To get out of the office at lunch, we tend to gravitate towards Chapters for something to do. After making fun of gourmet bird seed, stealing “Heather’s Pick” stickers, and getting staff there to open high-end taffy for us to sample, one of us usually ends up looking at an actual book. This week it was my turn, so I went looking for cheese books.
Most books in stock were the history of, and how to cook with cheese. The only cheese making book was Artisan Cheese Making At Home: Techniques & Recipes For Mastering World-class Cheeses. Looked like it had a lot of good recipes for cheese making, so after a co-worker convinced me to buy it, I headed to the shortest, in length, and longest in duration, queue.
After work I was finally able to have a good look at it, and I haven’t stopped salivating since. The descriptions that go along with the gorgeous photos make you want to quit life and move to a dairy in the English countryside surrounding Cheddar. Ever page turned revealed another recipe to put on my list of things to try making. The author, Mary Karlin, doesn’t just give basic recipes, but also explains the whole process in great detail. The book is dedicated to using pasteurized milk, and doesn’t spend its time pushing raw milk (which in Ontario is illegal to sell, which makes it near impossible to purchase).
Some recipes of interest include Blue Gouda, Stilton, Brew Cheddar (using homebrew to flavour cheddar) and Irish Cheddar (using whiskey). Using some of the techniques in her book, I started a three gallon (3.5lbs of finished cheese) batch of basic cheddar using two gallons of whole milk and one gallon of 2%. So far, this cheese has turned out the best (still early days I suppose) and it’s definitely a result of having read this book.
Next time you’re in a book store, have a browse through this book, and then quickly run to a cheese shop and gorge.