Author Topic: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?  (Read 1955 times)

Offline fkeese

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Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« on: February 21, 2009, 11:36:43 AM »
OK, Stiltons have their sides smoothed and burnished during manufacture. Why is what I want to know. And, is it done only to Stiltons or are other blues treated this way? I am guessing that the mold growth on the exterior is so darn aggressive that it looks and tastes bad. Blues I have made have done this, including one I have going right now. It's crumbly textured, looks like it will develop good interior mold with or without piercing, but the exterior is really covered in mold so I have washed it and brushed it lightly and it looks better now. I would like to eat rind and all on this one.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 01:33:57 PM »
I would imagine that the lack of pressing gives this cheese a fairly open curd. 

This cheese also forms a "crust" that protects the inside.  My guess is that without the smoothing, the crust would not form right.  The moulds and stuff would penetrate deep into cheese.

Smoothing just allows the crust to form uniformly on the outside.

Just a guess mind you.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 05:50:35 PM »
Wayne's correct. If you don't smooth it would eat into the wheel. You want blue on the outside to help form a rind. On regular Blues you don't smooth the wheel but you are salting the outside to help retard the growth.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 05:54:02 PM »
Frank

My first two blue's had non-smooth rind and thus quite a rind that yes I'll admit, I ate. My current Stilton style I smoothed.

I do not know why Stilton's sides are smoothed, they obviously help in appearance but in the videos they are smoothed enough to stop air and thus blue mold egress into the cheese. So I think that is the reason, to delay bluing of the inside of the cheese presumably to allow more normal cheese ripening before piercing and the interior made blue.

Conversely for normal "danish" type blues, the video here shows very smooth sides, top, and bottom cheeses (before piercing) that to me look like normal pressed cheeses. Which Carter says are normally brined. So again, smoothed sides appear to be required.

But what's bugging me is the blue cheeses I have bought have no rind/are white on outside, how?

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 06:07:38 PM »
Yep, everyone else is exactly right.
The smoothing of the surface helps to form the rind which keeps the interior bluing from happening until you are ready for it to happen.
John....
I'd guess (and I'm only guessing) that the reason the commercial blues don't have a rind is that they are cut from a much larger wheel of cheese.
Most likely your favorite commercial blues are produced in a 30 lb. wheel and then "slices/wedges" are cut out of that larger wheel.
Again, this is just a guess but it makes sense to me.

Dave

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 06:27:42 PM »
Dave, good idea, but then why are the edges rounded like they were from outside of wheel, and what would they do with the rinds, chuck them?

Doesn't really make sense.

Unless, if you read this webpage and this is it that Danish blue cheeses are actually Cambozola type cheeses with white and blue molds where the white mold keeps the outside white?

This makes sense as if you remember, when I had Camembert and Blue in same cooler, the young Camembert was surprisingly able to fend off the mature Stilton blue.

Offline fkeese

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 04:18:10 PM »
Lots of good answers on this one, thanks everyone. here is a photo of a blue I wrapped and stored in the fridge yesterday. It really looks nice inside, has great texture, taste and smell very mild yet, but it's only 6 weeks old. I did scrub off the exterior under running water to remove some excessive mold growth.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 05:40:51 PM »
fkeese, looks great!

I assume you cut it into wedges as you wanted to see the development inside and as you wanted to taste some? What did you do with the rest, wrap in aluminum foil?

Offline fkeese

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 10:44:00 AM »
I cut it, wrapped it first in waxed paper and then in aluminum foil and put in fridge because my cold room is due to warm up this week with the onset of spring. I tried to keep this cheese at 50-55 degrees and humid, in a plastic shoebox with lid open a crack. On the odd warm days I put a liter bottle of ice in every morning. This cheese looks really good and should develop good taste in a month or maybe more, this part I don't know much about. That is one reason for cutting it up, so I can taste it at intervals.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 10:54:30 AM »
That looks very nice.  What size wheel is this blue?  How much milk went into it and do you have details on your recipe?  I think the size of that cheese looks really good for a homemade blue.  Good work.  Keep us posted on your reviews of the samples!

Ryan

Offline fkeese

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2009, 05:44:47 PM »
Here's a puzzling thing. The blue that I made Jan 25 and which looked so good at 6 wks that I sent the photo here to this forum, see it several posts back, upon tasting is completely free of any good blue taste. Nothing bad or off about the taste, just no familiar blue taste. So here we are not quite 4 months later and no good taste? When will it arrive? It sure looks good though, blue veins all through it.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2009, 06:01:52 AM »
My Stilton style blue here is a bit the same, I think for mine it's because I didn't get many vacancies in the cheese, I don't have much blueing in the pate, and thus not high blue taste.

For yours, it looks like more internal blueing but not a lot, at least in the part visable.

Offline Nabil

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Re: Why are Stiltons smoothed on their sides?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2009, 06:59:13 AM »
Guys, when is the proper time to smooth the sides? my blue usually has very ruff side same like the above picture, will it be possible to be smoothed after unmolding? i think the cheese will be hard to be smoothed and it might fall aparts, any comment?