Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hard Cheese #1

Tristan and I decided to start making cheese for a number of reasons. First, it's fun--you get to inoculate things, and who knew you could actually make cheese? Next, it's economical (sort of). You end up paying less for a good homemade cheese than for a fancy organic cheese from the store. And finally, there's much less packaging involved. Just like with the yogurt, you can buy milk in a returnable glass bottle. Buttermilk comes in a recyclable (or reusable) container, and one carton will last you many many batches of cheese (you can freeze it in an ice cube tray so you don't have to use it quickly). There's no packaging other than that, unless you count the wax used to cure the cheese.

So, that said, Tristan and I have made a few batches of fresh, soft cheese. They were really good but a little but annoying to make because of the squishy consistency of the curds. This time, we're making a hard cheese. We followed the instructions on the best website ever, Fankhauser's Cheese Page. We forgot to take pictures of the early stages, but here's a picture of the pressed, salted cheese about to go into the fridge for 2 weeks. After that, we'll dip it in wax and cure it for a month.

We're also currently embarking on Ricotta attempt #2, this time with fresh whey from cow's milk. We should know shortly whether it worked this time...

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