homemade cheese: Jarlsberg
In a previous post, I reported about making Leerdammer, my first cheese with holes (formaggio coi buchi). The holes are called "eyes" (occhi) and are bubbles of carbon dioxide created by the microorganism called Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii during the ripening period (as you can read here and also here).
I have been to Norway twice, loved every moment I spent there, and hope to go again, since there are parts of the country I have not yet visited and would very much like to do so. My second visit occurred before I had a digital camera, and with my Nikon FG I took mostly slides (diapositive). Out of my small stash of prints, I scanned an image that shows one of the many waterfalls that we admired.
Back to Jarlsberg, on this page, you can read a brief history of the cheese.
The recipe I followed is in the book 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes by Debra Amrein-Boyes1. This time, I knew I would get bigger holes (than I did in my Leerdammer), because the cheese expanded markedly during the aging period and it cracked open the wax coating I had applied to it. I counted the days until I could cut my Jarlsberg. When I finally did and saw the pretty eyes, I was thrilled. Then my husband and I had our first slice of the cheese before dinner, as a very special appetizer. The flavor is sweet and nutty, very pleasant. The only problem is that it is difficult to stop eating it.
On the board, a slice (fetta) and a few morsels of my Jarlsberg are placed next to some of my homemade 4-braid challah, recipe from Peter Reinhart's Artisans Bread Every Day (with a couple of personal adjustments to the list of ingredients).
I'll definitely make Jarlsberg again. In the meantime, there are a couple of experiments in the aging stage, so stay tuned for the next post on my cheese-making adventures (avventure casearie).
1 I refer you to the book for the recipe details (some apply to cheese making in general, some to the specific cheese).