Friday, June 1, 2012

Finding Your Whey - June Challenge: Cheddaring

We've covered several different cheeses now, including the basic mesophilic hard cheese, which I'm sure you've got aging right now. This month we're going to kick it up a notch and try our hand at cheddaring - which isn't just for cheddar. Cheddaring is the process of cutting the drained curd into strips and allowing them to set at 100 deg F for 2 hours.There are actually several different cheeses that are cheddared including Derby and Leicester and of course Cheddar.

There are several ways to make cheddar. The shortcut is farmhouse cheddar, a more involved way is stirred-curd cheddar and then there's the more challenging traditional cheddar. The first two do not actually involve the process of cheddaring but you can choose any of these depending on how comfortable you feel. You may have already tried cheddar last month. If you tried farmhouse cheddar then try a harder one to make. If you went all out and did traditional cheddar then this time make a flavored cheddar - jalapenos, sage, caraway, horseradish - or try one of the other cheeses that involve cheddaring.

Cheddar, which dates back to the 16th Century, takes its name from a small village in Southern England. Legend has it that a Stone Age skeleton was found in ancient caves over the Cheddar Gorge. Above it's head hung a vessel of goat milk that had turned into a hardened into a pleasant tasting cheese. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be tasting something thousands of years old. 

Don't forget to share your cheesy adventures!