Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Swiss Mold Experiment, aka St. Oswald

Back in March, I made my first Swiss cheese using a special bacteria that is supposed to cause the air pockets to form in a traditional Swiss. Again, though, I had humidity issues, so the rind got very dry- so dry that I think it dried out my bacteria before I had a chance to make holes throughout the cheese. The cheese quite honestly was neglected. I was gone, so I just left it sitting in my little cheese fridge. It patiently waited for me to remember it, and I finally did last weekend. I cut it into four pieces, and noticed that the center was a very smooth, creamy looking texture. It actually had yellowed, just like a fine gruyere. I cut off the thick layer of mold and took a taste, and this cheese was sublime, if I do say so myself. I wish the wheel had been larger so that there was more of it, but it’s really really delicious. The taste is salty and nutty and resembles a Swiss cheese but also has a bite to it like an aged pecorino.

It’s funny how in cheesemaking my disasters can often become something really worthwhile. Since you can’t by any stretch call this cheese a Swiss, I dubbed it St. Oswald after our pup who is a little crazy and unappealing from the outside, but has a golden goodness inside.