alpine cheese is in the press, with the pressure set according to the recipe.

The hard cheese will be waxed for maturing, but the alpine cheese is going to have a washed rind. You can wash the rind in brine or vinegar or alcohol. To keep my theme of local ingredients, I have decided to use a local beer… now I just need to choose which one:

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I wonder which will go best with the cheese?

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12 Comments

  1. Good luck! Hope they turn out well.

    Reply
  2. You are so talented! I would never dream of making cheese!! I bet they will both be delicious – be sure to make some notes of the out of order steps you did so that you can recreate it when it turns out fabulous!

    Reply
  3. Fingers crossed the hard cheese turns out OK. As you say, the texture may be a bit variable, but you never know, it may be a triumph! If you’ve invented your own brand new kind of cheese, what will you call it? 🙂

    Reply
    • I think it would have to be swac (back-to-front Welsh cheese). I suspect it’s going to be rather dry because of the very broken curds, but I won’t press it as much as usual to compensate slightly. If I mature it for long enough it should be tasty and I can always just use it for cooking.

      Reply
  4. Looks like a good day’s work! I have always wanted to try making cheese, but have only got as far as making yogurt, which is a wonder when fresh and homemade! Good luck with your cheeses and your rind washing choice! Do you ever make Glamorgans?

    Reply
  5. Laurie Graves

     /  March 12, 2017

    Good luck! Keep us posted.

    Reply
  6. Yum! Raclette cheese is so good, I wish we could find it more easily in Australia 😦 maybe I should try making my own like you’re doing 🙂

    Reply

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