Adding Ingredients as Flavoring
Artisan cheese producers who make cheese from fresh, flavorful milk often want the cheese to ‘stand alone’ in showcasing their milk’s quality and the terroir of their region. In most cases they would not opt to infuse the milk to add flavor to the cheese. However, as home-crafting cheese makers, we love to experiment with seasonings. By approaching cheese making as one would cooking, we might add herbs, spices, dried fruits or mushrooms to the curds. We can also add flavor in a more subtle way by infusing the milk with dried mushrooms, saffron, dried lavender, coriander, or other ingredients before making the curds. By infusing the milk, the flavor profile of the finished cheese is more subtle than when adding bits of an additive to the curds, though flavor-added cheeses are an important and popular style of cheese. Everyone’s familiar with Pepper Jack; right? Examples of flavor-added cheeses are Farmhouse Chive Cheddar (on the cover), Dill Havarti (pages 89-90), and Halloumi with Mint (pages 70-71). Of course you can add just about any flavor of your choice to the basic Jack Cheese (pages 96-97).
Mushroom-infused Camembert (pages 147-148), and Saffron-infused Manchego (pages 106-107) are examples of cheeses made with infused milk. In some brew-producing regions of the world, Belgium being one, cheese is flavored with the some of the ingredients found in the ale by infusing the milk; with coriander (and maybe orange peel) then washing the cheese in the brew. Ale-washed Coriander Trappist (pages 155-156) is inspired by this tradition.
|Mushroom Infused Camembert|