18 Reasons calender~Homemade Cheddar! How cool is that? Cheese is my favorite food.
The class was taught by Louella Hill, The Milkmaid.
So here's what went down:
Getting ready to make cheddar. First we taste~on the plate at 1:00: Fresh Tillamook cheddar, moist and buttery. Mild. Supermarket shrink wrap. @4:00 Cabot Vintage Cheddar-one of my favorites-still fairly moist and buttery, much tangier than the Tillamook. This has been my go-to everyday cheese for the last year. It's a wax coated cheese. Aged ??? @8:00 Cabot Clothbound Cheddar or what is also called bandage wrapped. The flavor is so much more intense than the previous cheeses. Finally @10:00 Keen's Cheddar from England. It's got a big moldy veins. YUM! Drier and even more intense than the Cabot. Saltier, savorier. good stuff.
Then with a flat straining ladle, start making horizontal cuts and gently stir.
Drain and place the curd, which has clumped into a large mass, in a large bowl and break apart and crumble with your fingers. The thing that surprised me the most was the sweetness of the whey. It made me very sad to see it go down the sink. Traditional ricotta is made from cooked whey.
Once the wheel has been compressed overnight, it's left to sit out for a day or two in order to dry out and form a skin.
At this point in the class we were each given a small wheel which had been previously made, so that we could commence with the wrapping. We cut up strips and circles of clean white cotton, dipped the "bandages" in bacon fat and wrapped the cheese to protect the cheese while it ages.
We were given little plastic mesh mats and instructed to age our cheese in a zip lock bag in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator or better yet- in our wine refrigerator <snort>. The cheese needs to be turned every day.
This is called affinage, the care and aging of cheese.Stay tuned.