I am in the weeds here folks! I’ve tried to make a lactic blue cheese, with varying success. The first was a salt lick but looked pretty, the second didn’t even get any blue on it, but looked pretty as well. The third and most successful to date was a spur of the moment decision to add some p. roquforti to one of my Camembert, it was not pretty but super tasty. The fourth attempt had everything going for it, great coverage and the sampler cheese, well…
Before starting I went back to my notes on the previous cheese and decided to eliminate the addition of geotricum to the mix and just stick to the blue mould. After all I do have a strain of geo that is in my fridge that has been impossible to get rid of. I used my standard lactic cheese recipe and added the mould at the time of ripening. The cheese was ripened for 24 hours and drained for 40 hours. I added salt to the “tops” during the last 12 hours of draining and salted the other sides when they were un-moulded.
They had their own ripening box and their own cheese fridge too, all with the hope of a successful combination of mould and cheese to produce something that would resemble blue cheese.
It was then when I decided that I wanted some blue veins so I sterilized a thermometer and began to poke some holes.
I kept the cheese at 10 degrees Celsius and at 95 % humidity for a few more weeks, checking on the development as I waited. The blue covered almost the all of the cheeses by the end of week two.
I was quickly becoming a fan of blue cheese, what the heck was happening. I always swore I would never make one, and now this was my fourth attempt. That was always in the back of my mind, but soon it was time to wrap them in foil and continue aging them.
A few days later I decided to try one to see if I was completely hooked and a full fledge blue convert.
The aroma and flavour were amazing, just the right amount of saltiness combined with the mild blue flavour throughout the past, stronger towards the rind. I could not stop eating the cheese. It was amazing, I am a blue convert!
This sounds perfect right? Well fast forward a week and I want to have some blue cheese on a burger, I open up the cheese fridge and there are pools of milky goop on the bottom. I see that it is coming from the foil wrapped blues. I gingerly opened one to see that it had almost liquified and was surrounded by this milky white goop, I opened another one and another. All were that way, what went wrong. I have some suspicions, but I think I can rule out evil space monkeys. I think that somewhere along the way there was some sort of contamination. I am not sure what, but I am glad I did not share this cheese with any friends.
I have a solution, instead of trying to come up with a blue formula I will head into my cheese making books to find a tried and tested recipe for a blue cheese. After all I am a convert.