Cheesemaking

Camembertish

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You can see that it wanted to be Camembert.

It tried, and it tried, but it didn’t quite make it.

Yes, I tried one of my cheeses today.

Just a few minutes ago, in fact. 

I couldn’t wait any longer.  I wanted to see what was going on inside those furry little blobs.

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The thing was, the mold had been growing nicely for a little while, and I thought things were going fine, and then it kind of…stopped.

I’m thinking maybe I did something wrong…or maybe the mold culture was old (though I’d stored it in the freezer)…who knows. 

The other thing is, these smaller cheeses are thicker than the other ones I have, so I thought maybe that’s why these seemed to be harder and not as moldy (because what do I know?)

Anyway, I wanted to know what was going on.  So I brought this little nugget up to the kitchen, selected a pretty plate to provide additional visual appeal, and sliced.

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It’s not a soft cheese. 

In that picture with the knife, above?  No one is holding the knife handle.  I just started to slice, left the knife in place, and took the picture.

(That greenery you see in these pictures is leeks from our garden, by the way.  Yay, leeks!)

Here’s what the cheese looked like inside:

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Hard to get a good shot of a cheese-colored substance in poor lighting.  But there’s not a lot to see.  It looks like cheese.

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Not a creamy, gooey cheese like Camembert should be.  It’s got a harder texture.  A definite rind.

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Oh – but it smelled right.

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It smelled like Camembert.

Bill and I each selected a small slice, clinked the wedges (and said “Cheese!” because we’re corny.  okay, only I said “cheese!” because I’m the corny one most of the time.) and tasted.

And you know what?

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It tasted like Camembert, too.

The texture was wrong, but it was still creamy as it started to soften. 

Definitely edible and definitely enjoyable.

I started uploading the pictures and texting my sister about the cheese, and suddenly I realized – what about the melty factor??

So I sliced another piece, put it on a cracker (a baguette slice would have been preferable but I don’t have any handy at the moment) and put that in the oven with the squash.

This squash:

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I’m roasting it and will make squash pie and possibly some muffins with the cooked flesh.  Yummmmmm.

Anyway, after five minutes, I checked on the cheese.

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It was definitely melty.

Not the best choice of cracker for this experiment, but I did what I had to do.

Shortly after this, Alex came inside and I had him try a slice of the cheese.  I told him it didn’t exactly come out the way I’d wanted it to, but it was still good.

He took a bite and chewed thoughtfully.

“It’s the aftertaste!” he said to me.

“Yes!” I exclaimed joyfully.  My son has such a mature palate! 

“Even though the texture is off, it still tastes like Camembert, doesn’t it?!”  I continued enthusiastically.

Alex looked at me.

“I have no idea what that is,” he said.

Oh.

Well anyway, he liked it, and that’s the important thing.

I’m thinking of serving one of the larger, flatter wheels at Thanksgiving. 

I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Oh – wait – I can’t stop here – Julia just came inside!  She needs to try the cheese!  I’ll be right back….

I gave her a slice…she chewed…then looked up at me and made a series of faces that included the wrinkling of her nose several times before her whole face contorted into one of great distaste.

She had the audacity to spit it out.

We all know who my favorite child is today.

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