There’s a whole world to explore.
I love cheese. I mean, who doesn’t?
I love just about any kind of cheese, but I especially love the soft mellow kind like bries. I like cheese that has a secret flavor you can taste only when you let it rise to room temperature before eating and eat it either alone or with a plain cracker. The hint of nuts or earthiness that lingers on your tongue after the cheese has been swallowed.
There’s an excellent cheese shop not far from where I live: The Cheesemonger in Leavenworth. It — and the smoked meat house called Cured — is the only reason I go to that tourist town. I go early in the day, before the crowds arrive. I prefer taking my motorcycle, since there’s always motorcycle parking right outside Cured. I descend into the basement shop, make my way past the milling tourists nibbling on samples of cheddar and swiss, and find one of the many helpful counter people. Then I place my order, rattling off the names of the cheeses I like best: triple cream brie, morbier, butter cheese, and whatever blue-veined cheese behind the glass catches my eye. I whisper the secret password to get my local discount on checkout, leave a tip, and climb back out into the sunlight while the same milling tourists stand uncertain on how to proceed. In and out in a flash.
If you’re in the area and like cheese — again, who doesn’t? — I highly recommend a visit to this shop.
Anyway, my love of cheese got me interested in making cheese. This interest was fed by my attendance at a cheese-making class I took in early August. Yes, special ingredients and equipment was needed, but it wasn’t difficult to do. And it might be interesting. And heck — the end product was cheese.
It’s not as if this was brand new to me, either. Last autumn, I made yogurt. I’d had a great deal of success with that — so much, in fact, that I made all my own yogurt while I was living in my Arizona house. cheese-making was similar and certainly should be within my capabilities.
I realized that my cheese-making adventures were blog-worthy — certainly enough to document for future reference. So if you’re interested at all in making cheese, follow along with me as I take you though my learning process. I’ll write posts in this series as I find time and would certainly love to get comments from other folks exploring home cheese-making.