On Wednesday I went to Wildes Cheese in Tottenham for an evening of cheese making and nibbling. When we arrived we were given some cheeses to try. The first was a soft cheese mixed with lemon curd, which would be amazing as a cheesecake.
We were also given some Bruce cheese with pear and redcurrant membrillo.
Then the tour started, we were given a tour around the dairy and their cheese making process was explained to us. It all starts, of course, with milk. They use unhomegenised milk from a single farmer near Rye and a starter culture. Vegetarian rennet is added and the milk is heated to different temperatures for different cheese. This turns the milk into curds and whey.
The cheese is left to dry out in the dairy and then transferred to the caves or cold rooms. The photo below is of cheese at different stages of maturing, from the newest bottom left to the oldest top right.
Then on to the mozzarella making, Rodolpho showed us what we would be doing taking us through the steps in mozzarella making. First, cutting the curds into cubes.
Then pouring over hot water.
The very gently rolling the cheese to melt all the curds together, this required lots of patience and gentleness!
Then getting your hands in and forming it into a ball.
Followed by forming the smaller mozzarella balls
Then popping them in iced water.
Then it was our go, we cut the curd into cubes and covered it with boiling water.
Then formed it into smaller balls and even plaits.
I took home a lot of cheese and luckily it freezes so I can enjoy it for a while to come. I made a lovely pasta bake the following evening, topped with mozzarella.
The evening was absolutely fantastic, Philip, Keith and Rodolpho are clearly very passionate about what they do and were wonderfully knowledgeable. We were given cheesy snacks throughout the evening from the Wildes range and I think my favourite has to be Ellis with a cheddar and brie culture. It was delicious. They also do a full day course, which I'm quite tempted by.