There were two cheeses from last summer that had errors from improper pressing. So we decided to make an experiment out of them. These cheeses were left to develop a natural rind without washing due largely to surface flaws that would not have allowed proper washing.
First a few notes on the cheeses.
These cheeses were made according to the recipe used for our Oberlander Käse, with a lower cooking temp and shorter cooking time to yield a softer paste.
These cheeses were aged 6 to 6 1/2 months before the first was cut open.
The shorter cooking time resulted in less culture development during the make, which resulted in a slightly less acidic cheese.
The cheese were allowed to develop natural molds on a few occasions, which were wiped off before they were left to dry out. This cycle continued until the molds no longer were able to grow. The rinds, despite a lack of washing, were able to develop a very light b. linen coating as can be seen.
The cheeses did get attacked by yeasts on a few occasions. This is one of the reasons (plus my fear of mold, deal with it I'm Swiss) why I choose to cut the rind off and not eat it.
We cut one open last week. Here it is:
A few notes on appearance. You can see toward the edges a few small mechanical opening. However, the holes in the middle of the cheese are all clearly from gas (maybe not so clear in the picture, but very clear in person) This is a flaw, and the number of the holes here would be considered a major flaw. This cheese would for this reason alone be automatically disqualified to be sold as our Oberlander. There is a very faint off taste (proprianic) in conjunction with these holes. This is undesirable for this cheese. This is largely a result of not caring for these cheeses post make.
We knew these cheeses would be below grade, but decided to let them go, they might still be good enough for us to eat.
As for the flavor, I am overall pleased and surprised by its quality. For the most part, it has the flavor of a somewhat less than mature Alpkäse, though a much softer paste. I personally detect an unpleasant undertone that no one else seems to even notice. To me, the flavor suggests milk that was not up to par. This I have been told by others is a specific flavor that only those with dairy experience are able to notice. So maybe it's all good. I want to give samples to a few others and see what they say.