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Some molds (as we spell it in the parts I live in) are desirable and we put special effort into inviting them into and onto our cheese, such as those in blue cheeses and on mold ripened cheeses like Camembert or Brie.
Others aren’t quite so welcome. These are those unwanted, unsightly molds that turn up and appear to threaten the success of your hard earned cheese.
In general kitchen terms we are very quick to rid ourselves of molds and throw away anything that has the slightest hint of mold or bacteria growing on it. Although we are often reminded that it’s just penicillin, most of us aren’t keen to find out whether it will help us or kill us. We chuck it in the bin or out to the compost.
So how do you know then if your cheese has a good mould, or a bad mold? Do you have to immediately throw anything out that hasn’t got a ‘desired’ mold on it?
Let’s list the colors and types of molds that are usually unwanted (I don’t use the word bad because they most are pretty harmless if you can get rid of them):
Black or white cats hair mold – literally looks like a lovely fluffy kitties fur
Green/blue mold – not your blue cheese mold
Brown mold –
And then you have the good molds:
Soft, white marsh-mellowy mold (as in Camembert and Brie)
Blue mold (as in Blue Cheese)
But before you go throwing out those cheeses that have developed unwanted molds on them, slow down for a minute.
Cleaning It Up For A Better Cheese
There are ways to redeem your cheese.
For soft cheese you can carefully slice out the offending mold, re-salt the area and hope the mold doesn’t reappear.
For hard cheeses, create a wash of brine and white vinegar and gently rub/scrub the mold off the cheese. If you have a particularly stubborn patch slice it out and then wash with the same solution. Let the cheese dry fully before returning it to its cave to continue aging.
This should sort out your problem immediately but you also really want to avoid the mold coming back.
So how do the molds get there in the first place?
There are a number of reasons including:
Poor sanitation of aging area or handling equipment (including hands)
Poor air circulation
Cheese not dry enough before aging
Cheese left sitting in or on whey
Cross contamination between cheeses
Jan 10, 2014
This one is for the cheese makers out there.
16 ways to use whey.
I'll give you the link below. I really like this blog, The Prairie Homestead.
Jill is blessed with a cow, so she has plenty of milk. She also makes cheese, so she also has plenty of whey left on her hands.
She has some great links to cheese recipes and helpful information, too.
Sep 15, 2013
I am overrun with whey. Yes, I use it in smoothies, and soup, and to make bread ... Recently, I have an experiment in refrigerator lacto-fermenting of red cabbage under way and just this morning, I put some cheap queso fresco in a tub of salted whey to try to make an inexpensive substitute for feta.
Do you have any other ideas of what to do with it? Between making ricotta and draining yogurt, I am overrun!
Jul 3, 2013
The mozzarella, and I use that term lightly, never came together right, but I could still use the curds.(I had a lot of time invested in this batch !) It was a texture similar to feta, but w/o the tartness and it melts good. I think I'll stick to my other recipe ... Goats Milk Mozzarella
Apr 11, 2013