Just about a week ago I made Feta for the first time. This weekend the short term batch was ready to sample.
For those of you who already make soft cheeses and are thinking of moving into the realm of hard cheeses, Feta is a great transition point. It’s less labor-intensive than cheddar, for example, but the process is a bit more complicated than soft cheese. Give it a try!
Okay. I took the container of feta out of the fridge on Saturday morning, six days after I’d made it. The recipe said 4-5 days, but I figured one more wouldn’t hurt. Plus, I forgot.
So here’s how the Feta looked when last we saw it:
I poured the cheese into a bowl.
So what has happened is the salt leeched a lot of the remaining moisture out of the curds, resulting in dry, hard bits of cheese and very salty whey.
Here’s the whey I drained off of the Feta:
But we’re not interested in that, are we?
Because we’ve got other things to do.
Let’s get ready to crumble! (It works best if you say it like a WWF announcer.)
I thought I could just crumble the curds with my hands, but some of them were so hard, so dense, that I had to use the tip of a knife to break the curds apart, like you do with something like a hard parmesan or romano.
But Jayne, how did it taste?
Mainly salty. The texture was hard and slightly crumbly, and it mainly tasted of salt, which was just fine with me.
I gave Bill a taste – he didn’t speak; he just made happy noises: “MMM!…MMMmmmmMMM!”
Then Julia showed up. She has a sixth sense about food and no matter where she is in the house, if I’ve got food out and available, she arrives.
I gave her a little bit.
She chewed briefly, made face, and spat it into the garbage.
“I don’t like it,” she gurgled, barely surviving the ordeal.
I told her that was okay, I was glad she’d tried it.
Alex wasn’t “in a cheese-trying mood” just then, so his opinion came later.
And, to my surprise, he didn’t like it either. I thought he would – he likes hard cheeses, aged cheeses. I thought this would be right up his alley, but no. He, like Julia, made a face and ran for the garbage can.
Ah well. Maybe Feta is for mature audiences only.
I used some of it on a couple of pizzas yesterday – one also featured grilled eggplant, black olives and basil, and the other was a white pizza with fresh (homemade) mozzarella, white tomatoes, and a roasted garlic spread. Yum.
Tonight I’ll be making another dish with some more of the Feta, and I’ll tell you all about that later this week.
Okay, sorry to cut this short, but there’s still painting to be done, and last night’s dishes, so I’ve (unfortunately) got to sign off.