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Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: Washed Rind Surface-Ripened Cheeses

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: Washed Rind Surface-Ripened Cheeses

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Learn how to make washed rind, surface-ripened cheeses! This category of cheese is also known by the less-than-appetizing name of “stinky cheese.”
Learn how to make washed rind, surface-ripened cheeses! This category of cheese is also known by the less-than-appetizing name of “stinky cheese.”

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Published by: Chelsea Green Publishing on Sep 17, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Mseig isCheeseMig 
The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers
giCis Cdwe
Foreword by Ricki Carroll
rs c rsv,  s mp f  sp –wppws  s, fm ups cs cmp, Wss
FinShed texture:
Sof to semisof
Method oF coaGulation:
Method oF riPeninG:
Surace and internal bacteriaTis category o cheese is also known by the less-than-appetizing name o “stinky cheese.” And boy, can they reek! Gym socks (think high school boy’s locker roomgym socks) are a common analogy. But ortunately,things don’t always taste exactly like they smell. I
these cheeses. Sof and oozing with strong, meaty,baconlike avor—and did I mention the texture? Washed rind, surace-bacteria-ripened cheesesalso include some semihard to hard varieties rom theGruyère amily (more on this group in chapter 4). Butin that particular style, the surace-ripening bacteria produce minimal changes and, usually, all but disap- pear beore aging is complete. Te term “washed rind”describes the anage process o applying dierentliquids (such as ales, wine, and brine) to the suraceo many kinds o cheeses. Tis type o washing has aar greater inuence on the rind o the cheese thanit does on the interior. So while many cheeses have arind that is washed, they are not necessarily denedas a “washed rind” cheese. For this chapter we willocus on those where the surace bacteria prooundly inuence the nal texture, avor, color, and, o course,aroma o the cheese.Tese cheese types are more popular in some partso the world than others but are o growing popularity,thanks to more adventuresome palates and an expand-ing array o well-produced domestic varieties andbetter-kept imports. In this chapter I will use “washedrind,” “stinky,” and “surace ripened” interchangeably to reer to those types that obtain a sof to semisoftexture, pronounced odor, and distinctive color, thanksto the activity o surace microorganisms. Let’s get toknow these unique, potent cheeses better.
the accidentalstinker 
My rst stinky cheese was a product o happenstance. I’d made one o our usualhard cheeses called Elk Mountain and hada little curd lef over. So I put it in a smallorm, pressed it, and aged it right alongsidethe regular wheels. It was December, so thehumidity in the aging room was about 95 percent (when the aging room cooler doesn’tneed to run, the humidity stays higher). Terinds o Elk Mountain are washed with ale,and ale, o course, brings yeasts.Afer a ew weeks I noticed that the rindon the little wheel was turning a pinkish,orange color. I ignored it and kept turning the cheeses. At one point I thought o get-ting rid o the little one, but afer about twomonths it started to eel sof when I turnedit. Afer another ew weeks it was very sof.About this time it just so happened that wehad a special cheese celebrity visitor com-ing by to see our arm, so we decided tocut it when he was there so he could tell us what had happened. Well, we cut, we tasted, we oohed, weahhed. It was heavenly. It was stinky. It wasserendipity. Te point is that you actually don’t have to know what you are doing tomake these kinds o cheeses successully—at least the rst time. But knowing more will help you appreciate the process andincrease the odds o success.
11: washed rind surFace-riPened cheeses

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