With two different homemade cheeses now available, my wife and I sat down for an impromptu homemade cheese and homemade alcohol pairing recently. The kids also got to sample the cheese. The experience was a fun one, so I figured our readers might enjoy some of our observations.
The cheeses included:
- Gouda: Gouda originated in the Dutch town of Gouda, near Rotterdam. It is a washed-curd, semi-hard cheese with a smooth texture and tangy taste. It has a recommended aging time of 3 to 4 months, but really shines if it can age up to 9 months. Our gouda is 3.5 months old now and is much harder than I expected, with a texture similar to parmesan. It has a rich and almost nutty flavor and is my favorite cheese that I have made to date.
- Haloumi: Made in Cyprus, haloumi is a firm, pickled cheese. It is a good hot-weather cheese, as the salt in the pickling liquid inhibits mold and bacteria growth. It can be aged up to 60 days and is stored in a brine solution. The haloumi is the most different cheese I have made, with an interesting texture and a significant salty flavor, which our kids love.
- String Cheese: String cheese is a form of mozzarella, which is not a hard cheese at all. In fact, the mozzarella we used is not even homemade, though that is easy enough to do, but is the Crystal Farms brand. It was included just to have a third cheese that would be different from the other two, and it was something we had on hand.