[Sca-cooks] Goat Cheese

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Jun 3 23:31:42 PDT 2010

Lidia Allen asked about period cheese...

First, welcome to the SCA-Cooks list! You may have been listening quietly for a while, but this is first I think I've seen you post here.

<<< I own dairy goats, and have made cheese for the past few years. So far, I have used purchased cultures, but I'd like to try using my raw milk and wild cultures. Any advice? >>>

Goat milk being somewhat rare, I'd hate to lose it to the wrong yeast/beasties. On the otherhand, it sounds like a nice learning experience.

<<< Also, where could I find documentaton for period cheesemaking?? The sources I've found, like Gervase Markham are just beyond the SCA time frame. Anything earlier that would help? >>>

You might check out the sources mentioned in these files in the FOOD-DAIRY section of the Florilegium:
cheesemaking-msg (160K) 2/ 9/08 Comments and info. on cheesemaking. Recipes.
Dairy-Prodcts-art (26K) 4/27/09 "1450 Flanders Dairy Challenge" by Lady Hrosvitha von Celle (Vitha).

There are a bunch of other files on cheesemaking and on different types of cheeses in this area. It might be worth looking in some of them as well.

In addition, there are these period manuscripts in the FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS section:
About-Cheese-art (12K) 3/ 4/05 "About Cheese" A tranlation by Aelianora de Wintringham of a 1556 letter on Swiss cheese and dairy products.
Ital-cheese-art (12K) 8/ 2/08 "16th Century Italian Cheese Recipes" trans. by Mistress Helewyse de Birkestad.

There are other translations in this section but they are more general, and I'm afraid I can't remember right now which ones might have cheesemaking recipes in them.

<<< I have one lactating ewe, and plan to try milking her.? I'll let you all know how it goes! >>>

Please do. It sounds like you've previously been milking her for making your cheese. How much did you typically get per day? how often? Or have you been buying your milk from other sources previously?

Just remember it could be more difficult. From my kumiss-msg file:
"I have a friend who's family raises Shires, the biggest horse in existence, but she has yet to talk her father into milking one of them. This is a
daunting task on even a horse as small as the ones common to the steppe, and even more so on one as large as a Shire. She once told me of a foal
their mare had that stood nearly eleven hands at birth. That's a big baby"

And if you decide you'd like to trade the hair and milk for goat meat... I even have this file in the ANIMALS section:
butch-goat-art (16K) 7/14/98 "Butchering a Live Goat, for (and by) Beginners" by Charles McCathieNevile.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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