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Cheese and Wine

Monday, October 31, 2005

A couple of years ago, I got thinking what would go great with my homemade wine. Then it dawned on me, cheese. Not wanting to just run to the store and by it, I set out to see if I could make my own cheese.

The first couple of attempts were not what I expected. One batch the curd really had not set right and it was more like yogurt. Threw that batch out. Tried a 30 minute mozzarella and it was just ok. An owner from an Italian restaurant, who was originally from Italy, gave me some tips on how it was done back home. Basically, old school, and his tips did make for a better mozzarella.

I tried making a hard cheese with cumin and caraway seed added. I didn't have a press at the time, so I ended up using two cake pans. A 6" pan inside of an 8" pan and used clamps for pressure. Honestly, it did turn out to be a very good cheese. Surprised the crap out of me.

The worst on of all was the batch made with raw milk. I tried to follow the old school recipe to make mozzarella and tried to age it in the whey for 4 weeks. After a week, the stench in the house was just too much. I pulled the cheese out and boy did it stink. We then named it "Stink Cheese". Well, I powdered the outside of the "Stink Cheese" with garlic powder and the smell went away. Lucky for me. I aged it for about 8 months and took it to the local wine club meeting. Every one loved "stink cheese." Go figure, starts out a bust and ends up good.

If you are interested in trying to make your own cheese here are a couple of sites that I recommend: This guy has been making cheese for over 30 years and his site has easy step by step instructions. Website of Ricki Carroll who has a book called "Home Cheese Making" Great book. I've read it about 5 times because it contains a lot of basic info. This site has a few simple soft cheese recipes. The easiest ones to make and requires no special equipment. Interesting article on cheese making.

Good luck and let me know how your cheese turns out.


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