As they say, the proof is in the eating. You may remember back a couple of months ago that I made a wheel of Wensleydale cheese.
Now, because it was a special occasion yesterday (Lydia & Matt returning to the UK), I decided to taste test it after two months.
The recipe suggested that maturation was between 3 weeks and 3 months, so I thought that it would be all right to give it a go. I took it out of the wrapper that Kim had made,
sharpened one of my longest knives and cut out a small wedge. I picked it up and smelt the cheese, and I could not believe the heavenly odour!
The colour was a slightly yellow. I had expected a pure white colour, so it was a bit of a surprise. I loved the layer of sage through the middle.
Having never eaten Wensleydale before, I really didn’t have anything to compare it with, but all I can tell you all is that it was best cheese I have ever tasted (not biased or anything). Kim had the next taste and her eyes lit up. She could not believe the flavour, and noted that the sage emanated through the middle of the cheese. The texture was smooth and creamy yet firm in the mouth. It had a subtle aftertaste that lingered for about 3 of 4 minutes. So last night at about 9pm, Matt and Lydia enjoyed some of the cheese. They were highly impressed as well. It went so well with the cider we picked up in Harcourt. Happy days!
In fact I just savoured another piece with Kim and our friend Stacey, and it was unanimously judged as best in show! Well it was the only cheese at the show, so it was bound to win their approval. Gold medals all around!
So in 24 hours we have demolished a half a wheel. I re-waxed the other half and will be leaving it for another month to see what flavours develop. In the mean time, this success has inspired me to make some more. Kim has requested Edam this time, and luckily I now have a recipe for it in my new cheese book “Making Artisan Cheese”. I will have to give it a go next weekend.
What a great hobby I have stumbled upon!