On Friday night I was looking for something to do, and when that happens I start to tinker with things that really should be left alone. This time was the exception to that. I had planned on leaving the Scotch Washed Rind Cheese, aka Special Project Cheese, until next week, but I thought other wise. I pulled it out of the cave and this is what it looked like at 25 days.
The aroma was a bit yeasty mixed with mushrooms, it was not all unpleasant. The rind had a slight orange hue and had the tell tail signs of some wild geo, I have scrubbed the cave but still can’t get rid of it, and was slightly tacky to the touch in some places. My mind was set I was going to try this cheese and even a “I thought you were going to save that for next weekend” from my wife wiu,d not deter me. I like to cut things in half, so I did.
There were some small mechanical holes, I was not expecting a completely solid paste given it was drained under its own weight and not pressed. The taste straight out of the cave was slightly acidic, but not off putting, and there was subtle saltiness to the cheese. I cut a wedge from one of the halves and put it on my trivet to come to room temperature. One of the halves I vacuum sealed and it went back into the cave. The remainder went into my fridge upstairs.
After about an hour it reached room temperature, so it was ready for the tasting to begin. It had a semi soft appearance to it and the rind was actually quite firm though thin. The paste was quite creamy in texture, but crumbly. It kind of reminded me of blue cheese crumbles you would put on burgers, but without the blue. The flavor was less acidic, but it still had the subtle saltiness from before. I was hoping for some melting at room temperature, but I was happy with the results.
I do have some changes for the next batch, first I would cut the curd larger, and have it drain in the hoop longer. I also will use the whole batch of milk to make these so I can age each one to different times. I know I mentioned that I would be making a Parmesan style cheese this month, but I feel compelled to make this one again, so the Parmesan shall have to wait until June.
Have a great day, go make some cheese or eat some you like.