Sunday, August 28, 2011

Comments from Violet

A reader of my blog, Violet, sent me a comment and a recipe for juustoa.  It was attached to the posting I did on this blog July 11.  I thought I'd reply to her comments as full fledged post.  So if you have not seen her comment, go back and look for it.  It's very informative.

First, thank you Violet!  I appreciate your comments and your kind words.  I shall give your recipe a try to see how it compares to mine.  I'm not afraid to experiment (more on experimenting in my next post).  I have not run into problems with small rice-like curds using pasteurized, but NOT homogenized, milk.  I did run into that from time to time using regular store-bought milk, though. In fact, with the pasteurized only milk,  the curds turn out large and intact as long as I don't over-cut the curds and I let the rennet do it's job by not rushing the process.  I always wait for a clean cut, which I usually have once the curd separates from the wall of the pot, giving a thin layer of whey around the edge.  I also have not had any problem with the curds being fragile.  That's why I drain them in a cheesecloth lined collander.  They stay together well, and more of the whey comes off so I have less to drain during the broiling process.  It's hard to see in the photo of my juustoa, but there are whole larger curds evident in the cut-away.  My juustoa had a good texture to it...not grainy at all.  That's not saying one method is better than another.  Just different approaches to the same end result.  What counts is that they work!

On rennet, as I've said before, I've had mixed results with the tablets of vegetable rennet.  The dry granular calf rennet has always worked for me.  I do have some of the tablets in my cupboard.  I'll give them a go when I make Violet's juustoa recipe.  I say, if it works, don't mess with it.  If you have success with the tablets, then by all means, stick with it!

Violet says she uses unpasteurized milk in her juustoa.  I have yet to use unpasteurized milk for any cheese.  I have my reservations.  However, I would probably try it with juustoa first for the following reasons.  IF any bad bacteria were present, it takes them time to grow in cheese.  Juustoa is a fresh cheese and is not aged, but consumed almost immediately after making.  So the chances of any bad bacteria causing illness is minimal with juustoa.  There just simply isn't enough time for the bacteria to multiply to the point of tainting the cheese....if it were present in the first place.  I am quite content making cheese with pasteurized milk, so long as it isn't homogenized.  The reason I have not tried unpasteurized milk is that I want to be sure I know who I'm getting the fresh milk from, and that I am satisfied with the cleanliness of the dairy operation.  So far, I have not had the time to look for a local farmer.  So, I stick with the non-homogenized organic milk from the co-op that's been pasteurized.

Violet also indicates that she uses a bit more sugar than I do in my recipe.  To that I say, "it is a matter of taste."  When I try making Violet's recipe....and I will be doing that and blogging about it....I will use her complete recipe, except for the unpasteurized milk.  Sorry, Violet, I'm not ready to go there just yet.  I'll probably try her recipe the week after Labor Day weekend.  I just finished putting up another Camembert this weekend and I have to keep an eye on the mold development as well as turn the cheese daily for a while. As much as I'd like to make more cheese, I do have a lot going on these days.  I have to pace myself.

Thanks again, Violet!   As always, everyone's comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. An addendum. I left out comments on using powdered milk in juustoa. Like Violet, I've heard of this being done. I have never tried it. If someone out there has tried it, please let us know how it works.