Alpine Washed Rind Info

Soft Summer Cows Milk Cheese

Living in the here in the northeast, we love the summer months, and so this month I will be taking advantage of one of my favorite times of the year for milk, by showing you how to make this wonderful cheese.

Early summer; the pastures are still green enough and the butterfat is just beginning to rise' so the milk is great for making my own version of a softer Alpine style cheese. Yes, another one of my hybrids that I have derived as a mix of so many other cheeses to become a star in its own right.

This time of year the milk takes on its warm glow from the fresh grass, and the lower fat tends to make for a little leaner cheese, allowing the texture and flavors of the milk to shine through. From the special combination of milk and culture, a slight open texture develops, also adding a wonderful nutty/sweet flavor.

This hybrid cheese borrows on the processes from several other cheeses from the Swiss, the Dutch, as well as the Scandinavians.

Not only is this a really great cheese as is, but this months guide will give you the details for many steps in the process that can change the cheese you make, and bring you closer to making your own cheeses.

Based on an Alpine Style Cheese

This cheese will be based on an alpine style cheese, with its elastic texture, but a lower level of moisture, which helps with a shorter aging. It will also incorporate both a washed curd, as well as a washed rind, both desirable characteristics for this one.

The culture mix also includes the Propionic culture to provide a small amount of gas production, as well as a slight sweet flavor typical of what we commonly refer to here in the USA as 'Swiss' cheese.

The sweetness will also be enhanced by washing the curds with warm water early in the process, to help slow the acid development. The supple texture will be aided by draining whey at an earlier point before much acid has developed.

This will tend to limit the calcium loss and make the texture more elastic.

A higher moisture will aid in the establishing of a washed or smeared rind surface to exclude unwanted mold growth. The moisture also aids in a shorter ripening time of two to three months.

This should yield a cheese that is moist with a buttery, sweet and nutty flavor.

The washed rind will also add that warm aromatic aspect to the cheese (just shy of Stinky, or not, you have some options). A longer aging of 5-9 months will yield a stronger flavor with more character.