Well curd nerds, the Emmental (Swiss Cheese) that I made during the recent (June 2013) video tutorial was ready to crack open. I decided that today was the big day. The Swiss Cheese taste test!
Here is my analysis of this cheese.
Aging; Actually, it was ready last month, but I wanted to make sure it was ready. I vac-packed this cheese after the 21 day eye development period and after wiping with a brine solution.
As you can see, the four months aging period was completed last month, so technically I aged it for five months. Not a crime in the home cheese making world, just one of the ways I like to experiment with tastes and flavours.
Unpacking; When I removed the cheese from the vac-pac, there was very little whey, but the cheese was moist.
Texture; Now for the moment of truth. Did it have any eyes as it was supposed to? Well, yes thankfully. For a cheese this size (1kg or 2.2lbs) the eyes were about the right size. Those big eyes that you see in commercial cheese is because the wheels are about 60-70 kg. The bigger the cheese, the bigger the eyes.
The cheese was firm and smooth to cut. As I cut it into quarters for storage, I noticed that the eyes were throughout the cheese, with was a very good sign. It sliced very well, and I could get it quite thin.
Taste; The cheese tasted just how it was supposed to. Nutty, creamy, with a very slight parmesan style aftertaste (which is the thermophilic starter culture at work). Simply delicious. Kim said that it was my best Swiss style cheeses yet. It was much better than some of the store bought swiss cheeses I have sampled, which I find lack body and taste. This one was head and shoulders above the pack.
Verdict; Double thumbs up with five big gold stars. I never cease to amaze myself when it comes to cheese making. Just look at those remarkable eyes in this close-up below. The colour is not really that yellow, as the flash on my camera distorted the final shade. It is more like the photo above, an off white creamy colour.
So that is the LGC School of Swiss Cheese tasting. What lesson did you learn today?