Friday, November 3, 2017

Some Lessons Learned...Wasted Cheddar! Baby Swiss Update


Need I say more????

This orange coating is HORRENDOUS. I really cannot believe that anyone actually likes this crap. When we opened our first Cheddar before Halloween, it smelled like nail polish remover. We removed the horrible orange coating, cut a third of the cheese off (the thick rind) and let it "air out" for SIX days...it still smelled and tasted like the coating. My very first Cheddar that I made on July 28th is now in the trash.

SO DISAPPOINTING.


I had to make the sad decision to throw away this beauty too. This was the second wheel of Cheddar that I made in August. It was supposed to age for 6 months and be ready for Valentine's Day. I already know what it's going to smell and taste like, so why prolong the agony right? Sigh.

DON'T EVER USE THIS COATING PEOPLE!!! Don't let the cheese making supply shops convince you otherwise unless you like plastic-chemical tasting cheese. I nearly cried when I threw this out.

That is a lesson learned and I'm SO GLAD I didn't coat any of my other cheeses with this foul thing. I'm not giving up on Cheddar, I'm just going to age it more naturally in hopes that it'll turn out without any chemical odours and flavours. On to other lessons...


My Baby Swiss has been drying in the cheese cave, uncovered, for the last month. Every day I flip it and brush off any mould that has formed. You can see some tiny little dots of mould on the cheese. Here is another lesson I learned. It will be challenging to make a pressed cheese without the proper mold and cheese press. 


It took me about half an hour this morning to poke out all the mould from my cheese, and I'm sure I didn't get it all. I'm about to diss a well-loved company so be prepared. The New England Cheese Making company offers so many free recipes on their site; with a list of ingredients to buy. I'm not the first person to claim that their recipes are badly written on the site. I'm also not the first to report that cheeses made from their recipes taste nasty (my Colby). Just check out the cheeseforum.org and it's full of disappointed cheese makers who have used those recipes. And people who are frustrated by the lack of help and response when you email them.

The company claims that you don't need fancy molds and expensive cheese presses to get great results. Hmmm...not true at all. I didn't have the right mold for the Baby Swiss and it's really too thin. I didn't have an expensive cheese press, I had to use weights and cans and it's full of cracks and holes - ripe areas for mould to just dig in - something I found out this morning. I know that the inside of these cracks are full of mould, but I can't pick apart the entire wheel of cheese, I just have to hope for the best. We shall see. Ideally this should be a smooth texture with the holes on the INSIDE. What can you do? I guess I was mislead. But I'm still learning all about cheese making and I can only go up from here.


I forced a smile to try and change my mood today. It's tough though, failed curd cheese...failed cream cheese...failed Cheddars (because of that awful coating)...now it looks like I might have a failed Baby Swiss because I didn't have the right equipment. Sigh Sigh Sigh...Alex gave me his John Muir outback hat because the band makes his head itchy. I like it, it gave me a photo op this morning to try to turn my frown upside down lol! Okay, I've done better at smiling, but this is a good start lol! :)

10 comments:

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I'm so sorry, Rain. I can just imagine your disappointment after all that hard work. 😟 I hope that this is just a bump in the road and success is up ahead. Just don't give up because I know you can do it!

Rain said...

Thank you Martha...I even contemplated my cheese making future. I'm really someone who doesn't give up easily, but there have been more disappointments than successes, so it seems like the learning curve is too steep for me. With all the stress of the dogs, my emotions are really fragile and this was almost too much to bear, throwing those Cheddars out like that! But Alex did remind me that my Bocconcini worked well, my stretchy Mozza finally worked, the "cream cheese" makes a hell of a sour cream...the curd cheese is IMPOSSIBLE to replicate without factory machinery and despite that horrid plastic taste, the Cheddar beneath has a good flavour...etc...he's trying to show me the bright side and I'm seeing it slowly! I still have 3 Cheddars in the cave and we are opening one of the Camemberts today too. I'm almost afraid to!

And thanks for being so supportive! I'm really not going to give up, but I'm going to stick to the cheeses that are working for now until I can get much better equipment!

Marsha said...

How disappointing for you. I am sure you will overcome this set back and be so much wiser. Look for Wisconsin cheese making sites. As most of us know, they make the best curds and cheeses found anywhere in the USA.

Rain said...

Thanks Marsha :) It is disappointing, but I'll get over it...I did try to make a nice melty Mozzarella 7 times before I got it right!! I won't give up. I will look for some Wisconsin cheese making sites, I have heard good things about all of their cheeses, especially the curd! I wonder if they will share their secret? :)

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Oh nooooooo!! That is a giant shame! I have a sneaking suspicion this is where my cheese making kit is coming from (according to my very reliable source). Bah. I hope this isn't the case with your baby swisses...I really hope not.

Rain said...

Dianna DON'T WORRY...the recipe will be fine...it's the COATING that ruined it! I have a very good Cheddar recipe from Make Cheese and I'm sticking with it. When you get your prezzie in a few days, we'll compare the recipes! I think that the founder of the New England Cheese Making company, Ricki Carroll, has good recipes in her BOOK. The ones on the site that are free are simply badly written and not very good in a lot of cases. They are trying to make them very accessible to anyone (likely for marketing purposes)...but the hard fact is, you need the right tools and equipment for success. Your kit will have everything you need to start, and I'll help you along the way for sure!!! I can't wait to find out what it is!! :)

The baby swiss...honestly? I have little hope. There are so many cracks in that cheese...there's no way mould hasn't infiltrated. But I will hope to be pleasantly surprised next year! :)

Tammie Lee said...

oh what a shame and waste of ingredients. I am glad you aren't using that coating anymore. It sounds aweful and unhealthy.

I tried a recipe for Wildcrafted “Boursin”: A Tangy, Garlicky, Yogurt Cheese. I have made it twice and love it! yum. https://gathervictoria.com/2017/09/26/wildcrafted-boursin-a-tangy-garlicky-yogurt-cheese/
I thought you might like to have a look. I think it is a wonderful site also. If you look in the comments you will see how I changed it since wild greens are under snow now.

Rain said...

Hi Tammie Lee :) Yes, that coating is horrid, I really don't know how people use it and NOT taste it in their cheese after, but lesson learned, never again!
Thank you for the link!!!! I LOVE Boursin cheese...I used to buy that all the time with different flavours. That is something I will definitely be trying, thanks so much!!!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Rain! Obviously it's been too long since I visited! I love your upside down frown! I know from personal experience that faking a smile can quickly become a real smile. I was sad to hear about your spoiled cheeses, because I know how much your worked to create them. I bet you'll move onward and upward with your homemade cheeses, wiser and maybe with some new equipment. Have a good one!

Rain said...

Hi Fundy Blue :) Visit when you can, you are always welcome! :) Hopefully there will be some yummy cheese for your next visit lol! I did work so hard...but I have to remember, making cheese really is an art and a learning process. The recipes make you think that all will be perfect! When in reality, I have to work with the ingredients and tools available to me, so the learning curve is a little sharper (and hard to take!) :)