Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Emmental Cheese

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin


Last year, I made my first Emmentaler cheese.  Here is a before shot that I took during eye formation.





When it was sufficiently aged, we cracked open the wheel and this is what we found.




There was a 3cm (1.5 inch) split on the top and it was slightly infected with Penicillin Roquefort, however the Propioni Shermanii culture did its work (this makes the holes and gives it the nutty flavour).  Well, some of it worked in most parts of the cheese.  


I believe that even though I gave the wheel a wash of brine a couple of times a week as per the recipe, after I let the eyes form, the rind is far too thick.  I think that because the cheese was not waxed, as stated in the recipe, it just hardened too much.  I have since made two more rounds, but this time I waxed the cheese after the three weeks of eye development.  It made for a more moist cheese and I avoided the blue vein infection.





Now, how did it taste I hear you ask?  Well, it tasted much better than a Swiss type cheese that you can buy in the supermarket, however there was an obvious difference due to the Penicillin Roquefort culture.  It was very nice, and both my wife Kim and Pam (Kim's Mum) agreed that it was a very tasty cheese.  The rind had a very strong flavour and as you can see more eyes formed closer to the rind than in the centre.  Here is it sliced on a platter.




The quarter I served up was very holey indeed.  Easy to cut and great flavour with a plain cracker.  I really liked the extra flavour in the blue vein part, but then again I love blue cheese!

I highly recommend this cheese to anyone thinking of making it, but do think about waxing it after the eye formation.  When made commercially this cheese is made in 60-80 kg wheels, which aids the uniformity of the eye formation.  Apparently, from what I have read, the bigger the Emmentaler, the larger and more frequent the eyes. 

What is your favourite type of cheese?  I am looking for new flavours and recipes to try!