Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 52 of 139

Peluso says. It takes that long to develop the reddish-orange surface bacteria that give the 6-pound square its aroma of mushrooms and yeast and its oozy texture. Early batches were too salty or too high in moisture, but those f laws were more easily fixed. "I wanted to do this whether it was a success or a failure," admits the third-generation cheesemaker. "But it really has done well. If I do demos, I always sell more of the washed-rind than the traditional Teleme." Another experiment, a washed-rind goat Teleme, is sublime, and Peluso promises to make more if he can secure the milk. Penny's Pride Nettle Meadow Farm, New York Style: aged mixed-milk wheel with a bloomy rind Cheesemaker Sheila Flanagan describes this hybrid cheese as "reminiscent of cheddar" although it is made primarily with sheep's milk and weighs only about 3 pounds. Adding to its peculiar list of features, Penny's Pride has a bloomy rind. Blessed with an abundance of sheep's milk in spring, Flanagan and partner Lorraine Lambiase wanted to make a hard cheese that they could mature until Christmas. They started with a basic ched- dar recipe but have modified it substantially, changing the cultures several times and adding a little cow's milk. "We tried to make it a washed rind, but because our aging room is overwhelmingly a bloomy-rind environment, we eventually gave into that," Flanagan says. A local chef sealed the cheese's fate when he tasted an experimental wheel and exclaimed, "What a phenom- enal idea: a cheddar with a bloomy rind!" "We're proud of how it developed," says Flanagan, who ages Penny's Pride for at least five months. "With any kind of original, off-the-beaten-path cheese, it takes a lot of experimenting and a few disasters to get where you're going." March to October, but the volume drops off dramatically after June, curtailing Shepsog production. This ACS blue-ribbon winner will be scarce until late summer. Dunbarton Blue Roelli Cheese Haus, Wisconsin Style: blue-veined cow's milk cheddar "Nobody was doing a hand-cheddared blue," says cheesemaker Chris Roelli, "and it seemed like a natural fit. I had studied English and Irish Cheddar, and I once heard [Neal's Yard Dairy owner] Randolph Hodgson say that when a blue vein develops in a cloth- bound cheddar, that's a delicacy. I thought, why not purposely try to do that?" Dunbarton Blue has a thin natural rind and a modest amount of blueing in a dense, firm cheddar-like paste. Atypical for veined cheeses, Dunbarton Blue is pressed, so the Penicillium roqueforti has a harder time finding the oxygen it needs to grow. That was Roelli's intention. "I wanted 75 percent cheddar f lavor and 25 percent blue," he says. The cheese's development transpired in secret. "I didn't want my dad to find out," says the fourth-generation cheesemaker. "It's taboo to make blue in a cheddar plant, very risky, although we've never had a problem in the five years we've been making it." The larger issue was preventing the cheese from maturing too quickly. "Blue mold and cheddar do not play nice together," Roelli admits. "The blue enzyme breaks down the cheddar and tries to liq- uefy it." The solution was to sell Dunbarton Blue younger, at about four months. "You can age cheddar for a long time," says Roelli, "but you can't age cheddar blues for a long time." Franklin's Washed-Rind Teleme Mid Coast Cheese Company, California Style: washed-rind, semisoft cow's milk cheese Franklin Peluso's grandfather developed the f loppy, rice f lour–dust- ed Teleme square that has become a West Coast classic, with the firmer Greek-style Teleme as his starting point. Franklin sold the company and can no longer use his last name on cheese, so he puts his first name on his creations now. Franklin's Teleme is still best in class, but his washed-rind version is an innovation. "I had long wanted to do it," says Peluso, "but I never had the facility." Without a separate aging room, a washed-rind cheese might contaminate his regular Teleme, a risk Peluso couldn't afford. But when a nearby dairy lent him a closet-size aging room, he was able to experiment. It took about six months of trial and error to perfect the brine- washing and maturation. "Teleme is such a soft cheese that I have to work to keep the square edges when it's stored over 50 days," cheese focus Janet Fletcher writes the email newsletter "Planet Cheese" and is the author of Cheese & Wine and Cheese & Beer. Franklin's Washed-Rind Teleme 50 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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