Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cambozola: Day 13 - Piercing and Wrapping - Dark Days Challenge

Well, as you can see, the fuzz on the (hopefully) Cambozola cheese clone has totally taken over the outside of the cheeses and is covering them to a depth of about 1/8 inch or so.

This means it's time to wrap the little boogers in cheese wrap and then wait with baited breath for another couple of weeks to see how they turned out. But, because I just can't ever seem to leave well enough alone, I tried an experiment. The blue cheese recipes I've read generally tell you to pierce the cheese all over with a thick needle or ice pick to let the bleu mold "breathe" before it goes into aging mode. So I pierced one Cambozola clone cheese, and left the other unpierced. If the piercing is successful in helping the blue mold grow, then I should begin to see blue mold poking out of the holes I made in the side of the little cheese wheel in a week or so.

The good thing about piercing the one cheese is some of the inside oozed out over the needle while I was working. That means I got to try a tiny taste of what is going on with the cheese under all that fuzz - and it was already really creamy and tasty! So I can hardly wait to see how this all turns out. I wonder if making the cheeses small like this hastens their ripening - the larger surface area for the mold compared to the inside area may be having that effect. If so, I may actually be able to try these in about one month or so from start to finish, vs the two months suggested for ripening a larger size.

I'm going to start another batch of Cambozola clone this weekend, plus another cheddar or a gouda. This cheesemaking could get to be addictive!


Pale Ophelia Floats said...

So what exactly is going to be your full experimental design? Says the nerd.

Idaho Locavore said...

Well, after closely examining ALL the Cambozola chunks at the Costco today, I can say that I'm nearly absolutely sure that poking is part of the secret. Each section of the cheese had some funny looking little craters on the outside edge that looked suspiciously like "healed" poking spots and also streaks that lined right up with them going across the middle of the cheese. I picked them all up, lined up all the poke holes and blue mold streak lines and showed them to hubby and he agrees with my conclusions.

The people at Costco probably think we're nuts. I can live with that, I guess.