The cheese experiment

Two years ago I gave my sister a cheese-making class for her birthday. It was scheduled for two half days one weekend in July 2010. I ended up having to work that weekend so Cherisse went with her in my place.

The class sounded fabulous. The teacher, a master cheese maker from Narragansett Creamery, taught the class to make mozzarella, yogurt, butter, and ricotta. They also made a hard cheese, formed into a wheel, which needed to age at least six months. At the end of the second day the wheel was raffled off, and Cherisse won it.

Storing the cheese at the right temperature proved a challenge, and at first too much mold grew on the outside. A search online informed us that this was easily removed. Once the cheese was back in good condition, we decided to keep it in the refrigerator. Not ideal conditions, but the best we could devise.

There it sat for 19 months, forgotten in the cheese drawer. Today our friend Lori came up for a visit from New York and asked about the cheese. So we thought, why not see how it turned out?

The outside rind had mold on it, but this was easily removed (and didn’t permeate beyond the rind). When we cut inside we found ribbons of (desirable) mold running through the center. It looked—and tasted—like some of the special (and expensive) cheeses I’ve purchased at the Union Square farmer’s market in New York. It was pungent, very flavorful, and wonderful. Worth the wait.

 

Cheese wheel cut

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