Saturday, 2 April 2011

Le Premier Affinage

I’m doing it! I’m having a shot at it myself! Some of you may know that I’ve made cheese before myself, using drainpipes, clamps and pans. Naturally I had a shot at ageing them. Yet the outcome was dubious at best – you could put windows out with my brie, my blue was more bitter than a pint of stout, and my goats cheese so runny it would come over to meet you. In fact, my only real success was with my home-grown cheddar. And I think that was because I left it with a friend to look after! Looking back, I now think I can identify where I went wrong with each cheese. So I decided it was time to have a shot at ageing a cheese at my home in France. Thankfully I have a cellar, and so it began. I chose Tarentais to start with because I could get hold of it fresh, it’s small (so mistakes won’t be too expensive) and quite forgiving – important, as my cellar is a little warmer and drier than is ideal. I wanted to age it differently from Mons, so tried a few alternative techniques to see how it turned out. And here it is. Le Premier Affinage Tout Seul (First Ageing On My Own). Well the geotrichium I was trying to cultivate died after the first week, but I battled on! It dried up a little more than I wanted, and, tasting it after 5 weeks, it was ok in texture and taste, very different to Mons. An interesting experiment, but I’ve still a bit to learn maybe…

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