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blue-cheese-msg - 9/23/07

 

Period blue cheeses.

 

NOTE: See also the files: cheese-msg, cheese-lnks, fresh-cheeses-msg, whey-cheeses-msg, Charles-Chees-art, baked-cheese-msg, dairy-prod-msg, cheesemaking-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 20:02:06 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Fromage Bleau

 

>Ill have to find my reference books, but essentially, the varietys of

>cheese relate to the local products, if memory serves-cheddar comes from

>cheddar, meunster comes from meunster, parmigian from parma, you get the

>drift. I do know that the blue mold in blue cheese is proprietary to

>that one cavey section of france, and unless it comes from there, it is

>only 'blue cheese'.

>

>margali

 

Actually, the blue culture in Roquefort is made from moldy bread crumbs that

the curds are sifted through prior to being packed in the vate.

 

Aoife

 

 

From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib at ptdprolog.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charlemagne's Cheese [long]

Date: Wed, 08 Sep 1999 18:11:54 GMT

 

In reference to the cheese best loved by Charlemagne,

Tangwystle wrote:

<snip. See Charles-Chees-art>

 

Besides all the excellent and educational evidence, another pointer in favor

of the non-blued (non-cultured is a better word) cheese is that it is highly

unlikely  that cheese could be cultured (marbled or veined with blue mold)

by this method.  Soft cheese is, to a certain extent, self-sealing.

Piercing with a skewer could very well introduce some bad organisms, but it

is highly unlikely that the correct organisms (moldy bread crumbs) could be

introduced in this manner. If it were successful, the results would be

unlikely to be replicable and would produce a cheese whose culture resided

in a single portion of the cheese. It would not be veined because the veins

are produced by sifting moldy bread crumbs throughout the curds as the are

placed int he mold.  The curds are then pressed heavily over time to remove

as much whey/whig as possible, a process which happens sketchily to produce

softer cheeses which, by definition, have a higher whey content. In all,

this skewering method seems like a highly unsound method for creating veined

blue cheese.

 

Aoife

 

 

From: "Shayne Lynch" <lynchs at my-dejanews.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Charlemagne's Cheese [long]

Organization: OzEmail Ltd, Australia

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 12:47:44 +1000

 

Bethany Public Library <betpulib at ptdprolog.net> wrote:

> Besides all the excellent and educational evidence, another pointer in favor

> of the non-blued (non-cultured is a better word) cheese is that it is highly

> unlikely  that cheese could be cultured (marbled or veined with blue mold)

> by this method.  Soft cheese is, to a certain extent, self-sealing.

> Piercing with a skewer could very well introduce some bad organisms, but it

> is highly unlikely that the correct organisms (moldy bread crumbs) could be

> introduced in this manner. If it were successful, the results would be

> unlikely to be replicable and would produce a cheese whose culture resided

> in a single portion of the cheese. It would not be veined because the veins

> are produced by sifting moldy bread crumbs throughout the curds as the are

> placed int he mold.  The curds are then pressed heavily over time to remove

> as much whey/whig as possible, a process which happens sketchily to produce

> softer cheeses which, by definition, have a higher whey content. In all,

> this skewering method seems like a highly unsound method for creating veined

> blue cheese.

 

It is a highly unlikely method, but not for the reasons supplied here. Blue

vein cheese is about introducing Pennacilin Roquaforti from its current

infection point to the cheese.  This is not done by throwing mouldy bread

crumbs though the curds! It is commonly done by scraping an old cheese mould

into the new cheese milk, or by creating a suspension of the mould in water

and pouring it down the skewer that you have used to pearce the cheese, or

simply by leaving the cheese in the same room as the other blue cheeses.

 

The major evidence that it is not a blue vein is the desciption of the

cheese rind, which is not blue or green, but white.  The blue pennacillin is

much more active than the white and will (mostly) out-compete white on a

cheese.  In any event, it will always result in a mixed coloured cheese,

which whilst being tasty and interesting to view, is not what was described.

 

In fact, what was described in not necessarily a mouldy cheese! (Modern)

France has a number of examples of Ash rolled cheeses, in which a soft or

semi-hard cheese is rolled in wood ash and left to mature.  Most of these

cheeses have a grey or white appearance to the rind which is quite edible!

[though some are quite dark]  So we are still left unable to identify the

cheese.

 

Francois Henri Guyon

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 08:50:05 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Charlemagne's Cheese [long]

 

Cariadoc wrote:

>When did Toussaint-Samat write? Is it clear whether her book is earlier or

>later than the edition of the Larousse you are quoting?

>

>In any case, my impression is that the Larousse is quite unreliable on

>matters historical.

 

I agree, and I wasnęt quoting Larousse as a historical authority on

Charlemagneęs cheese tastes. The point I wanted to make but forgot to add is

that Ięve seen these cheese/Charlemage stories in several publications

(which doesnęt make them any more true, of course), and these legends seem

to be widely known in France, perhaps attributed to other cheeses as well.

