Author Topic: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)  (Read 1992 times)

Offline bobbymac29649

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Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« on: July 20, 2013, 11:00:13 AM »
Having lived in Egypt for years I fell in love with the local cheese there.  It's hard, salty, very pungent and so delicious.  It's eaten in every home. 
I've searched high and low in the Internet for a recipe but all I find are descriptions of it or who imports it here in the States. 
You can find it in every single neighborhood market.  It comes plain or with black peppercorns throughout.
I'm especially curious as to how it's made because in Egypt it's extremely hot and there is no place you'd find 85% humidity other than in a steam bath.
I just asked my adopted Egyptian son (he, his wife and two children live with me).  He has no idea how it's made.  He did say that in his high school it was made and they had to stack it on shelves to age.  No A/C only fans.

Any ideas anyone?

bobby


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Offline John@PC

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 06:59:58 PM »
Could this be it? 
Quote
I just asked my adopted Egyptian son (he, his wife and two children live with me).  He has no idea how it's made.  He did say that in his high school it was made and they had to stack it on shelves to age.  No A/C only fans.
Well, now we know why it's "pungent"  ;).  Maybe some of the old cheeses here can answer your question as to what it is.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2013, 02:11:52 AM »
How salty and dry is it? Id imagive very to prevent rot...
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Offline jwalker

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2013, 08:02:56 AM »

Or These ?

Mish is a sharp and salty product made by fermenting cheese for several months in salted whey. It is an important part of the diet of peasants.[37] Mish is usually made at home from Karish cheese. Products similar to Mish are made commercially from different types of Egyptian cheese such as Domiati or Ras, with different ages.
Ras, also known as Roumy, is a hard, bacterially ripened variety of cheese. It belongs to the same family as Pecorino Romano and Manchego. It is salty, with a crumbly texture, and is sold at different stages of aging.
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Offline bobbymac29649

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2013, 12:57:34 PM »
NO NO NO...not Mish...!!!!!
I love cheeses of all kinds but I cannot stomach Mish.  It's wet, slimy, brownish and has the most putrid smell.  The smell would raise the dead.  Worse than Limberger!
Roumi (or Ras) is hard like an aged cheddar or parm.  Very salty with a complex flavor that is delicious.  I wish I could make it.


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Offline jwalker

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 06:53:55 AM »
NO NO NO...not Mish...!!!!!
I love cheeses of all kinds but I cannot stomach Mish.  It's wet, slimy, brownish and has the most putrid smell.  The smell would raise the dead.  Worse than Limberger!

I'm with you on that one , I've eaten (and enjoyed) just about every cheese I could find , but found Limburger to be the only one I couldn't stomach so far , I can't imagine anything being worse , my dog wouldn't even eat it.

But lots of people like it. :o

Maybe I've just never tried a good one.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 08:15:49 AM »
I have never made this, but from what I understand it is a gruyere variant, coming by way of parm, and the kefalotyri, and Turkey, before settling down in its current version. Here's a paper that discusses its manufacture with the make process described. I don't have access to the source recipe because it is unpublished, but this should be a very solid start for you.

The other catch for flavor is the starter, as ras is made without starter, similar to parm. If you want to imitate the starter, I would follow a natural whey starter method like the one I have posted here before or the one Alpkase has written about. Good luck.

edit: here's a recipe from Sameh Awad at al paper on Ras cheese. Email him, he might be able to help you out (he's a prof at Alexandria University): sameh111eg at yahoo.com

