I was looking in the fridge the other day and a came across a piece of cheese that was at least three years old, I know that does not sound to appetizing but when it looks like this…Maybe it was time to make another.
I knew it would take some time to make the cheese so I made a time appreciation to figure out how long it would be.
Parmesan is a lower fat cheese, you want to have a fat content between 2-2.8 %, it is a good thing they sell 2% milk at the market.
I used a thermo B mix that I had on hand, I could have used lipase to jack up the piquantness of the cheese, but I figure the long ageing will help with that and to be honest I forgot I had lipase until I was cooking the curds, but I use Lamb Rennet which has lipase in it. The directions that I used had almost no milk ripening time. Right after you mixed in the culture you added the Calcium Chloride and then the Rennet.
There is not much to tell about the curd set, it was a bit longer than expected, but I got a decent set. Cutting the curd to 1/4 inch was a bit of a pain, but in the end the effort shows. The directions called for a two stage heating of the curds. 30 minutes to one temperature, 5 minutes rest, then 30 minutes to the next temperature., stirring the entire time.
I was on fire this day, other than the longer curd set, I met times and target temperature exactly on schedule and the curd showed for the effort too.
I have watched videos where the Parmigiano Reggiano makers take the curd mass out of the whey in a huge cheese cloth and straight into the moulds. Well I am not in Italy and definitely not making Parmigiano Reggiano, I had to drain the whey.
Over all it was a good make and the new press preformed as expected. I did realize that pressing in my basement may not be the best idea. It was around 15C down there and the curds cooled too fast. Next time I will press upstairs in the kitchen.
Now to discuss the “Elephant in the room” – No the title is not a typo. Yes this will be a cheese for Christmas 2015, I know that is a long time, but I have aged a Parmesan style cheese to 9 months and tried one that was much older. There is no comparison you need to age it a minimum for a year in my humble opinion.
I will have the picture set up on Facebook as usual.
Until next time go and make some cheese.