Latest from the CheeseNotes caves: A lactic raw cow’s milk bloomy rind, similar to a St. Marcellin, with a pinkish-amber color under the white mold and with the “brainy” wrinkles of a Geotrichum Candidum rind. I had previously experimented with St. Marcellin recipes, without much luck (the last batch poduced some excellent hockey pucks), so I was happy to have achieved a much better result this time.
This is at a little over 3 weeks of aging, 2 weeks in the cheese cooler and 1 week in an aging box in the regular refrigerator. By the time I cut I pulled it out of the fridge, the rind was soft, pillowy, and delicate to the touch. Handling it too roughly ripped the rind on a couple spots, where the paste would come oozing out. As the pictures show, the paste was custardy, perhaps a little too liquidy, on the outside, but in the center there was still a firmer, slightly chalky center, so development was definitely not even.
In flavor it was buttery, tangy, a little bit meaty, with a nice subtle barnyard note to it. The next batch will get more salt, as it was a bit undersalted, not drastically so, but in need of correction.
Overall, I was happy with this cheese, as this was my first successful “scooper” where I could lop the top off and spoon out the custard innards. The rind development was good, although perhaps a bit suffocated once it went into the cheese paper in the aging box. The paste was good in terms of flavor and balance, but uneven in terms of texture and firmness.
This also proved a good use for that lovely little wooden spoon, a gift from Carlos and Georgina, the sibling power-team behind Lactography.com and experts in Mexican Artisanal Cheeses. Thanks guys! You can hear Carlos on Anne Saxelby’s Cutting the Curd podcast, Episode 95, discussing the new generation of Mexican cheese.