All About Cheese

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All About CheeseMuch Ado About Cheese
Lovers of cheese will go great distances to find their favorite cheese. It’s an interesting commentary on the origin of cheese when you consider that so long as cows, sheep, goats, buffalo and a host of other mammals produce milk, farmers produce a fermented food as “cheese”. Today, there are hobbyists who seek out other avid lovers of cheese to share their cheese making experiences. The most delightfully tasty food in the world has to be freshly made cheese.

Eating Their Curds And Whey?
The process of making cheese begins with milk. Here’s where the diversification of flavor emerges. Not all animals produce the exact same flavor of milk. With these milk-producing mammals, as with humans, diet is everything. This is why the Swiss produce some of the world’s finest cheeses. Cows, sheep and goats feed in pastures of pristine food sources. It’s easy to tell a wonderful Swiss cheese by its milky appearance. This is also true of cheeses from other parts of the world. The French have always loved cheeses made from goats milk, known as “chevre”. It has a light, yet pungent flavor that is a taste sensation. Brie is a creamy, almost melty French cheese with a natural upper and lower cheese crust.

Italians And Their Cheeses
Italian farmers realized they had a gold mine of wonderful terrain upon which their animals could graze. Much of Italy’s cheese production is done in provinces where the soil is enriched by ancient volcanoes. Even in the southern and central regions of Italy, some of the finest cheeses are produced. Romano, parmesan, asiago, mozzarella and the delicate silky mascarpone are examples of Italy’s most recognized cheeses. Europeans lived simply in earlier times and a glass of wine, a loaf of crusty bread and a plate of cheese and fruits were considered a wonderful midday repast. Mozzarella is the most fun to create. From a small mound of curd, a lovely white ball of cheese is tenderly encouraged by hand to form a globular shape.

Blue Is For Bleu Cheese
While Germans may have an acquired taste for Limburger cheese and the Dutch favor their Gouda and Edam, in the United Kingdom, Stilton is the king of cheeses. Danes are also expert cheese makers. Their Danish Bleu cheese is prized for its unusual blue streaks created by inoculating the cheese with bacteria to form a mold. This gives it a sharper flavor.

Do-it-Yourself Cheese Making
It takes a bit of study before attempting to make your own cheese. Most cheese hobbyists stumble onto their own cheese hobby accidentally. This occurs when they discover a bottle of milk soured. Then, they notice the milk turned into lumpy solids and separates into a watery fluid known as “whey”. In the past when waste was frowned upon, these milk solids were turned into cheese while whey was used as an active ingredient to “start” bread recipes. Whey, when combined with sugar and a little flour begins to leaven. When yeast was unavailable, starter was used instead to make bread dough rise.

Making cheese today begins with pasteurized milk. Study the amount of soured milk needed to produce a sufficient amount of cheese. The process is relatively simple, separate curds, press to remove whey, ripen by allowing it to ferment and cure or age to its fullest flavor. Cheesecloth is traditionally used to separate curds from whey. Today’s cheese makers find by adding rennet to the fermentation process, the result is faster fermentation. In some cheeses today, whey is reintroduced during the fermentation process to add flavor. Salt and other ingredients are also added to cheese. This includes caraway seed, bacon, nuts, sun-dried tomato and jalapeno peppers. Learn how to properly cut various fermenting cheeses. Each type of cheese has a specified cutting process that creates a distinctive cheese flavor. This is one benefit of joining a cheese-making hobby group.

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