As you know, Suzanne McMinn has accepted our challenge to make a new “hard” cheese every month until she dies and goes to cheese heaven. Her first test came last month when she absolutely nailed Monterey Jack which is, admittedly, a fairly easy cheese to make. (See Cheese Challenge-Monterey Jack.)
This month, she chose a more complicated cheese and, again, she rose to the challenge. Could it be that making cheese is easy? Or, is Suzanne a one-in-a-million culinary genius? Here’s her post as it appears on her wonderful website- “Chickens in the Road.”
16. Check the cheese every other day and gently wipe the surface with cheesecloth or a paper towel dampened in lightly salted water. This is the “washing” process. It helps spread the bacteria evenly over the surface and inhibits unwanted bacteria, yeast, and mold from developing. The surface will gradually develop a reddish-brown color. The longer the bacteria develop, the stronger the taste of the cheese will be.
Remember to be attentive to your Munster. After 10 days, my Munsters started developing a slight red cast to the surface. I have been washing them with salt water every other day and will be waxing them soon.
I can’t completely pinpoint why, but making Munster is the most fun I’ve ever had making cheese. I know I’ll be making more of it. I’d make Munster every day if I could, it’s that much fun! For next month’s cheese challenge, I’ll be making another brine-soaked cheese, but soon I want to try more mold-ripened cheeses. I want to try it all. I love making cheese! My Munsters are still ripening in the storage containers, by the way, and I’ll report on them as they progress. Soon, I’ll be breaking into my Jack cheeses, too, and will show you how they came out.