[Sca-cooks] Cheese fat?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Aug 16 16:31:15 PDT 2007

On Aug 16, 2007, at 5:44 PM, Michael Gunter wrote:

> I am thinking of making a cheese as part of my upcoming
> Laurel's Prize Tourney display so I'm going through period
> sources of cheese recipes. What I'm looking at right now
> is Digby's "To Make Slipp-Coat Cheese".
> I've never made a fresh cheese beyond basic curd cheese
> so this is pretty new to me. Digby keeps referring to put
> the cheese in and out of "cheese fat". What is he referring
> to?

"Cheese fat" or "a cheese fat", "the/your cheese fat"? I don't have  
the recipe in front of me, but I STR Digby often uses the word "fat"  
in place of what we'd call a vat: a deep wooden tub, in his brewing  
recipes. Try plugging that in and see if it makes more sense...

> Also, he suggests drying the cheese on reeds or some
> other padding to draw out the moisture. Any suggestions
> for a more modern substitute?

I used a plastic basket specifically designed for draining cheeses,  
but I've also used those small, cheap plastic baskets restaurant  
supply stores sell for bread and such; they cost about a buck. Of  
course, you could also walk on the wild side and try an actual small  
basket, assuming any non-food-grade aspects will be balanced by  
gravity (since the whey will be travelling down, for the most part, I  
doubt too many toxins, if any, will mysteriously travel upward).

> I think Adamantius made
> this so he may have some pointers for me.

My own experience is that real muslin (washed free of any sizing)  
works better than what they sell in stores as cheesecloth; it seems  
to pull away from the cheese a little more cleanly. Since the object  
is to drain and dry the cheese somewhat, and also keep it from  
molding, one good idea that's worked well for me is to turn the  
cheese every day, but also to unwrap (carefully), rinse and dry the  
cloth, and re-wrap. If the cloth starts to get funky or smell weird,  
you can always replace it with a clean cloth.

As Digby says, you probably don't want to make this too large or too  

This actually can be inoculated with blue mold (and probably the  
white rind stuff, as well), but it probably ceases to be Digby's  
slipcote cheese, if you do.

> Or, anyone have some other sources for a quick cheese?
> I think Guter Spise has a few I need to check out.
> Gunthar

I STR both Plat and Markham have some good, simple recipes for  
cheeses, and once again I need to look for my smudgy photocopy of  
that 17th-century English dairy book. I could have sworn I got it  
scanned and OCR'd, but I'm having trouble locating it now...


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