Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trying Cheese

It has been a while ago since I bought my cheese trier. Since then I used it once. I have never dared to cut a core out of a cheese, afraid I would damage or contaminate it. But today I decided to give it a try. I have quite a few cheeses aging and I am curious how they are. I figure it will be a good learning curve to taste a cheese at different stages of development.
The first cheese I cored was a washed curd tomme made on July 6. The number imprinted in the rind refers to the batch number. At 3 months, this cheese was well developed and had a good body. The paste was smooth, perhaps a little granular. Being a washed curd cheese, it occurred to me that it had a typical Gouda undercurrent. I will let it age some more, I am sure it will improve with age.
The second wheel I tried was the last batch of blue I made. This was September 7, a sunny day in NYC according to my records. This cheese was made with Ayrshire milk, the breed of choice for my blue cheeses. I used my own homemade Penicillium rocqueforti, which I wrote about here. Initially I was afraid it wasn't working, it took a while for the blue to show up. But the core clearly shows blueing. At six weeks, this cheese is very mild and is definitively in need of some more aging time.
The last cheese I used the cheese trier on was an 8 months alpine style. Made on February 13 from Jersey milk, this cheese is almost ready to be cut into. The paste smells buttery, it has a sweet taste and it melts on the tongue. Being a cheese made from winter milk, the paste is a little pale.