Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cheesemaking dreams

Lately, I've been musing about whether I might have a wheat intolerance. That is sad enough, but by golly, if I ever found out I was allergic to cheese, that would be rather tragic. I'm a girl who lurves my cheese.
Inspired by this, and by tutorials like those on Gavin's blog, I've been dreaming about learning to make cheese. So I ordered this book Home Cheesemaking by Neil and Carole Willman.
Oh dear. Having read the book, it all looks a bit daunting. I think I'll need to do a course, or at least watch someone make cheese, before I feel confident in having a go myself. Some things, I think, you have to do to learn. I've found courses nearby through the Cheeselinks website. Rather pricey, but it's my birthday coming up....
Meanwhile, ever wondered why cheese is expensive? Part of the reason would be the cheese yield - ie. how much cheese you get from your milk. For example, cheddar yields 10%. I guess this means it takes 10 litres of milk to make 1 kilo of cheese. The yield for parmesan is 7.5%. Makes you think, doesn't it?


Tracy said...

I just started cheesemakin this year (I got a starter kit from Cheeselinks for Christmas).I've only made the soft cheeses so far but will venture further when the weather cools down a little. I love cheese too.

Jan said...

Yes, cheesemaking would be too daunting for me, but I think you will achieve it. I saw mention of an Australian and a DVD on making cheese at home.... I can look back and find it if you haven't seen it.

Paola said...

Tracy, it's good to hear from someone who has had a go - it gives me a bit of confidence to do the same.
Jan, if you come across the info on the DVD, I'd love to hear from you.

Jan said...

Paola, here is the web address:

Sincerely, Emily said...

Hi Paola, oh, I must tell you....I just finished a soft and hard cheese class. For me, It was worth it. I do so much better when someone shows me, then I can go home and read if I need to refresh. I have been making yogurt for a bit and also draining the yogurt to make a soft spreadable cheese too - add herbs YUM!

So, Last week I made a wheel of Cheddar and a wheel of Monterey Jack. I hope to wax them today and put them in the "cheese cave" as Gavin says (maybe others say that too, I don't know!)

In June I will make Parmesan. I figure I better just get a few aging since it takes some time (2-4 months, 11 months, etc)

I am so excited to be making cheese. It really is fun even though the process takes time, it is worth it.

Now I just wait - and cross my fingers that it will be great when we cut into it.

Emily in South Texas

Paola said...

Emily, that sounds fantastic. I think I'm the same in that I learn better by seeing then reading and doing. You've convinced to invest in a course.
Jan, thanks so much for the link...I'm off to check it out.