My first homemade Camembert from hay milk. A cheese thriller with soul yoga in Vienna's only cheese factory.
"Mel., Cheese makes a lot of things with you. Deep inside. "Um, ok. You just have to digest such a sentence for a moment. Usually I do not have it that way with the esoteric. But now I am sitting here in the middle of Vienna with Johannes Lingenhel on a long wooden table and talking about cheese - the cheese making process. The Johannes burns so wonderfully crazy-sympathetic to the topic that you just have to like him immediately.
And he seems to know exactly what he's talking about. After all, he built Vienna's only town dairy in the backyard of a historic building with a lot of heart and soul. In this factory, he produces his own cheese and, in small quantities, a unique cheese and sells it together with other specialties in the front of his shop with an attached restaurant.
So far, my knowledge of the production of cheese is - let's say - more functional. We have milk, we have lab and schwups! At some point there is a deliciously mature cheese on my plate. So far, so enjoyable is my cheese ratio.
But that will change here today! Together with Johannes I will dive deep into the traditional cheese (and deeper than I can guess). In the middle of Vienna, today we make artisanal cheese from fresh hay milk g.t.S. which was brought shake-free the evening before with a special transport from the mountain region of Austria. The initiator of this exciting idea is the AMA Marketing - the Agrar Markt Austria Marketing Gesellschaft - who wants to put some more in the deserving spotlight with the action Senner meets Blogger hay milk and cheese from Austria.
What makes milk to hay milk? And what does "g.t.S."?
hay milk g.t.S. is an Austrian milk specialty and the most original form of milk production. The abbreviation g.t.S stands for "guaranteed traditional specialty", an EU seal of quality that was awarded for the first time to Austrian hay milk in the German-speaking world. For centuries, the feeding of cattle is adapted to the passage of the seasons. The cows spend the summer on pastures and mountain pastures, where they enjoy a selection of up to a thousand different grasses and herbs. In winter, the animals are fed with hay. Fermented feed and genetic engineering are prohibited.
About 8.000 hay milk farmers and sixty processors produce mainly in Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg according to the strict and continuously controlled hay milk regulation. The traditional feeding of the animals has a particular effect on the taste: the greater the diversity of grasses and herbs in the feed, the higher the quality and aroma of the milk and of all hay milk products.
But of course it does Senner meets Blogger not only about the "raw material" hay milk gtS, but also about the people, their passion for great products and the animals.Lately I've had some elaborate suits, but today I get away with a pair of impressive white rubber boots and a matching color apron. To warm up when it comes to cheese making, let's start with something simple: cream cheese.
Johannes gently heated the fresh milk the night before, mixed it with lactic acid bacteria and allowed to ripen overnight. Now he presents me a bucket with a thick milk-like mass - the curd. In order for this milk pudding to become cream cheese, the whey must drain off. Johannes achieves this by gently moving the curd on paddles back and forth so that the liquid can escape. This results in an increasingly firm milk extract, which can then continue to drain in peace until it is malleable. Then the cream cheese is filled without further ingredients in high forms and rests again for several hours. Then it is ready to serve.
Johannes emphasizes again and again that it is at a really good cream cheese on quite a few, but Crucial matters are: excellent milk, enough time and the leisure to take care of the cheese again and again. In particular, the starting milk is very important to him. Only from the milk of animals with appropriate grazing attitude, natural feed, without stress and with the smallest possible milk production can in his opinion become a tasty, natural product.
The milk makes it.
"From the smell of cheese curd, the color of the whey and the processing properties, I often recognize milk from mass production in artisan cheese immediately," explains Johannes. That's why he works with the milk of organic farmers whose farms he personally knows. And today, hay milk g.t.S. By the way, Johannes sells his artisanal cream cheese in his shop for exactly one day - and then makes new ones. He explains that the purpose of cream cheese is just that freshness. For a maximum of two days, his cream cheese tastes just the way Johannes would like it. After that it is of course also safe and edible - but as with any living product, taste and texture change over time.
From" simple "cream cheese to the star-serving plate
Now it's time But I'm really looking forward to our cream cheese! Straight from the mold, the cream cheese is served on a plate, as you could eat it at the front of the shop. It comes with dark nutmeg, nashibirnen gel, tomato essence, parmesan crumble and pea cress. Already visually, the whole is a dream! But when I try the cheese at first pure, the taste almost kisses me from the socks.In addition to the very pleasant fresh acidity I taste spicy herbs and a touch of hay. I'm delighted. And in combination with the other components on the plate, the whole thing is just fantastic. Presumably, I make pretty loud ecstatic sounds, because Johannes has to smile and says: "That's the milk." I'm absolutely convinced of that at the moment.
Actually, I'm totally happy now and could spend the rest of the day sitting at the long wooden table, snacking on cream cheese, sipping a glass of wine and chatting with Johannes about the topics We are both very interested in: animal husbandry, quality, cheese, nice plates and fantastic food .. But we still have a lot to do. It goes to the big tub.
Now it's getting exciting: My first homemade camembert from hay milk g.t.S.
200 liters of milk fit into the steel vat, which Johannes bought in his cheese making factory. The part seems quite imposing to me - in comparison to cheese production on a large scale, this is rather an insignificant little thing. Because from 650 liters of cow's milk is a loaf of cheese of about 50 kg. One can therefore imagine what enormous quantities of milk and which tub sizes are needed for the production of commercial cheese.
