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A little less than a happy high
Fromage blanc is a simple but versatile foodstuff that’s used in sauces, dips, dressings, and the like. In desserts, it’s often paired with syrups or fruit preserves where the slight tartness of the cheese provides a delicate contrast to the accompanying sweetness. If you’ve ever seen Coeur a la crème, you may well have been looking at fromage blanc unless it was one of the ghetto fancy versions that blend ricotta, yogurt, or [*shudders*] tofu with heavy cream for the desired effect.

I made about a pound this weekend. As with many of the "lost arts," the process is painfully simple, involving a lot of waiting and not much else. (At this level at least, beer is a significantly more complex process...)

It's my first. I'll be sticking to fresh, soft cheeses for a while until I get a sense for what I'm doing and (more importantly) get a mold and follower so I can shape and press something with a little more character. It will be a while before I'm making 1lb rounds washed with beer of my own making, but I think that's the direction I'm headed.
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cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: March 21st, 2005 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure why, but I always giggle when I hear or read the words Cheese Cloth. I just don't get it!
komos From: komos Date: March 21st, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
It does sound funny. I mean really...

Even better, the cheese cloth for soft cheeses has a finer weave and goes by the name "butter muslin."
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: March 21st, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's rather cool. I was raised by people like this...my dad was always into making things from scratch. Now we do it...

I'm always into trying new foods, but there are a few that tend to mystify me as regards just what the hell I'm supposed to do with them. How do you usually serve it? (Or what's your favorite way?)
komos From: komos Date: March 21st, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
It skipped a generation with my folks. I keep learning about things that my grandparents used to do. I either keep stumbling on family secrets or I'm working towards some arcane initiatory rite into the clan...

I've had it in a coeur and in a couple of herbed veggie dips, but I've not yet used it myself. "The Plan" is to toss some of it with roasted red peppers, garlic and anchovies in pasta, and possibly use the rest for fromage blanc au sirop, a kind of strawberry/cheese parfait.
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cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: March 21st, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
You give it to Miss Muffet!
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: March 21st, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
What do you do with the whey afterwards...


(And Peter - nice work on the cheese!)
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bushidokelt From: bushidokelt Date: March 21st, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
strange, I bought some guyrierre on sunday and thought about you, and about making cheese no less...

that's it Im getting a swammi hat and opening up a shop!!!
komos From: komos Date: March 21st, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty amused by the rivalry that takes place between the makers of Swiss and French gruyeres... To hear either tell it, they've got a corner on what makes a superior cheese, but really it's a matter of which production methods produce the flavors and character that you want. I picture them all shaking fists at each other across the border.
cinemama From: cinemama Date: March 21st, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's IT. I'm coming up there, and we're going to make cheese, dammit. I couldn't be more serious.
komos From: komos Date: March 21st, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you know you're welcome...

While we're waiting for the cheese to work, we could all sit up drinking wine and singing old cabaret tunes in our best Marlene Dietrich voices.
starflow From: starflow Date: March 21st, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I can get to whole foods tonight, I'm buying cheese and wine for dinner. :)
komos From: komos Date: March 21st, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooo... any ideas where your mind is taking you yet?

I'm making herbed salmon. Wine is in the larder. ^_^
bbbsg From: bbbsg Date: March 21st, 2005 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
this is incredibly cool.
komos From: komos Date: March 21st, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe I'll have a batch ready for the next brewing as extra incentive to get you guys out. ^_^

Incidentally, have you had a chance to try the fraoch?
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