 

Toussaint-Samatęs book was published in 1987; my edition of Larousse in 1984

(the French original); English edition 1988, granted, but if this

information was added by the English translators, they must have been very

keen on it for some reason, because I found a third quote in the cheese

section of Larousse:

 

"It was not until the time of Charlemagne and the chronichles of Eginhard

(770-840) that cheese was again mentioned in writing. The famous emperor

discovered blue cheeses - the ancestors of Roquefort - while on a journey

into the heart of his territory, and a stop at the priory of Rueil-en-Brie

enabled him to sample the delights of Brie, which was given to him as a

tithe."

 

Which doesnęt prove a thing about brie or roquefort either way, of course.

But these stories are well-known in France.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 18:07:45 +0000

From: nickiandme at att.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pinto cheese?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org (Group-SCACooks)

 

I haven't been able to find a mention of this cheese anywhere.  Could

it perhaps be a mispronunciation/misspelling for a Catalan cheese named  

Picón?

 

Picón, a close relative of Cabrales is made in the Cantabrian villages

of Bejes and Tresviso. The cheeses are soft inside, some spreadably and  

others crumbly, and when cut reveal little galleries and caverns  

inhabited by the greenish-blue mold which gives them their  

characteristic strong big complex flavor.

 

Kateryn de Develyn

Barony of Coeur d'Ennui

Kingdom of Calontir

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2004 15:18:17 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <hrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pinto cheese

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

> Orange cheese is artificially colored, usually with annatto which is

> new world. Is there any evidence for bright orange cheese in period?

> Safflower or other dyes could be used for this, but is there any

> evidence that it was?

 

According to the Oxford Companion to Food,

annatto was being imported to Europe in the

17th century.  It also states that annatto

replaced marigolds and carrots as a food

colorant in cheese, but didn't say anything about

saffron.  It also states that cows that eat

fresh summer grass give milk that can be turned

into yellow cheese.  Cows that eat winter fodder

give milk that makes white cheese.

 

> The mixed cheese is made by mixing dyed and undyed curds.   I believe

> that cutting the curds in that manner is part of the cheddaring

> process, which I don't believe is period.  But I suppose Pinto cheese

> could be speckled in some other way.

 

I was thinking, just a guess on my part, that

it could be spotted with molds.  A French tomme

cheese is dotted with red, grey an yellow molds.

Sounds like a pinto to me.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 17:46:14 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] blue cheese?  sampling spices?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> would a blue veined cheese be in period?

> cailte

 

Blue cheeses are probably period.  There is some evidence of a

Roquefort-like cheese in Charlemagne's time and both Roquefort and

Gorgonzola appear to have been made since at least the 11th Century.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 20:16:07 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: blue cheese?  sampling spices?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

There were blue cheeses in period but very few had the

veining that you see in today's blues.  The way that

the veins are produced is by seeding the blue

bacterium into the milk when it is still fluid and

then after the cheese is made they are spiked with

what looks remarkably like stainless steel knitting

needles.  This allows the oxygen to get into the

cheese and the blue bacterium to grow.

 

Most of what you found in period was an unspiked blue,

so when you cut the cheese open it was a white or

ivory colored paste.  After about 15 minutes or so you

would start to see a blush of blue beginning to

develop on the cut surface.  The longer you leave it

exposed to the air the more extensive the blueing

becomes on the surface, it only extends back into the

paste about 1/4 inch.

 

A good cheese to look up to get an idea of what it

looks like is to google castelmagno cheese.  Here's

what artisanal's photo of a wedge looks like:

http://65.217.230.240/prodinfo.asp?number=10136

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 10:37:35 -0400

From: Suey <lordhunt at gmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Blue Cheese

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Stefan wrote:

> I thought blue cheese was from cow's milk.

 

in his next posting he cites his file Charles-Chees-art which states

that blue cheese is from ewe's milk.

 

This surprises me because the never ending issue between Roquefort and

Cabrales is who invented blue cheese. Either French pilgrims from

Roquefort on the Way of St. James learned the art of making it from the

Asturians or the Asturians learned it from them.

Cabrales, queso cabraliego, Spain?s major blue-veined cheese is made

with mixture of over 1/3 each of ewes and goats? milk and the remaining

part is cow?s milk. It is a soft cheese spread on bread or beaten with

cider or diced and eaten alone as a snack or dessert. This is mixed as

each animal is milked. Formerly, it was put in the stomach of a recently

slaughtered goat as the rennin in its stomach contained casein. Today

special tubs are used which consist of double sides and are hallow in

the middle. Hot water is run through them, which initiates the curdling

process. The name for this cheese is derived from "cabra", goat and

Cabrales, one of the localities where it is made. It is made at mountain

farms in Asturias, mainly around Cabrales and Penamellera Alta. It is a

strong-smelling cheese with a powerful flavor. The paste is an uneven

dull white with yellow-brown patches and irregular blue-brown patches

and irregular veining. The rind is grayish-red and crusty and was

wrapped in sycamore leaves before the invention of plastic bags. As it

must be cured in humid and ventilated conditions, it is taken to the

natural caves facing north in limestone mountains of karst formation

with fissures, sinkholes and underground drainage. The process takes

about six months or more depending on the degree of maturity desired.

