Erin’s Blog – Learning The Ropes – July 2017
Before I began my placement year with Moyden’s Hand Made Cheese, I had a rough idea about the processes behind cheese making and the science behind the production. However, until the end of my first week I never fully appreciated how much work, science and passion goes into the art that is artisan cheese making.
My typical week here includes a day dedicated solely to making the cheese, where on average four varieties of cheese are made. Each process differs slightly, making each cheese unique to its style. After this, the following days revolve around pressing, salting, turning and moving the cheeses into the maturing rooms. Once in the maturing rooms on wooden shelves, the cheeses are turned three times a week to allow a rind to develop. As well as this, the blue cheeses are pierced using a stainless steel rod in a two-week rotation, piercing one side in the first week and the following week being turned and pierced on the other side to ensure that the blue mould has the opportunity to spread evenly through the centre of the cheese.
However, although this may be the basis that the week revolves around there are always new roles, challenges and experiments to carry out. With every week allowing me to experience something new.
These past few weeks learning the ropes has taught me that the science of artisan cheese making is specific and needs attention to detail. Every element of the process, from the amount of rennet needed to set the milk in order to separate the curds and whey to the temperature of the maturing room where the hard cheeses mature, is specific and has a major effect on the end product. I’ve noticed that a lot of hard work, passion and perseverance has taken place here to get the existing range of cheeses to the high standard of quality that they are.