A Cheddar Adventure
How the competition works
"The art of affineur is a perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of artisan cheesemaking, so we're delighted to be launching a competition that's dedicated to them"
In conversation with Rupert
"When we heard about the competition, we thought aging a cheddar was so far out of our comfort zone that we just had to give it a go".
Rupert Linton, Brindisa
As a company that has only ever had Spanish cheeses in our cheese rooms we’re very interested to see how the microflora of the rooms will affect the development of flavour in the cheddar. The cheddar will be sharing an environment with ewe’s & goat’s milk cheese from Southern Europe. We age cheeses that weigh less than 3kg so we don’t tend to age them for more than 5 months.
It will be interesting to see how a cheese develops over a longer period.
Apart from the aging techniques used for the Zamorano Gran Reserva which is aged for two years in an underground cave, we considered a Grazalema style coating the cheese in Iberico lard or a Mahon style where the cheese is rubbed in olive oil and paprika to create a new rind.
We decided to mature the cheddar in the style of a mahon as that is the technique we are most familiar with and we know that mahon curado cheeses can age well for up to 12 months so we’re hopeful we can transfer this technique to a cheddar.
What are you expectations for the matured cheese, flavour profile after 9 months?
On the whole Spanish cheeses are known for their bold flavours and I expect creating a pimenton rind on a cheddar will contribute to concentrating flavour. I don’t expect the pimenton flavours themselves to penetrate far into the paste, the powdered spice creates a breathable layer and controls the activity of cheese mites.
The olive oil may well affect the aromas coming off the cheddar and it will be interesting to see how much the paste of the cheddar absorbs the oil. Mahon often has an aroma of peaches on the rind, it will be interesting to see if this develops on the cheddar too.