Last weekend Addie and I made the trek out to Smoky Valley Goat/Artisan Cheese to help out with a Cheese Making Session. Leslie and Alex run sessions where you get to learn how to make cheese and help with the day’s make. There is a fee go to contact me and send me a message if you are interested in going to one and I will get you the information.
We were going to help out with a few projects and help tweak the Redwater to make it better and more unique when compared to it’s fraternal cheese twin, Callingwood. We were lucky to be joined by Tino and his daughter Amanda, the session was a birthday gift to her father, and l think we hooked them on cheese making. A few weeks before Alex and Leslie made a Monatasio style cheese and we helped to rub the rinds with various herbs and even honey.
Like always Addie and I stuck in right away to help put the previous night’s makes, Alpine Tommes, in to the brine after pressing. There were three smaller versions of them that would come into play later. Then we set about warming 260 litres of milk for the day’s make of Redwater. After we were at temperature we added the cultures and ARN to help develop a reddish-orange rind. Then the rest of the make went swimmingly. I did manage to get some pictures of the cheddaring this time.
As we were leaving Leslie and Alex were nice enough to give us one of the small Tommes to age at home, under the condition that we write about how we age the cheese and the results. I know what you are thinking, what is a Tomme, and how do you pronounce it?
“Tomme (French pronunciation: [tɔm]) is a type of cheese, and is a generic name given to a class of cheese produced mainly in the French Alps and in Switzerland. Tommes are normally produced from the skim milk left over after the cream has been removed to produce butter and richer cheeses, or when there is too little milk to produce a full cheese. As a result, they are generally low in fat.
There are many varieties of Tommes, which are usually identified by their place of origin. The most famous of these is Tomme de Savoie. Other Tommes include Tomme Boudane, Tomme au Fenouil, Tomme de Crayeuse, Tomme d’Aydius, Tomme de Grandmère, Tomme Affinée, and Tomme du Revard. Tomme de Montagne is a collective term for the upland varieties, e.g. Tomme de Savoie but not Tomme de Beaujolais.” – Wikipedia
I air dried the Tomme (I have nick-named Tommy) for a few days and then into the cave. I noticed some minor cracking on the rind so I have placed mine in a Tupperware container that is really designed for keeping vegetables fresh. It has two little holes with stoppers at the top that allow you to control the airflow and help keep up humidity. It now has been a week and I am starting to feel the slight moistness on the rind that should indicate that some Geotricum is starting to develop. I will be washing the rind with 2% brine with a bit of ARN in it. I hope to see something new develop. My hope is to give weekly updates on the cheese and then share it at one of the Cheesepalooza tastings.
I am very fortunate that I have been able to help out at Smoky Valley Goat/Artisan Cheese and that they trust me enough to age their wonderful product at home. Well here goes nothing, and enjoy the journey with me.
Go and make some cheese, or at least eat some you like!