Making cheese is a real profession

Making cheese is a real profession, which was usually done by the farmer’s wife on the farm. To make one kilo of cheese about 10 liters of full milk is needed. For a whole cheese that is 150 liters. To this milk is then added starter for taste and shelf life, and rennet, which causes the solids in the milk to coagulate and form a thick mass. The latter happened after about a half hour.

The ‘curdled’ milk is then cut into pieces and stirred well. The yellow moisture that comes free, the ‘whey’, is drained away. The cheese is made from the ‘curds’. It goes into a cheese mold, in which the cheese is pressed. This gives the cheese its final shape and a nice dense crust.

Then the cheeses go into a brine bath. The salt from the brine pulls into the cheese. This is of course necessary for the taste, but also increases the firmness and shelf life of the cheese.

When the cheeses have leaked out after brining, they go to a shelf in the cheese storage. There they are turned every day and they also get a thin plastic coating, which prevents dehydration and mold formation. By tapping the cheese with the fist, the cheese master hears whether the cheese has matured properly enough.

This process now takes place mainly in factories. But there are still enough farms in the Netherlands, where cheese making still takes place in the old traditional way. Then the cheese gets the predicate ‘Boerenkaas’.

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