"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Cheese of the Year

Well, I'm not going to count the first batch, which didn't turn out at all because I thought I remembered enough from last year and didn't need to look up the recipe for chevre again. Turns out, I did.

This batch came out great. I pressed it during the final draining session, hoping it would be a little firmer and crumblier than chevre, more like queso fresco. And so it is. It's a nice big batch, too, at least a pound of cheese, from about 3/4 gallon of milk. This is one thing I haven't figured out yet: why does the same amount of milk sometimes yield more and sometimes less cheese? I think it has to do with the firmness of the curd. A firmer curd binds more casein and the whey is as clear as water. A softer curd lets more milk protein go down the drain in the form of cloudy whey. And the firmness of the curd depends on many factors, from the exact amount of rennet used (a single drop can make a big difference) to the exact temperature the cheese is held at (a single degree can make a big difference). 

In any case, I'm happy with my cheese. In fact, I think I'll make quesadillas for breakfast this morning, along with scrambled eggs.

There are ten dozen eggs in the fridge.