We continue our look at the ‘8 basic steps of cheese making’ as published on the Cheesemongers weblog in November, and how these steps are carried out at Sirana Gligora on the Island Of Pag in Croatia. Sirana Gligora have been making artisan Paški Sir since 1995 and moved into their newly build modern dairy in January 2010.
The ‘‘8 basic steps to cheese making‘ aimed to give you the knowledge and confidence to deal with your cheese monger. The information was taken from Max McCalam’s latest book, ‘Mastering Cheese’ where he used the work of Dairy Science professor Frank Kosikowski, the founder of the American Cheese Society.
Step 1: all about Setting the Milk can be viewed by clicking here.
Step 2: all about Cutting the Curds can be viewed by clicking here.
Step 3: Cooking and Holding
As the lady points out in the cheesemongers weblog, the third step of cheese making is the heating and holding of the curds to let the acidification take effect.
At Sirana Gligora this is done by running hot water through the hollow walls in the vats to increase the temperature to 41°C. The high temperature dries the curd and promotes the growth of thermophilic microorganisms which produce lactic acid, thus increasing the total acidity.
Acidity plays an important part in sineresis, which is the process of draining the whey out of the curds to establish the desirable size, density and flexibility of the gain, all of which are key factors in the quality of the final product.
As with all the processes of cheese making, this must be done with the utmost care from the master cheese maker. Suzie must be very careful not to exceed the temperature or time of drying, and by doing so she reduces the risk of producing a dry cheese which will not mature and develop in the desired way. Suzie uses her artisan skills and knowledge throughout and knows instinctively when the grain in ready, she will look at the size, dryness, flexibility, resistance and even taste to judge when it is ready for the next stage. As the milk behaves differently throughout the season, Suzie must react accordingly to its needs.
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- For the Haters, Fourme D’Ambert: A Blue to Love The Cheesemonger (thekitchn.com)
- Home Cheesemaking – an excerpt from The Farmstead Creamery Advisor (chelseagreen.com)
- When Did Man Start Drinking Milk and Using Milk Products? (socyberty.com)
- Gordon Edgar picks the Best New Cheeses of 2010 (chelseagreen.com)