Monday, January 5, 2009
This is the Gouda I made on December 6 and wrote about here. It is obviously swelling up due to gas formed by the Clostridium tyrobutyricum bacteria. I started to see the first signs about two weeks ago and now one of the cheeses is even showing cracks.
Apparently there is a product on the market called Holdbac, which has proven to inhibit growth of undesired microoganisms. It is said to have a positive effect on cheese flavour and texture. Thus it can be used instead of saltpeter which is known to prevent cheese blowing. I spoke to a well respected cheese maker and supplier recently who suspected that the Dutch use saltpeter in great quantities in their Goudas and Edams. They feed the cows a lot of silage, the main cause of the gas forming bacteria. I remember it well. Growing up, all over the Dutch countryside were these heaps of fermenting grass, covered with black plastic weight down by old tires.
In most parts of Switzerland and France it is forbidden to feed the cows on silage to produce an AOC cheese.