This is a generic recipe for making Romano. Romano is one of the world’s oldest cheeses, it has been made near Rome, Italy since the time of Christ. Like Parmesan, this cheese must age at least 5 months. A longer time is used to produce a hard grating cheese. This cheese can be used in many recipes that call for Parmesan if a more delicate taste is desired. For a more flavorful cheese use goat and cow’s milk in equal proportions.
Ingredients – American
- 1 US Gallon Fresh Whole Milk.
- 5 oz. Thermophilic Starter Culture.
- Rennet of your choice amount as per packaging or your experience.
- Warm the milk to 90 F/32 C.
- Add thermophilic starter and allow the mixture to ripen for 15 minutes.
- Dilute rennet in 1/2 cup cool water.
- Slowly pour the rennet into the milk stirring constantly with a whisk and stir for at least 5 minutes.
- Allow the milk to set for 45-90 minutes until a firm curd is set and a clean break can be obtained when the curd is cut.
- With a long knife, cut the curds into 1/4 inch cubes, set aside for 10 minutes to allow the curds to firm up.
- Slowly raise the temperature of the milk to 115F / 46C. It should take as long as 45 minutes to reach this temperature. During this time, gently stir the curds every few minutes so they don’t mat together.
- Keep the curds at this temperature for another 30 – 45 minutes.
- Drain the whey by pouring through a cheesecloth lined colander.
- Carefully place the drained curds into your cheesecloth lined mold.
- Press the cheese at about 10 lb/4.5 kg for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheese from the press and flip it.
- Press the cheese at about 25 lb/11.4 kg for 3 hours.
- Then press the cheese at about 40 lb/18 kg for 12 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the press, careful it is still very soft.
- Lightly pierce the surface of the cheese with a fork, so that the entire cheese is covered in small shallow holes spaced about 1/2 inch apart.
- Float the cheese in a saturated cold brine for 12 hours. Be certain to flip the cheese over at least three times to ensure even rind development.
- Pat dry the cheese, you will notice the outer surface has begun to harden.
- Place the cheese in your refrigerator to age for at least five months (longer for stronger flavor). You will need to flip the cheese over every day for the first two weeks and then at least once weekly or it will dry unevenly.
- Place an overturned bowl on top of the cheese after two days. Do not wrap it in plastic or it will not dry properly.
- Inspect daily for mold. Should mold develop on the cheese surface, simply remove it using a paper towel dipped in white vinegar.
- The surface may be rubbed with olive oil after three months if so desired. Do not wax this cheese.