Cheese Making Recipe of the Month
Parmesan Style Cheese
The 'Grandaddy' cheese of Northern Italy
This cheese is probably one of the most famous and certainly the largest in production of all of the italian cheeses.
It begins by sitting overnight to allow the cream to rise for skimming and is ready 18-24 months later as a very hard cheese of granular texture.
This cheese is most often known as the grating cheese for pasta but is actually a superb table or dessert cheese with a rich fruity flavor.
Cheese Making Questions & Answers
Q. In Making Mozzarella I seem to be forming a nice curd , good clean whey, but put the curds in the microwave and it would NOT make mozzarella that would stretch....
A. ..Since you managed to obtain a nice firm curd, then your milk is NOT Ultra Pasteurized ... If what you mean by not making mozzarella is no stretch .. your problem is simply the variation in Microwave outputs some put out more energy than others, to resolve this either: increase your times in the MW (but do not overdo this) .. until you get the curds to stretch OR use a pan of water @ 175-180F and cut the curd ball into thin strips and immerse in this water .. taking two wooden or plastic spoons smoosh these together in a kneading like fashion until they begin to form an elastic mass at which point they should stretch Your goal either way is to get the internal temp of the curd to about 135F You were closer than you thought.
Q. What is rennet? What does rennet do in making cheese? Can I make it myself?
A. Rennet is an enzyme which traditionally comes from the stomach of a young milk fed calf, lamb or goat but you are better off with commercially made rennet today to make cheese. Since it would be very difficult for you to standardize It causes the protein components in milk to form (curd) and allows the liquid components to separate and run off as whey. The milk is allowed to acidify slightly.. rennet is added .. the curds and whey are separated ... the curds are placed into forms From this basic recipe, hundreds of different cheese can be made.
Q. Can I use skim milk in my cheeses?
A. Yes, skim milk may be used in cheese making. Your cheeses will be drier and your yield will be lower. There are cheeses such as Parmesan and Farmers cheese that typically use skim milk because the increased fat levels are not desired in these types of cheeses. When using skim milk you may have to play a bit to adjust your rennet to get the required setting time called for in your recipe.
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Meet a Fellow Cheese Maker
Joe is the one on the right
Widmer's Cheese Cellars producing a very traditional Brick cheese.
Joe is the 3rd generation of Widmers working in the same building. His grandfather built it in the 1920's, his father and uncles followed, and now Joe follows in their footsteps literally.
Oh yes ... and he still makes the same cheese his grandfather began with... and using the same bricks .
What's New at Cheesemaking.com?
New Milk List
As we continue our 'quest to be the best' we are constantly searching for new items
... we have recently sourced the specialty wrapping papers for rind ripened cheese
... as well as many new cultures in larger packs
Jim Wallace has also been busy picking up lots of new information to help the cheesemakers.
He recently attended the Italian Cheese seminar at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese [VIAC] where he learned about the Ragusano cheese from Sicily plus many other italian cheeses. He has also just returned from the Opportunities and Challenges Conference in Sonoma Calif. an annual event to identify new directions and technologies for small cheesemakers.
New to Catalog
Finally after all of your begging, pleading, and gnashing of teeth the 'Cheese Queen' has seen your wisdom and now has bottled Pints of Calf Rennet Rennet is now available in Pint bottles from our website now.
We are now carrying the larger packs of Ezal culture to give you a much larger choice in developing cheeses that have a different character.. aroma..flavor..texture.
These packs are in quantities for much larger vat process but if you are making 5-10 gallon batches or larger we will show you how to make it work for you.
MA011 - A straight ahead Acid producer .. Mesophilic works @ 86-102F
MM100 - Gas producer .. similar to MA011 but will add Diacytyl flavor and CO2 for small hole production
LH100 - Helveticus used w/ thermophilus in mountain style cheese.. Gruyere etc
Propionic - produces gas for holes and typical 'swiss' flavor
Please send your cheese making news & photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org