Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stilton Cheese Attempt

I attempted making a Stilton blue cheese shortly after I made my first Camembert.  The Camembert had developed it's white rind mold and was maturing in its container.  I was on a roll!  So I set to work making my Stilton.  What makes a Stilton different from a just a blue cheese is that it is wiped with salt water to dry out the rind a bit.  Both are different from a true Roquefort in that the Roquefort is made with sheep's milk....try finding that around your neighborhood!  But I do have a source now for sheep's milk and will attempt a Roquefort someday.

I bought my Camembert/Brie/Blue kit and was all set to use the premeasured packets for the blue cheese.  I even rechecked the packets twice to be sure I was using the right ones.  I followed the directions to the letter.  I molded the cheeses and set them to age.  Then I waited for the blue mold to appear.  And waited, and waited, and waited.  I got white mold.  Well, penicillin does bloom white at first, then blue.  So I waited some more.  Still nothing.  So out of curiosity, I rechecked the inventory of packets in the freezer.  I was down one Camembert/Brie and had all of my blue packets!  So I made Camembert but followed the heating and other methods for blue cheese.  I have no idea what I'm getting, but I will be interested in seeing what it turns out to be :-)

Between the failed blue attempt and a re-do, my daughter convinced me to make cultured butter.  We did and it was excellent.  I even made Buttermilk Kasse from the buttermilk we got from making butter.  It, too, was very tasty.  So now it was time to try making my Stilton again.  This time, I know I used the right packet!

After about seven days, the first little spots of blue appeared.  At 12 days, the blue mold had spread throughout the borders between the curds as you can see in the photo below.  The two photos at the top are of the same cheese.  The first one is a top view at 12 days, and the one below it is the same top view but at 16 days...what a difference!  Still, this is now July and the Stilton won't be ready until November.  This hobby is not for satisfying instant gratification, I can tell you!

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