Object of shame for the week: Cargill Starter Cultures? Don’t Bother

I have been talking to Cargill about buying some of their starter culture.  These conversations have taken place over the last four months or so and culminated in a rather unpleasant conversation with a Cargill sales man. From the start, I was told first that I would have to buy a commercial freezer that could store the starter culture at -40 …

How Not to Damage the Protein in Milk

Protein in milk comprises two groups: casein that we cheese makers want and whey proteins.  Whey protein is more water soluble and does not form large structures like the micelle chains of casein. Preserve Your Yield All cheese makers know that the higher the level of protein (casein) in milk, the higher the yield of curd, so we want to be …

Two Ways to Make Curd i.e. Cheese

I think I have mentioned in an earlier posting on us using our acidity meter, the importance of acidity. Here I am taking a quick look at it from a slightly different angle. Milk in its raw, natural state has a pH of around 6.7.  Reducing the pH to 4.6 or below results in the destabilisation of the casein structure …

Making Cheese from Homogenised Milk

Most cow’s milk bought in shops is homogenised. How Homogenisation Works Homogenised milk is produced by forcing milk through a small passage at high speed.  This breaks down the fat globules in milk into much smaller ones and creates a stable fat emulsion.  This avoids – (remember cream at the top of your doorstep milk?) having that collar of fat, or …

Cheese facts from 500 Cheeses … Did you know

I have ‘pinched’ this from Roberta Muir’s new book: 500 Cheeses coming out in October 2010. We feature on page 190 -191 with our original Sheep cheese. –         Greece has the highest per capita cheese consumption in Europe and Feta accounts for 70% of all cheese eaten in Greece. –         Though first made in New York, “Philadelphia” cream cheese was …

Ribblesdale Cheese Entry in 500 Cheeses Book

  This is the book cover for Roberta Muir’s new book, to be published by Apple Press in October, called 500 Cheeses.  It is also available now in pre-order format on Amazon.  This is the press release note that goes with the book:  500 Cheeses describes the world’s most commonly known cheeses, including those recognized under appellation systems, as well as some …

Why Do We Add Salt in Cheese Making?

Someone asked me the other day, why do we add salt to cheese? There are several reasons, but first and foremost, adding salt to curd helps to improve the flavour of the finished product.  There are many ways of adding salt: we add salt to the cheese prior to milling when the Titratable Acidity has reached the desired level – this …

Why is Milk White?

Some people say because of the major protein, casein being white and that also calcium is white. It would appear that this is not correct – it is all to do with light. I found this on a university science website, ‘the whiteness is due to the scattering of light by the colloidal particles of the milk emulsion.  Just the …

Making Goat Butter

Stu and Lydia did a trial making some goat butter for the first time last week, using cream derived from Jonathan (our goat milk man’s) bottling process.  It made a beautiful, snow-white butter – you can add annatto to make it appear yellow, but we didn’t and don’t plan to – we prefer the ‘nothing added, nothing taken away’ way of …

Ribblesdale Cheese’s Acidity Meter

A little bit later than promised, but here is a bit about our acidity meter together with a little picture of it sitting on the shelf in our dairy.  To the right of it is a thermometer that shows the time, ambient temperature and humidity.  We always make a note of this when at the start of cheese making on …