Today in the mountains around Cabrales and Cordi?anes (Le?n) this

tradition continues.

 

Suey

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 15:37:55 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Blue Cheese

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Possibly neither learned it from the other.  Since cheese making seems to

begin in the Late Neolithic, it is quite possible that the practice of

producing blue cheese was invented somewhere else and introduced to  

France and Spain by a third party.

 

If we have to decide between the two, by the time of the Camino de Santiago

(earliest references in the 8th Century) blue cheeses were being produced in

Southern France and that the records of the Camino de Santiago are roughly

contemporaneous with Einhard's account of Charlemagne and the two yearly

cartloads of (blue?) cheese from a monastery (believed to be Vabres).  Also,

Pliny comments upon the cheeses of southern France, but, to my knowledge,

makes no mention of cheese in Spain.

 

While the evidence supports Roquefort's claim, lack of evidence does not

negate Cabrales claim.  Blue cheese appears to predate recorded history in

the region and there is some evidence that the Camino de Santiago was a

pagan pilgrimage route before Christianity co-opted it, leaving the

technology transfer possibility open.  Given regional pride, the endless

argument will continue.

 

Bear

 

----- Original Message -----

 

This surprises me because the never ending issue between Roquefort and

Cabrales is who invented blue cheese. Either French pilgrims from

Roquefort on the Way of St. James learned the art of making it from the

Asturians or the Asturians learned it from them.

 

Suey

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 14:55:53 -0700

From: "Rikke D. Giles" <rgiles at centurytel.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Blue Cheese

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On 09/04/2007 01:37:55 PM, Terry Decker wrote:

> Possibly neither learned it from the other.  Since cheese making

> seems to  begin in the Late Neolithic, it is quite possible that the

> practice of producing blue cheese was invented somewhere else and

> introduced to France  and Spain by a third party.

 

<snip of really good info>

 

Actually as a cheesemaker, I can say that blue cheese happens.

Naturally.  The hard part is keeping the cheese (especially that made

from goats' milk, in my experience) from turning into a blue cheese.

The blue mould will grow easily on the rind of any cheese but to get

blue cheese as we know and love it, the mould must also grow throughout

the cheese and for that it needs access to air.

 

Any cheese that is not pressed hard, but that has cavities and cracks

running through it is a candidate to turn blue.  This includes aged

curds which haven't been moulded at all.  Of course, the conditions at

the surface do create a difference, as does the temperature.    So

perhaps the question should be, who first tried that icky mouldy cheese

that turned blue and decided it was good?  And then who decided to try

and create conditions that favor that blue for thier cheesemaking?

 

I bet it happened in a lot of places as Bear suggested.

 

Aelianora de Wintringham

 

Barony of Dragon's Laire, An Tir

mka Rikke Giles, FoxDog Farm, Kingston WA

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 14:54:28 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Blue Cheese

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

> Possibly neither learned it from the other.  Since cheese making seems to

> begin in the Late Neolithic, it is quite possible that the practice of

> producing blue cheese was invented somewhere else

> and introduced to France and Spain by a third party.

 

True, blue cheese did not originate in one place.

Neither Roquefort or Cabrales were the first, merely

the first two of note that probably made it out of

their region.  Now while their history may date back

rather far the method of the cheesemaking itself has

evolved over time.  The main example being the blue

veining.  The veins in blue cheese are made by

piercing the wheel of cheese to allow oxygen access to

the interior.  This has little to no evidence of

actually being done in period, merely the annecdotal

tale of a cheese being speared back together with a

stick.  There are chevres that are made in the

traditional small log shape that use a skewer to give

them stability and it is possible that some

enterprising cheesemaker decided to try it on his

wheels of cheese to give them strength while being

handled - but there is no evidence to support it.

 

These cheeses started as milk that picked up the wild

spores and yeasts floating around in the area,

innoculating the cheese as it was being made.  The

blue mold spore was present in the milk from the

beginning of the make.  As the cheese was aged it

remained whole and the interior of the wheel was the

color of the milk.  As the wheel was cut open you

would see a blue blush begin to develop on the cut

surface rather than the distinctive veins that we see

today.  These blue mold growths will also naturally

occur on the outer rinds of the cheeses as well so any

time you cut into the cheese you'd be carrying those

mold spores across the cut surface as well, spreading

the spores even more.

 

One lesson that I have learned is that once you start

making and working with blue cheeses you have to make

rather strong steps to prevent it from innoculating

those that you *don't* want to be blue.

 

Eibhlin

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org