Friday, February 4, 2011

The Amazing Cheese Story, Preparing for Day 4

Tuesday, February 8, will be the final night of The Amazing Cheese Story...our 4-class mini-course at Santa Fe College community Education.  Here is a link to my thoughts after the first night of the class. Day 1

It has continued to be great fun to get together with these folks each week. On Day 2, we shared stories from the artisan cheesemakers and the cheesemongers we'd interviewed doing the research for The Summer of a Thousand Cheeses and we tasted four artisan cheeses.

Last week we explored the composition of milk and how it turns into cheese.  The milks of different animals, cow, goat, sheep, of course differ from each other in taste and butterfat content, resulting in the cheeses made from their milks differing in taste. What the animals have been eating also makes the cheeses taste different, if artisan processes are used that maintain the qualities and tastes of the original milks. Given those facts, almost all cheeses arrive at their curds-and-whey stage by the same processes and from that point, variations in the processing create the variations we find in the final products. What makes blue cheeses blue and mold-ripened cheeses soft? How they are processed subsequent to the curds-and-whey stage. We talked about that and tasted fromage blanc that Russ and I had made the previous day.
Fromage Blanc
Now we are preparing for the final class. We will taste, taste, taste. Perhaps we will also make some mozzarella. Russ and I are experimenting with mozzarella this afternoon to decide if the timing will work for class, and the product will be worth the class time.
Most fun of all, the cheeses we ordered from our cheesemonger are arriving. Yesterday we received Bleu Sunshine, Black and Bleu, and Tomme from Winter Park Dairy. Today we expect more. When it arrives, I'll post some photos!

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