Raw whole cow and buffalo milk were obtained from the dairy barn at the Alexandria University. A mixture of 70:30 of raw cow and buffalo milk (fat: 45 g kg- 1 and acidity: 0.16-0.17% as lactic acid) was pasteurized at 74 °C for 15s. Three replicates of experimental cheeses for each starter mixture were processed using computer -controlled cheese equipment (INRA, Poligny, France) equipped with four 11 L vats. Starter cultures (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, 15 mL kg -1, or DVS culture, 0.15 g kg-1) , freezeshocked suspension of adjunct cultures (1 mL kg-1, for cheeses made with adjunct culture) and CaCl2 (0.12 g kg-1) were added individually to milk at 32 °C. The inoculated milk is held for 60-75 min at 32 °C and then 9ml of 2% liquid rennet (Chymax-II 500: Chr. Hansen's Lab., Denmark) was added to each vat to coagulate the milk in 30 min. The coagulum was cut into cubes ( ~2 cm) and the curds were allowed to rest in the whey for 5-10 min. The curds were cooked to 45 °C over 45 min and held at this temperature for 15 more minutes. The whey was drained when its acidity reached to 0.14% (as lactic acid w/v). The obtained curd was hooped and pressed at 66 PSI
for 4 h, and then the cheeses were turned and repressed at 120 PSI for 12 more hours. The resultant cheeses were salted in brine solution (230 g kg-1) at 13 °C for 3 days. During the first ripening month, the second salting was performed. The cheeses were daily turned upside down and manually salted in order to obtain 3.5-4% salt in cheese (Hofi, Youssef, Ghoneim, & Tawab, 1970). When the salt in cheese reached to 3.5-4%, the cheese surface was well washed with warm water using a smooth brush, and then was dried. Cheeses were waxed by quick immersion in the molten wax (Chr. Hansen's Lab., Denmark) and lifted up to cool for 2 h before removal to the ripening room (12 ± 2 °C and 80 ± 5% relative humidity).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 08:50:58 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline bobbymac29649

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 10:19:09 AM »
Thanks for the paper.  Very interesting read ! 
It can't be that difficult to make.  It's as common as ketchup is here.  Every home consumes it daily.  A couple of slices tucked inside flatbread is probably THE most common lunch in Egypt.  It's inexpensive at under $2/lb. 

There aren't any large cheese factories so it must be made by local artisans in the villages.  If you ask who makes it they just shrug their shoulders and say they don't know.  All they know is that the cheese man brings it.  Sometimes by small pickup truck or I've even seen the wheels of Roumi delivered by donkey cart.  They're about 12"

I will definitely attempt to make it when I'm not so "green" and have a little experience under my belt. 

If you have the opportunity to try some do yourself a favor.  It really is delicious..

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 10:35:49 AM »
Quote
It can't be that difficult to make.
Almost all cheese is easy to make. Devil is in the details ;). This doesn't look too bad. The high salt content and low moisture means it ages well even with suboptimal aging conditions. I'm more familiar with the soft cheese culture of the middle east, don't know too much about the hard cheese.
Quote
opportunity to try some do yourself a favor.
Will do. I haven't traveled to that part of the world yet, so never had an opportunity. I'll try a few specialty markets in the bay area.
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Offline mramadan82

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2013, 01:37:46 PM »
Hi bob,
I had the same problem like you, but I think mine is more as I am Egyptian living in Europe , never find roumy cheese here , the problem is i have tried many kinds of cheese trying to find it and every time i say " it most be this one that time " but it never. i have made a lot of searches and i found that its originally Egyptian kind i didn't know that i though its something global , as you said you can find it everywhere in Egypt so i thought it have to be the same everywhere else until i came here and find that its not :( , anyway i have fond that forum for people from Domiat , its where this cheese are made in Egypt, and they describe it in details i read it but it sounds so professional for me, sounds like you have to have en experience about cheese making in order to understand what they mean, its in Egyptian Arabic so your  son may can translate it to you , if not then let me know i might can help you, please check and let me know if you had success with doing some Roumy :)  here is the link http://f.zira3a.net/t30006


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Offline bobbymac29649

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Re: Roumy, Roumi, Romy, Romi (Egyptian hard cheese)
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2013, 10:58:17 PM »
I can't wait to get this translated and see what it says.  I'll post it when I'm finished.
Thanks so much.  I am so looking forward to eating some Roumy..