It was high time that I made a new cheese, so over the weekend I dug out all of my cheese books and selected Colby cheese.
This cheese originates from Wisconsin, USA. Colby is a washed curd cheese which lowers the finished acidity of the cheese, so it is not as sharp as a Cheddar.
I used Jonsey’s non-homogenised milk for a stronger curd, negating the requirement for calcium chloride to add back in soluble calcium that is lost after homogenisation. The milk is more expensive, but worthwhile just for the firmer curd structure.
I could tell from the very start that this is going to be a very special cheese.
The one unusual ingredient that this cheese contains is Annatto, which is made from the seeds of Bixa orellana, a shrub native to South America.
Colouring has been added to cheese as a ruse to trick the buyer into thinking that they are getting a product made with premium milk. Before Annatto was used for colouring, cheese makers would use saffron,
turmeric, and marigold petals to achieve the desirable yellowish colour.
It is still used today in most commercial cheese making. The cup in the picture above contains only 5 drops, diluted with non-chlorinated water.
Anyway, all the utensils laid out, ready to go. The rennet has been diluted, and the mesophilic starter culture is in the spoon. Unfortunately for you dear reader, I will be listing the recipe today as I have not tried the final product, and made a few modifications as I progressed through the procedure. For all I know, it could turn out to be tasteless. I doubt it though!
Ben took a happy snap of me in one of my favourite poses. This was during the long stirring part of the process, with over 90 minutes of arm aching excitement. Watching curds shrink is exciting, right?
Here is the final pressed cheese, fresh out of its wrapping and mould. It certainly looks yellower than one of my normal cheeses.
It is now drying in the cheese nook for a day or two, and then will be waxed and aged for 3 months. Looking forward to the taste test!
[cross posted on The Greening of Gavin]
I have just read about youre Colby cheese, and I also look foreward to hear about the taste and the colour inside the cheese.
I have just the other day made two Port du salut cheeses, and I could not get cheese colour here in Dänmark, so I used carrot juice, 100% from carrots.
The color of my cheeses should be putting in the brine, and it also colored the cheeses a bit. They have to get into another brine with colour after a week, so it is also prety exiting for me to see and taste those cheeses. Have you seen my cheeseblog? ostepressen.blogspot.com – it is posible I think, to choose language…
Hi Aase. Nice to hear from you again. Your cheese blog looks great. Google Chrome translated it well. I also love the cheese press that your husband made for you. Very impressive.
I added your Cheese Press blog to my blog list.
Tina Barnes says
Your Colby looks amazing and I will be looking forward to your comments on it after it has aged. I am brand new to your blog and I am excited to continue reading more of your cheese making adventures. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us and I look forward to learning from you.
You are welcome Tina.
Oooo Colby is one of my favourite cheeses, the shop bought stuff anyway. I am looking to buy my cheese making kit in the next month or so (finances pending – can you recommend a good all rounder kit?) and colby is a cheese I plan to make. I can't wait to hear how yours has turned out.
Hi Jessie. greenlivinaustralia.com.au do quite a few good kits, as does cheeselinks.com.au (Vic). I bought my gear from greenliving and it still works as well as the day I bought it.
Your cheese look so good. I'm sure this will be a bit hard to wait 3 months but will worth it 🙂
Hi Manon. But it will be well worth the wait!