Monday, 8 June 2009

Curds, Cows, And Whey Whey Away.

I guess if you check TEdAMENU from time to time you'd have noticed that I've begun making soft style cheeses.  These are curdled using citric acid, lemon juice, or vinegar, each of which give their own flavour to the cheese, and which you'd know from the taste of soft cheeses like cottage cheese.

It makes for pretty small curds too, which leads to a crumblier and drier cheese.  So I'd love to source the enzyme rennet from some local stores.  What rennet does is to curdle the milk more slowly, leading to the whole milk setting into one large curd and a lot of liquid whey.  Then you can cut the curds into any size you want, controlling the smoothness and hardness of the finished cheese.

Wanting to be able to say I've sourced the rennet and the information locally, I went to Borello Cheese in Oakford and asked there if they obtained their rennet locally and if so, if their source sold hobbyist quantities.  The most unhelpful and frankly hostile shop assistant I've ever had to deal with, any thought I'd had of actually buying any of their product went out the window as she basically told me to rack off and she wouldn't pass my question on to anyone else who might be able to tell me, either.

I tried to phone the next day hoping to catch someone with slightly more manners and a damn sight more interpersonal skills and got the same cow again, so I've had zero luck so far.  I don't know what her problem is, but I tell you what, the company could do worse than sacking her with prejudice.  Did she think I'm going to start a rival creamery in a one bedroom cottage with an electric hotplate to cook on?  Pu-lleese!

This week I'll be asking a few of the friendlier local creameries, and Borello can basically go suck the whey off my curd knife.

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Tom said...

Ah yes, the last bastion of company secrets, some low-paid, uneducated idiot that is too stupid to realise how stupid they really are.

Would you trust your company secrets to such folk? Well they don't realise that they are not there to protect the company from inustrial espionage, and rennet is hardly a secret ingredient of cheese.

I've heard a few people come across people like these.

Like the friend who couldn't get a manager's surname at JB Hi-Fi for whatever imagined security reason the dim-witted storeperson concocted in their head. Of course it isn't hard to find that info, so this person just cost my friend some time, that's all.

You could always boil your own calf stomachs to get rennet. Just sayin'.

teddlesruss dat who! said...

. . . always presuming that I can get calf stomachs under six months old, and *THAT* not being the company secret of some abattoir or butcher... %)

No secret there, actually - MBL sells hog sausage casings for just a tad under $50 a pack, and collagen casings for $22 a pack. Since I'm making smallgoods not emulsified sausages, I can really only use the hog casings... So that will wait until I get some spare $$$...

BTW next batch of cheese I make, will see if I can't make about several small wheels thereof, and you guys are down for one as a taste test.

Just needing to make more than one press if this is to be the case, and preferably a better one than that tomato juice can... Going off to look for a length of 6" poly I think, and several lengths of pine I can make into cheese boards.

(NB! "Cheeeseboarding" != "waterboarding." FYI.)

Also - if you or anyone finds anatto seeds anywhere and remember, please buy me 100g or so I'll pay you back. Anatto seeds look like fenugreek seeds only they are reddish-orange. Only if you think of it and you guys are thinking of visiting... %)

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