This is the third in a 4 part series about a cheese making workshop at Ian Anderson’s Cave’s Branch Adventure Company and Jungle Lodge in Belize, taught by Linda and Larry Faillace of Three Shepherds Cheese. To begin with Part 1- click here.
We hit our stride the second day and made Quark, soft ripened cheese, Spressa and Guayanes (a soft dessert Mozzarella from Venezuela). We were beginners yesterday, and today we’re “experienced,” but by tomorrow we’ll be professionals!
|Linda explaining how to fill the molds with the soft ripened curds|
|Filling a bag with Quark curds|
|Salting the Feta (made yesterday)|
|Bag of Quark draining|
We had a very special treat for lunch. Mike had slaughtered a lamb that morning and brought it to the lodge. Chef J outdid himself by making lamb three different ways for us.
|In the upper left, curried lamb. In the lower right- lamb stuffed with ricotta|
|Yet a third lamb presentation. Chef J ruled!|
That afternoon, we made Mozzarella. Larry added cream to the milk, because we were attempting to make it soft (Venezuelan style).
|Dipping Mozzarella curds in the hot whey for stretching|
|The water was hot and I can’t say we totally mastered the stretching technique, but the taste and texture of the Mozzarella was perfect.|
Out on the town
That night, Ian took us all out to a special Cowboy Barbeque some friends were serving at a local restaurant. It was a 5 course steak supper (with banana flambe for dessert). What more can I say?! Thank you, Ian!
We made Mozzarella again (with a slight variation to the pH), soft ripened cheese again to adjust our recipe, Trappist, and Old Brabander.
At first I wondered why we were making the same cheeses twice, but then I realized we were learning how to troubleshoot and to change the processes slightly in order to get the results we wanted. That kind of thinking is one of the reasons why Larry and Linda are such good teachers.
|Rey tasted a few Queso Blanco curds. In front of him, that’s our magnificent Queso (from Day 1, ready for aging).|
|We made another pot of Mozzarella|
|Skimming off the cream|
|Analyzing our yogurt|
|Getting ready to measure the temperature of the whey|
|A big pot of Trappist curds|
|Demonstrating how to stir the curds slowly and carefully|
|Feta in back, soft ripened in front|
|Measuring the rennet in a syringe|
|Who could resist those smiles?|
|Ian looking like a mad scientist with his syringe of rennet|
|We tasted as we went, of course!|
|Larry demonstrating his stretching technique with the Mozzarella. Our second Mozzarella was entirely different from our first because of only a slight difference in the pH|
|Cutting the Trappist curds|
|Clarabelle showed us how she turns the Trappist cheeses.|
Normally, that would be the end of a 3 day workshop, but we were on Belizian time, so we decided to take the next morning to wrap up. It would have to be only a half day at most, because we had an adventure scheduled for the afternoon – tubing down a river into a cave. Yikes!