Today we produce a Camenbert, which requires only a relatively short ripening period of a few weeks. Johannes prepared our handy cheese vat for this: the fresh hay milk g.t.S. was gently pasteurized at just over 70 degrees, so that the cheese can not be spoiled later by unwanted bacteria. At the moment, it's being brought back to 34 degrees by the integrated cooling system.
While we wait, the door opens and Robert Paget walks in. Robert has a small farm with buffaloes and goats and also runs his own farm cheese dairy. And he is Johannes dearest his cheese companion. The two share the cheese passion and have spent many hours together in their respective factories and devised recipes. So now we'll be working on Camembert for three.
From the cheese wonder drug Lab, enzymes from calf stomachs and vegetarian alternatives
When the milk has reached exactly the desired temperature, Robert pours the dissolved rennet into the vat and stirs it over carefully. And then it's time to wait again. We use the time for a little chat about Lab. This is a collective term for enzyme-containing substances that break down the milk components and cause a breakdown (a connection) of the milk protein. So without cheese there would be no cheese.
In most cases, Lab thinks of enzymes derived from calf stomachs, which enable cheese to be minced even in tiny amounts. Robert says that on alpine pastures, dairy farmers used to pull a dried calf's stomach once through a large tub of milk. Then they hung up the stomach again until it was needed again. One stomach was enough for cheese production for years.
But there are also numerous, sometimes even very old and traditional vegetarian alternatives. Lab can also be made from plants: papaya, the juice of the fig tree, pineapple, thistle plants or the English lab herb Galium verum, for example, are vegetarian suppliers of the required enzymes.Milk, rennet and temperature are the questions here
So labs can be put together in very different ways - and also react differently to milk qualities and temperatures. Therefore, it is crucial for artisanal cheese to use the best possible milk quality and to temper the milk as accurately as possible. If the milk contains drug residues, it may negatively affect the work of the enzymes. If the milk is too cold, the process of cheese-making can not start properly. If it is too hot, the bacteria or enzymes will not work. Only when everything is right, it separates milk into its components and stronger curd and liquid whey arise.
John and Robert are now standing by the tub and constantly monitor very attentively color and smell of rickety milk mixed with rennet gtS At this early stage, it would become apparent if a mistake had occurred in cheese making. I realize how focused the two are - will everything work out? After all, for the first time today they are making the hay milk gtS
Only net hudln!
Tense minutes pass. Then comes the all-clear: the color and smell of the cheesecake are perfect! Johannes cuts the now quite solid mass with huge tools into countless little cubes. As a result, the whey can escape and the cheese curd hardens more and more to the cheese raw material. Even now, John and Robert constantly monitor the process. Ideally, the exiting whey is clear, pale yellow and with a little green glow. If it became milky or very cloudy, the cheese would in the worst case even broken off and the cheese curd be disposed of. But everything works perfectly!
Cheese-Yoga: In the vat, the enlightenment waits
The curd must move continuously during the ripening process so that the little cubes do not form into large lumps, which could ultimately affect maturation. Without words Johannes and Robert work so harmoniously and concentrated together, that the whole room suddenly gets an incredibly relaxed atmosphere. While the one with vigorous arm work the cheese curd down to the depths of the tub, the other hand cuts larger fragments into the small cube shape. The always same, quiet movements clearly have something of mediation. The cheese curd smells pleasantly fresh and sour. I notice how I totally relaxed. But it gets even better: I may also to the vat!
With carefully scrubbed hands and arms, I dive gently into the warm curd. And stir. And stir. And stir. With my arms.The conscious movements are like a meditation or yoga. It makes you happy to have direct contact with the product, to work with it, and to feel very directly how it develops. A slightly crazy grin steals on my face. "You see," says Johannes, who watches me amused with cheeses. "That's something to do with your inside - I told you so." Now I know exactly what he meant by that. And why he absolutely had to set up a Stadtkäserei in the middle of Vienna. After this feeling one can become addicted.
On the home stretch with little molds, salt and again a lot of patience.
While I was Still happily moving my arms in the tub, John prepares the molds into which the curd is then vigorously poured.The individual cheeses are still very high, but over time more and more whey drips off and the cheese dough becomes denser the rather grainy camemberts are triggered and have to drip off again overnight.
The next morning the Camemberts have taken on their final flat and round shape, but before they can get into the refrigerated ripening rooms and be vaccinated with a noble mold we take care of each other The raw cheese is carefully salted around by hand and the salt acts as an antibacterial protective layer that prevents unwanted germs from settling on the delicate blanks, so this last step in cheese making must be done with great care so that the cheese does not spoil in the last few meters.
I have the honor of being a favorite camembert!
Johannes and I are a little bit satisfied but very satisfied Our work: Over 80 large and small Camemberts are ready salted in front of us.Now I have to say goodbye to our little "babies", because until they mature in Johannes mature adult hay milk gtS camembert with the typical noble mold are still about 6-7 weeks pass.And I'm really looking forward to being able to present my first cheese to my loved ones at home! I'll keep you up to date.
And by that time, let's just try some of Lingenhel's excellent cheese specialties with home-made peach peach chutney. With
one two three goblets. Running.
Dear AMA, dear Johannes and Robert, dear Julia - many thanks for the great experience in the cheese factory and in Vienna. I will never forget my first hay milk cheese!