Last night I cracked another one of my Stiltons. Unfortunately I did not take any pics of the event since I am so sore from my racquetball tournament that it was a major undertaking, simply to walk into the kitchen.
This is one that I pretty much figured would be a failure. It did have a rind that was somewhat brown and was extremely hard. Also, there was no "give" to the cheese when pressed with a thumb. In short I thought this one had dried out on me and would not be good for anything more than grating.
Well folks, all I can say is what a surprise I got!
This cheese is quite hard yet it's also got a very smooth mouth feel.
The texture is about like a softish parmesan or a firm cheddar.
Even though it is hard, the creaminess of the cheese really comes through and the flavor is out of this world!
This particular cheese is about 12 weeks old which I've decided is my new target for a Stilton. I might still crack a few of them at 8 weeks (since I also like the soft creamy texture of one that age) but this is no doubt the best example of this style of cheese that I've made to date.
Once I open one of the packages I put into the freezer I'll snap a pic or two. I figure if I wait another month or so, I'll be over this soreness and taking a picture won't seem like quite such an undertaking. :-)
Btw......I came home with a second place trophy in doubles and ummmm.....well lets just say I got my butt kicked in the singles competetion.
All in all I was pretty happy since I was forced to play in the A division in singles even though I'm only a B level player.
Also, I'm 46 years old and was playing a bunch of 25 - 30 year old kids. They probably didn't even notice any discomfort after the tournament, even though I was hobbling through the house like a 90 year old man.
Okay, I'm rambling.