23. Jun, 2016

White Gold for Mr Moydens Handmade Cheese part 2

After milking and arriving back at the creamery, we got changed in proper cheese makers clothes and Martin talked us through the plan of action....well we were in for a fantastic day making....Newport, Iron Bridge Blue, Wrekin Blue and Cear Caradoc.....so 2000 ltrs of milk were pumped out of the two massive tanks and passed once more through a fine gauze and then divided over 3 cheese vats, amazingly all fitted. as the milk had to be at a certain temperature around 33C, this was our first mission to have them brought to temperature, as the milk was fresh from the cows, the temperature was close to that mark in 1st, time for adding the cultures for the blue cheeses. At that time, Martin's mum and a student from Harper Adams joined us and the team of 5 was ready...... waiting on the two other vats to get to temperature and done the same with adding cultures in the Newport and Cear Caradoc, letting these work properly my mission was stirring the Cheese vats with Martin's white spoon, it was tricky as a gentle stir was needed and the cultures were mixed with the mild throughout. Chef Stirrer me...lol. Vegetarian rennet was added and after a little stir...it needed to be left alone for the separation process milk changing into Way and Curd. this is when Martin is at his best, knowing when it is time to cut the way and work it.......work it....handmade cheese indeed, the important stage is to release the way and the different curds needed to be in certain soft textures for all the different cheeses, again Martin knew when and which one was ready, all about timing and PH levels. It was a matter of routine for Martin's mum who was supervising us at times, between cleaning and getting stuff ready for any next stages of any of the cheeses and stopping the curds from clustering, she is a star. The Iron Bridge blue curd was the first one the be lifted out of the way and put into moulds. This was time for Martin to do the first cut of the curd on the Newport followed but the Cear Caradoc..... Honestly this is a nonstop action for all involved, timing was essential and manual labour was just like a never ending flowing river. By the time of 5pm all the different cheeses were in moulds, some pressed and resting for the next stage the next day for salting.....and there was I thinking it was done already....no chance. Looking into the holding fridge I was amazed, impressed and excited at the same time seeing so much lovely cheeses on racks, some ready most of them needed turning every day, never ending nursing of his cheese till you get it. Passion, Pride, consistency, top quality. Thank you Martin and Beth for setting Ali and I join you for the day working in this truly bit of Shropshire’s finest cheese heaven.

Pictures of this brilliant day are in the Tour Pictures, please feel free to have a look.

Next stop for the Shropshire Tour 2016....Making Bread with Robert Swift