Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We cut into the Caciotta and the Camembert at my sister's over Thanksgiving weekend.  They had reached the early part of their "ripe and ready" period, so I was a little skeptical.  Normally, I like to wait until the middle of that phase for a couple of reasons.  First, the flavor tends to be stronger, yet more mellow.  Secondly, especially with a Camembert or Brie, I've cut in just a bit too early, and the creamy texture has not yet fully developed in the center.  The taste was OK, but for aesthetics, it does not look quite right...part creamy, part more solid.

I left the cheeses at my sister's and she in turn took them to a brunch get-together with friends on Sunday.  Everyone loved them.  Whew! After not making cheese for so long, I wondered if they'd be OK.  Her friends were eager to learn that I have Roqueforts aging now.  Guess I'll have to share.

With the Holidays coming, I'll have more time on my hands.  Things slow down for work as my customers take long shutdowns at this time.  I'm thinking it'll be a perfect time to try a Port Salut.  That one requires a LOT of babysitting to avoid mold growth on the rind.  I've had to throw out a 3lb wheel before, and struggled to get the next one through the aging phase....plenty of spot treatments with vinegar/salt solutions to curb the spots of mold.  But this time, I have a secret weapon!  Natamycin.  My culture supplier now offers this to help stop unwanted mold growth on brined rind cheeses.  I loved the Port Salut I made before and wanted to make it again, but the work to keep the mold at bay is a put-off.  I'll report on how the natamycin works later this winter.

I'll have to buy extra milk, though.  It's not the Holidays without juustoa!

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