The production of cheese like many other food preservations is a long and tiring process. A week ago, I saw and experienced first hand making cheese and the struggle that comes with it. It was very interesting to see how much effort and time you put into it. It proved to me that truly good things come to those who wait because it takes a long period of time to craft and perfect a wheel of cheese.
A brief history, cheese is actually the oldest and the most natural milk concentrate. Basically, this was the only way to preserve milk back in the olden days, when people didn’t have proper dairy storage. The first milk for human consumption was taken from sheep and goats until cow milk was discovered. Milk was discovered by many different people from different places, but whoever discovered cow milk, I couldn’t tell.
Cheese is rich in protein and minerals which are good for our bodies.
Copper is a really good heat conductor and nonreactive to milk, therefore, it is used by “fromagère” to make cheese. All hands on deck the cheese making has begun!
Inside the pot, milk will be boiled until it reaches 30 degrees celsius and then an enzyme from cow’s stomach called rennet, culture, a bacteria that eats the lactose was added which helps the milk thicken.
Then we proceed to the endless stirring part. Ocasionally swapping with my fellow culinary student.
When water is separating from the curd we learnt that two products will be present in the pot; buttermilk and butter. We were allowed to sample the buttermilk which is very good for your stomach, it tasted rather different to anything I have tasted before. It tasted rather fatty.
The curd was transferred and pressed into a cheese container and on its way for brining. Brining is mainly to slow down the bacteria process of converting lactose to lactic acid. It is also generally for hard cheeses that required a short ageing period. After brining, the cheese will be taken and kept in a cellar to age. It will take about 3-5 months or until cheese reach its full potential.
Here is a picture of Borough market in London where all types of cheese are sold for those who loves cheese.
Until next time!