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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making feta cheese in Patagonia

So we really crave feta cheese while we are here in Patagonia.
For christmas I gave Jas a feta cheese making kit from the Country Brewer
All we needed was un pasteruzed milk. They don't sell that in the supermarket so had to find a farmer that had cows and sold the milk fresh.

We thankfully found a farmer  who lives close by who has cows, sheep, geese.
We bought last weekend 10 litres of fresh cows milk from the farmer down the highway.
His name is Pascual and I need to take a photo of him with his gum boots. Next time.
He also sells cheese. Which we bought for 80 pesos a round block (less than a kilo of cheese) he does not pasteurize his milk to make it, he just adds rennet.

We bought 6 eggs from his chickens for $12.50 pesos
So lay down on what we bought from Pascual last week.
a) 10 liters of milk at 6 pesos a litre is 60 pesos
b) two rounds of cheese at 80 pesos each 160 pesos
c) 6 eggs at 12.50 for half a dozen 12.50
total----->232.50 pesos approximately 40 Australian dollars.

With the 10 litres of milk Jason the handy cheese maker is making 2 kilos of feta cheese, and some mozzarella.

This is the process.
1) Heat up milk to 63 degrees Celsius to pasterize for 30 min
2) let milk cool
3) Heat the milk again to 30 degrees C and
4) add Calcium chloride  ( 1ml of calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cool water) 
5) add 1/4 teaspoon of mesophilic culture (prepared before) and 
6) add lipase solution (1/4 lipase powder dissolved in 1/4 cup of cool water)
7) add diluted rennet solution ( 2 ml rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup of cooled  boiled water) and stir with an up and down motion for at least 1 min.
7) mix and let stand for 60 min to ripen  and form curds
8) cut the curds in 13 mm cubes and allow to stand for 10 min
9) stir the curds every 5 min for 20 min (that is what Jas is doing below in the photo)
10) Pour the curds into a feta basket o colander lined with cheese clot (muslin cloth). Tie the corners of the cloth into a knot and hang the bag to drain for 4 hours.
11)  Untie the bag and cut the curds in 25mm slices, then cut into 25 mm cubes.
12) Sprinkle the cubes with salt to taste. Place in a covered bowl and allow to age for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
13) For a stronger flavour make a brine solution by combing 1/3 cups of salt to 1.5 litres of water. Place the cheese in brine and store in fridge for 20 to 30 days. 

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Did it taste like feta you buy here in Australia, or even better?!