1: The simplest is fresh cheese, and it is the most low tech. It is closely related to the cottage cheese that I made and described above. Simply sour the heated milk by using rennet, ladle the curds into moulds, and consume within a week. To aid consumption blocks of this cheese are small. As it is not matured long enough to harden, it is a soft, often crumbly cheese. It goes well with biscuits, which we British call crackers, and also goes well in salads. I like it on toast. If you are taking it with wine, a light white wine is ideal.
2: Mould-ripened cheeses, such as camembert and brie, have the milk infected with Penicillium camemberti. A variety of organisms get into the mould, but the cheesemakers overwhelm the rest by flooding the mould with Penicillium. This enables them to get the desired effect, which is a rind that coats the cheese. These cheeses go well with a light, fruity red wine.
3: Washed rind cheeses. These have a bacterial rind which is achieved by killing off the fungal moulds. This is done by washing them in brine, but many are then washed in one of a variety of alcoholic drinks. The result is a pinkish, sticky rind which gives the cheese its flavour. Cheeses of this type are smelly, as the microbes give off ammonia when ripening. The French call the smell "the feet of God." One British example is Celtic Promise, which comes from Ceredigion in West Wales. Washed rind cheeses go well with a good Burgundy or a dark beer.
4:Blue Cheeses. I have already mentioned how they are made, but it is important to add that it is necessary for them to have some degree of softness about them so that the mould's penetration will not be impeded. There are two outstanding examples of blue cheese. One is Stilton, produced only in certain English creameries and known as a queen among cheeses. Another is the Irish cheese Cashel Blue, made in the lovely vale of Tipperary. Enjoy these with a good port, though I have had these cheeses with white wine and enjoyed them.
5: Semi-soft cheeses. This is a broad category that contains instances of others in it. To make a semi-soft cheese heat the curd to release more whey, the residual liquid left over from cheese- making. Semi-soft is a good category for mixing fruit into the cheese, as hard cheese would squash the fruit too much. Wensleydale is a good example of a semi-soft cheese. A variety of wines go well with these cheeses.
6: The quintessential hard cheese is cheddar, but it is not too hard too be enjoyed. This kind of cheese stores well. It can be mixed with flavourings. I have one in the fridge flavoured with Irish whiskey. I have also eaten cheddar with cooked nettles, which lose their sting when boiled. The nettle leaves are gathered in Spring, diced, cooked and added to the curd. The cheese tasted very good.
I do not eat non dairy alternatives. I love milk and all products made from it.
This comment begins like it's in an unrelated direction but it actually is related to your cheese expertise.
Non-dairy alternative drinks and yogurts count more with me these days than their dairy counterparts. For example, I drink almond, cashew, coconut milk, not moo-lk ;-D.
Would you happen to know of any non-dairy alternative cheeses that you find nutritious and tasty? I would rather continue my love for traditional dairy cheese but some -- not the ones you, Veronica and I have discussed below -- are not quite as appealing as they once were.
Nettles grow in clean, convenient places in the yard. Your recipe is eminently do-able because of the clear explanation.
Let me ask two more questions: Is there a particular kind of goat's cheese that you like or recommend? And what kind of salt -- sea? -- would you be using on the cheese?
Making your own cheese with nettles is easy. Make a cottage cheese, which should take only a few days. Pick the new, young leaves from the top of the nettles. Drop them into boiling water for five minutes to destroy the sting. Strain off the water. Dry the nettles. Shred them, then sprinkle them into the still liquid cheese. Eat when ready. Don't eat old nettles, they have too much oxalic acid in them.
Nettles are rich in nutrients. You will need to add some salt to the cheese, but nettles themselves are quite salty.
I like goat's cheese with nettle shredded and mixed into it,but Cornish yard has no shredded nettles.It ìs wrapped all round with nettle leaves, which flavour the rind.
Corniche yarg is a popular nettle cheese
Yes no problem. I have seen that quote too. But then, I live in Cheshire, so maybe i am rather subjective. 😀
I don't know anything about Sage Derby but I must say that I quoted Belton Farm because it just didn't sound right. It's very much appreciated that you both have stepped forward to dispel my confusion.
I like the word otiose!
And I'll look for goat's cheese with nettles. Sounds delicious and nutritious so thank you, Frank.
Anyway,, Lancashire and Cheshire were once one county, so there is no reason to think that Cheshire has any greater pedigree than Lancashire at cheesemaking. A crumbly Lancashire much resembles a good Cheshire.
The only green cheese that I eat is goat's cheese with nettles, so I cannot comment on other kinds.
I think that it is otiose of Belton Farm to claim that Sage Derby as England's oldest cheese, as Derbyshire and Cheshire are adjoining counties, so cheesemaking is likely to have occurred at the same time in both. Remember though, that Cheshire is the county round Chester, the city of the legions,. Roman soldiers used to get cheese as part of their rations, so cheese making in Cheshire probably goes back to the Romans at the very least. Veronica therefore has a case for saying that Cheshire is the oldest cheese, though the same argument could be used to support Gloucester, where there was also a legionary base.