Monday, 5 March 2012

Romano - The Verdict

I made a Romano cheese in January 2011, which has been aged for a 13 months in my little cheese fridge/cave.

This cheese was due to be taste tested in October 2011 after 10 months maturation, however as I have probably said a few times before, events got away from me.  It wasn't until a request for an Alfredo pasta sauce that it prompted me to break the wax seal and try some of it.  Here it is devoid of its wax covering.


This cheese was made with Jersey milk, which is quite high in butterfat (4.0-4.2%), and I chose it specifically at the time because I was disappointed with normal "no name brand milk", and I found that Jersey milk had improved the quality of my Caerphilly, so thought that it would help improve a Romano.  Let me tell you about it in my normal format:

De-waxing: No additional moisture under the wax.  The cheese had some fine white crystals over it, which is just hardened lipase.


Texture:  It cut well, with no crumbliness.  No holes or blemishes.  It grated very well.

Taste:  I tried it on a plain water cracker, and it had a full body and was very strong.  It was not as strong as some Parmesan that I have made, and it had a milder flavour.  If I remember correctly, it was very similar to the last Romano that I made, so I believe that my recipe is now tried and true.

I have another Romano in the cheese fridge that I made from raw milk, however that is not ready until December 2012 if I leave it to mature a full 12 months.  It is the cheese I made for my last video tutorial.

I highly recommend making this cheese for its delicious taste.  It is as easy as Parmesan to make, and just uses full cream milk instead of semi-skimmed.  Give it a go, but make sure you use good milk.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the cheesy goodness! What's the source for your Romano recipe?

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    1. Hi Mary, the source of the recipe is from Making Artisan Cheese by Tim Smith. You can find it by clicking on my Amazon widget to the left.

      Gav

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  2. Gavin, great blog! Thanks for all the cheesemaking insight.
    Can I ask when you waxed your Romano? That sounded rude.
    I have a round of Romano in my wine frig for the last month. I thought I may oil it like Parmesan cheese but I like the idea of waxing better. Less upkeep with waxing and less chance of contamination, I think?
    I had a swollen Parmesan similar to a Parmesan you showed in another post but I think it was a yeast contamination for sourdough bread baking earlier in the week not the wine frig.
    In general, when do you wax and when do you oil?
    Thanks, Karen

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    1. Hi Karen,

      I normally wax Parmesan and Romano after about two months in the cheese fridge, then pop them back in the cheese fridge to continue maturing. I have found over time that oiling just does not work for me, so I wax all of the hard cheeses now.

      Gav x

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  3. Gavin,
    Hi there! I wondered about making parmesan, when I did mine, my brine didn't get all milky looking like yours did in the tutorial, did I press it too much? Also, when pressing at 50 lbs for the final press, it seems that the pressure lessens as time passes due to the squishing-as this happens, should I be tightening so to keep it at 50 or just have it at 50 lb initially then leave it be?
    One more question, how critical is it to keep your cave temp at 55 F? Is there a 'safe' temp range to stay in? My fridge seems to be about 48 or so.
    Much thanks in advance for your help.
    Kenzie

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  4. With the amount of cheese you make and consume, you might be interested in this home-made cracker recipe. I just made a batch and though they could be a bit thinner they are very acceptable.


    Crackers


    1. In a large bowl mix:

    1½ cups Whole-wheat flour
    1 cup White flour
    1/3 cup Oil
    ½ cup Sunflower seeds (raw unsalted)
    ¼ cup Flax seeds (or ground flax)
    ¼ cup sesame seeds
    1 cup Water
    sea salt for sprinkling if desired

    Combine everything into a dough which should be moist but not sticky.

    2. Roll out the dough to 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick and transfer to a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

    3. Score the lines but do not separate pieces. It is easier to press the knife down rather than slide it along. Or use a pizza cutter.

    4. Lightly brush the surface with water and sprinkle with sea salt if desired.

    5. Bake 20 – 25 mins at 375 or until crackers are just turning a brownish colour. They do not need to be crispy at this stage as they will harden up as they cool on the baking sheet or cooling rack. Let crackers cool for 5 mins, then break apart on scored lines and finally let them cool completely.

    Notes:

    1. Do not overwork the dough as it will become rubbery like bread dough and be very difficult to roll out. Regular pastry flour might be better.

    2. Without salt they are a bit bland. Perhaps brushing the surface before baking with salty water would introduce enough salt.

    3. Put a second cookie sheet on the oven rack below to shield the crackers and prevent them getting burnt.

    David in Canada

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