FRESH YOUNG CHEESES
Professor Danbeldor and his team of Cheese Masters take great pleasure in welcoming all the new students to The Somerset Deli School of Cheesecraft and Gluttony. The timetable for the 10-week Summer Term will include weekly lessons covering the 10 main cheese types covering their history, production and some tasting notes. The notes for each lesson will be available from the stall in our regular locations but also through our Facebook and Instagram pages. So brush off your cheese board, sharpen those cheese knives and prepare for our first lesson
Some cheeses, like some wines are created to be enjoyed almost as soon as they are made. Their appeal is in their milky freshness, their moisture, their gentle sour cream tang. They often don’t have much of a rind or even much aroma. They still taste much like the milk they came from. Their texture ranges from creamy and spreadable, to soft and pliable, to crumbly. They are the simplest, easiest to produce and most ancient of cheeses.
These cheeses are likely to have been some of the first to have been produced. Evidence of cheese making dates to prehistory with the first traces of cheese like substances found in Switzerland on pottery more than 8,000 years old. Humans likely developed cheese by accident, as a result of storing and transporting milk in bladders made of wild hoofed mammals’ stomachs, as their inherent supply of rennet would encourage curdling. The cheeses that were produced would be not so distant relatives to the Chevre, Ricotta or Paneer of today
A starter culture is introduced which encourages the milk sugars to covert to lactic acid and thicken. For a firmer cheese, for instance a Chevre, a small amount of rennet is then added to aid coagulation. If using traditional methods, a muslin bag is used to drain the whey over a period of 24 hours or less. The curds are then salted and then put into moulds or scooped into the containers they are to be sold in.
You can make a fresh Ricotta type cheese at home without a starter culture or even rennet using lemon juice, vinegar or buttermilk. A recipe for a homemade ricotta using just 3 ingredients can be found below;
Types of Young Fresh Cheese
In addition to the Chevre, Ricotta and Paneer we’ve already mentioned you can add Spanish Queso Blanco, Mexican Cotija, Creamy Mascarpone and the Weight Watchers Favourite Cottage Cheese to the members of this cheese family.
On the Stall this week
Many of the cheeses that belong in this category have a very short shelf life which, as a result means we only stock them occasionally. However, this week we have three for our customers to try
Whitelake’s White Nancy- A mild, citrusy and slightly sweet goats milk cheese. It has a slight white bloom with a crumbly texture. Great for crumbling over a meal, as an addition to your cheeseboard or why not bake it in a tart?
Classic Chevre Log- It’s a stalwart of our stall and we’ve called it a classic for good reason. The quintessential young cheese lactic, soft, mildly goaty and versatile.
Feltham’s Farm La Fresca Margarita- An Organic, pasteurised cow’s milk cheese from our friends at Feltham’s Farm. Pure white when young, yellowing slightly as it ages it has a light, slightly salty but still delicate taste. One of the best cheeses to have on hand as the evening get warmer and longer, as an accompaniment to grilled food or drizzled with honey with candied nuts for a sweet finish.
Next Weeks Lesson: White Bloomy Cheeses