So you’ve done slow smoking, you’ve cured your own bacon, you’ve made your own yoghurt and you’ve even tried your hand at making your own gin (why not, it seems everybody else has). So in 2017, what about making some cheese?
Ah yes lovely, lovely cheese, how many of us have fallen into a trance in a cheese shop as we contemplate the abundance of riches? One of my old bosses gave up his job to open a cheese shop in the Lake District; a year later we heard he had gone bust because he couldn’t stop eating his own stock. Never get high on your own supply, eh?
Well the title of this book promises much. Artisan cheese making made simple, and as you read on, the temptation to get cheesy becomes overwhelming.
Paul Thomas knows his stuff, he has a degree in Biochemistry and is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. He also runs cheese making courses at River Cafe and owns and runs Thimble Cheesemakers. So you’re in good hands.
But don’t jump into the upper levels of cheese first, Paul shows you how to make things like butter, crÃƒÂ¨me fraiche, paneer and cottage cheese first.
These are all good ways of getting your head around the science of how magically milk transforms into curd and then cheese. Along the way he also stresses the importance of cleanliness, food hygiene and food safety; you are after all going to eat the results.
By the end of the book you’ll be milling, draining, pressing, salting rind washing, maturing and storing with the best of them.
There are 40 classic cheeses to make and over 450 photos plus a useful troubleshooting section for when things go wrong.
A list of online suppliers will prove invaluable when it comes to sourcing your heterofermentative mesophilic starter, and your pH meter, but for the first cheeses you don’t need much it that you probably don’t already have – digital scales, a thermometer, decent steel pans and a thermos flask.
Of course once the bug bites the opportunities to buy lots and lots of kit are enormous and thus very gratifying if you’re a man – little bit of sexism there. You might also find that you need a bigger home for maturing all the cheeses.
But that’s all in the cheesy future, this book from www.lorenzbooks.com is great value even if you never progress to the finer cheeses, you’ll enjoy reading all about cheese and salivating over the pictures.
Now where did I put the crackers?
Publisher: Lorenz Books