My view from the milk stand is on practice makes perfect. My last batch of ash-coated goat cheeses didn’t come out right. They looked beautiful (shown below), but tasted awful. I believe I used too much ash. Cut into a baby one yesterday. It was 10 days old. It was wonderful! The longer it sat at room temperature the better it got.
The first batch of cheese disappointed me terribly and I quit making aged cheeses for a few days. I’m back on the trail again now. I just portioned up containers of chèvre to go in the freezer. Today’s milk is going to be made into *maybe* a new type of cheese – that may need to wait until tomorrow given it’s deadline day.
What the ash coating does is to helps deacidify the cheese surface. This makes it more hospitable to some molds, namely Geotrichum candidum and Penicillium Candidum. As the cheeses age, a thin bloom of white mold grows on top of the ash. It’s perfectly edible. I’ve been having trouble with blue molds growing on my cheeses. In the future, I’m going to dust the ash a little lighter than I have been. I’ve got a couple of cheeses in the cave that aren’t ash coated, in the same ripening box as some ash coated cheeses. So far, they haven’t developed blue mold yet. We’ll see.
Note, these cheeses are available to be sampled by my lucky friends. Just ask.
Had another rather large disappointment yesterday. It upset me terribly on a personal level – but I’m over it now. Things don’t always work out as you want them to. In fact, that seems to rarely happen for me, but I have faith that they always work out as they should.
There’s an amazing mural project going on in downtown Lincolnton this weekend. Wally and I visited three or four times yesterday. We’ll be going back down today. There’ll be a story in the paper on it tomorrow morning. I’ve been negligent in getting stories posted on the web lately. Given we are a subscription paper, it seems unfair to post stories for free when other people have to pay for them.
Until later …