Moos-Letter Summer, 2006

Moos-Letter Summer, 2006

Cheese Making Recipe of the Month

Queso Blanco

This is one of the most traditional Latin American cheeses.

Simple to make with the additions of chilies, herbs or spices and this cheese will not melt when added to traditional south and central American recipes

Cheese Making Questions & Answers

Q ... We are making fresh Chevre from our Nubian milk. We have tried wrapping it in cheese paper and also in saran wrap and both allow the cheese to get red molds and hairy molds on the surface as well as runny rot. They are being stored in a refrig. Is there a way to age these cheeses without the mold problems? Would they be better totally unwrapped?

A ... Since you are wrapping these chevres I assume you are mold forming them... your problem here has nothing to do with the wrapping papers ... You are producing cheese that are too moist ... If this is what you want then they need to be handled as fresh cheese and consumed ASAP ... If you want to age them a bit then you must undergo a proper drainage (24-36 hrs) and air drying (24-48 hrs) before you can send them to the cave or wrap them

Q ... Now that I have learned how to make my cheeses, do you have any tips for how to smoke them-- like on the stove top or on a grill? 

A ... Oh yes! ... Smoked cheese can be fabulous .. I just finished a piece of smoked blue that was spectacular.

.. It is not so easy since the butterfat will melt at a fairly low temp but if you can cool the smoke with a long pipe run from your smoking source to smoking chamber you will be quite happy .. You need to keep the cheese below 90F ... Getting the right amount can be somewhat of a challenge but well worth the effort

Q. I made some farm house cheddar last year. After aging, my cheese was crumbly and dry. I followed the exact recipe in your hard cheese making kit, including using a mixture of milk and heavy cream. Do you have any idea what would have caused my cheese to be dry and crumbly?

A. What has happened here is that the acidity of the cheese developed too much .. As the acid increased it caused the calcium balance to change (less Ca in the cheese) .. This caused a weaker bond for the curd and hence a less elastic more brittle cheese... the excess acidity also caused the curds to shrink and to force out more moisture over time and hence the dry chalky curd .. This is commonly known as 'acid cut' ... The cause of this can be one or a combo of 2 points....

  • 1... too much culture or too long a ripening time which creates more acid
  • 2 ... not a long enough stir after heating to drive off excess lactose this lactose will carry over into the later stages and provide the fuel to continue to produce acid.

Next time add less culture (20-50%) AND/OR stir a bit longer in the pot until the curd seems a bit drier .. A combo of these 2 should get you back on track.

Have a cheese making question, we're here for you:

Meet a Fellow Cheese Maker

Kris Guptill: Mozzarella goes to school

Ever hear of 5th graders making canolies with homemade mascarpone cheese? How about 5th graders stretching mozzarella and stirring ricotta made from scratch for lasagna? These same fifth graders also made savory pretzel dips as a snack for open house with fromage blanc made in the classroom.

The fifth graders in Mrs. Guptill's room did all this with funds from a grant supplied by the Central New York Teaching Center.

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Moos-Letter Spring, 2006
Moos-Letter Fall, 2006


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