One of the first cheeses I made was an experiment with skim milk. I had been decreasing the amount of milk fat in the first dozen or so loaves to see what would happen to the final product until I eventually used a gallon of skim for a loaf. Well, while the curds were strong and compact, initially I wasn't impressed. Well, I was doing some upkeep on muh cheese cave today and I noticed the wax on that one was cracked. So I figured, even though the title of the last post for this loaf rhymed with "Bucking Waffle", I decided to rescue it. And while I started to rewax it, I had a taste.
This cheese is excellent. Very, very, very good. A firm but elastic texture, sharp but not too sharp (medium sharp), a biiig mouth filling flavor, and it smells like a well aged Irish cheddar.
The single most interesting thing I've learned from this experience is that home made cheese goes through a very fundamental change in texture anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months after it starts aging, and this change seems to occur rapidly when it happens. One day you have a loaf of dry, crumbly, disgusting cheese curd, and the next it is a soft, elastic, flavorful cheese. It is night and day. Any moron with a palate burned out by jalapenos, cigarettes, and a 18 pack of IPA a day for 30 years would swear the difference is so big it couldn't possibly be the same cheese. However, since I label my cheeses, I know they are :)
Don't have the camera at this moment, but I'm going to be updating this post tonight, along with the tutorials as well with some pretty strong admonishments. Must age at right temperature for two months. Must on pain of bad cheese :D
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.