Some times you come across something that can humble you, for years it has been Mozzarella for me. Now I have another and it is Camembert. I have posted about my earlier failure to make a Camembert for my Mother’s visit this past weekend. I tried again, and I thought things went well. The make was better, I used better milk. The draining and flipping regiment was better still. I had a decent cheese at salting.
The ageing went well, or so I thought. It kept its shape until about day 7 when I noticed some slouching. I tried to save it by tying a band of cheesecloth around the sides. It seemed to work. I put the cheese back into the regular fridge and continued ageing. I had geo and PC bloom. The. I noticed the cracks and the cheese ooze. It was kind of tasty so I figured go for it and try to age it out. That is where I went wrong (aside from not draining long enough again). I pulled it out for a cheese plate for the visit it liked OK so it was time to open it. It was gooey and nice even thought went too long for ageing.
- Appearance: There was good coverage of the geo and PC on the top and bottom. The bandage on the sides made it look junky.
- Nose (aroma): There was a pronounced ammonia smell when opening the ripening box, it smelled earthy when allowed to breathe outside of it.
- Overall Taste: Is crapnasty a word? You start with the mild Camembert taste or hint of mushrooms then it degraded to tasting like someone sprayed too much windex on the counter, that nasty taste you get in your mouth after cleaning the bathroom mirror.
- Sweet to Salty: Stong ammonia flavour
- Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): See my previous comment
- Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): It was soft and creamy, but the ammonia taste was so off-putting that it seemed like it affected the texture too.
How the Cheddar Saved the Day
Just before my Son turned 7 he asked me to make him a cheddar that we could have when he turned 8. Well I am glad that he did, and it saved the day after the debacle that was the Camembert .
The cheddar was made in April 2012 and it took a great deal of effort not to try it sooner than when we intended to. I am glad that we waited, for as much as the Camembert was bad, the cheddar was amazing. It was made with
raw…err…fresh Jersey milk without adding colour and was cheddared in the traditional way or stacking the curd. And aged with a natural rind for 2 months, then vacuum sealed for 10 months.
- Appearance: The rind was an Ivory colour with a few splotches of pink from a b.linens cross contamination from the washed rind cheese I was making at the time. The paste looked crumbly, but was still quite solid
- Nose (aroma): It has a quite pleasant aroma, a slight lactic smell, but all cheddar
- Overall Taste: Very much like an older Cheddar, it has the salty acidic flavour that I expect of a cheddar of this age.
- Sweet to Salty: Salty, acidic but not off-putting, a slight nuttiness finding with a hint of sweetness
- Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): Robust, it tastes and smells the way a year old cheddar should, not like the “old” cheddar from the supermarket .
- Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): It started out firm with some crystal feel, but when it melted on your tongue it was quite creamy.
I will be making Cheddar again and I will be making Camembert again too. I will not let this cheese become the running joke that Mozzarella has become.
Go make some cheese and see you at market.