Author Topic: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)  (Read 364 times)

Offline qdog1955

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Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« on: September 23, 2014, 08:41:14 AM »
 Two Part question---Boofer may know the answer---in comparing the recipe that Boofer used, to the recipe I used ( 200 easy cheese--Amrien-Boyes). The differences seem huge---everything from the milk to temps--cultures---times--pressing, to brining and aging. How can anyone possibly come up with a reasonable facsimile of a Maasdam with so many variances in recipes--are there problems with her recipe?
  Leading to the next question--- is it better to learn to make one type of cheese very well ---that meets my expectations or to get the experience of making different cheeses? Till now I have made 8 different cheeses---none were disasters--but none have been as good as I think they should be.

   Reminds me of an old saying that may apply here----Better to learn how to tie 10 rope knots well--then learn 100 poorly executed knots.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 09:03:14 AM »
Pav (linuxboy) has advocated learning to craft one cheese well. Some of us have followed that dictum (Jeff Hamm and myself, for instance), but have also branched out and dabbled in other directions for variety/diversity.

The 200 Easy Cheeses text does have some faults. For example, her Jarlsberg uses thermophilic culture while the true culture should utilize mesophilic. Search on "Goutaler" and you'll find information that details the creation of that cheese style which includes Maasdammer and Jarlsberg. Sailor con Queso may disagree with the use of mesophilic, and I can't fault him if he does because he has established a commercial concern.

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 09:21:06 AM »
Quote
learning to craft one cheese well.

Yes.  IMO, the best way in.
- Paul

Offline chevre au lait

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 12:20:02 PM »
Greenhorn here, but my approach is to try making several different cheeses to see how the processes are similar and how they differ, and to see if I have a knack or a liking for any in particular, and then focus on making those.  (Kind of like having my handful of favourite meals that I make, no matter how many different recipes I might try.)  If I had my heart set on making one particular cheese and I just didn't "get it", I would find that very discouraging and a waste of good milk, when I could meantime have been experiencing some moderate successes with other kinds of cheese, and getting a sense of the range of variations.  This is to do with my personality.  I think you will have to decide what fits best for your own personality.  :-)  Best of luck, whichever route you take!

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 01:23:40 PM »
Greenhorn here, but my approach is to try making several different cheeses to see how the processes are similar and how they differ, and to see if I have a knack or a liking for any in particular, and then focus on making those.  (Kind of like having my handful of favourite meals that I make, no matter how many different recipes I might try.)  If I had my heart set on making one particular cheese and I just didn't "get it", I would find that very discouraging and a waste of good milk, when I could meantime have been experiencing some moderate successes with other kinds of cheese, and getting a sense of the range of variations.  This is to do with my personality.  I think you will have to decide what fits best for your own personality.  :-)  Best of luck, whichever route you take!

You're right, chevre.  In total agreement.  We all have a right way to pursue this wonderful craft, for ourselves.  For me, in all the things I've done, it's been an approach to learn one thing well, as a means to learn how to learn other things well.  But to say that's the "best way in" betrays some shortsightedness, and I admit that's just one approach among many, all totally valid.  So long as we're making cheese....how bad can it get?  :)

Thanks for the post.  Always learning!
- Paul


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Offline John@PC

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 08:27:02 PM »
Great topic and great comments!  I've thought about bringing up the same subject qdog so glad you did.  I guess I'm more in chevre au lait's corner.  I understand Paul's point of view as well and his comment about "whatever floats your boat" works as well (I hope I'm paraphrasing that right Paul).  But the way I look at it what would you like to have in your cave: 40 lbs of Maasdam or 40 lbs of a nice mixture of soft ripeneds, bloomy rinds, washed curd, etc. etc.   For sure many of those cheeses (especially if you're still in the learning mode) may not meet your expectations, but if you keep a good log you will start to understand the macro-details and eventually the micros.  I've become so fascinated with the art I want to really understand the science behind the art, but until then I would say variety is the spice of life, or "better to be jack of all trades and master ofnone one.

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 09:21:22 PM »
I'm a traditional French chef with side journeys as a direct, live-in disciple to a Japanese martial and zen master, as well as Shakespearean actor with years of apprenticeship and training (look where it's left me).  I'm afraid as to "method," I'm pretty well screwed. ;D
- Paul

Offline OzzieCheese

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 09:45:22 PM »
Ahh we all get here by different roads. I, personally, don't have enough space to try them all (or time enough) but thats ok.  I think that the whey is really irrelevant, that we learn how is .. sounds deep but not really.  I fell into making cheese by lucky happenstance - did a cheese making course - collected a few books and yes all with differing recipes for the same cheese.  For example - Is a Monterey Jack a washed curd cheese or not ? I don't know but I've tried 3 different recipes and they all made cheese - one wasn't nice but hey, my first Camemberts were not even fit for ducks - and they'll eat anything , mostly.  The answer - persistance and making what you like to eat and learning how to change it and what happens when you do.  And if the lucky ones make a living out of this, then my hat off for the considerable effort that activity requires. I make cheese for stress relief, no matter what I make and if my family likes it, then bonus.     
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Offline Spoons

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 10:48:18 PM »
Great topic.

I'm in the same boat as those who focus on one style. About 75% of the cheeses I make are washed curd cheeses. Is it a comfort zone as much as a personal preference in cheese types? A bit of both maybe.
- Eric

Offline qdog1955

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 05:32:53 AM »
   Thanks everyone---great answers all---a lot to think about.  I was afraid I was confusing myself, by trying to much new stuff to quickly.
It is frustrating to spend so much time and effort only to find out the recipe may have flaws. My mother used to say try a recipe as is and next time make adjustments to your liking. The problem with that, is I don't yet have enough experience to know what changes are needed. That's where this forum and you guys have become invaluable.  What a great resource!!!
   
Qdog


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Offline John@PC

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 07:39:19 AM »
I'm a traditional French chef with side journeys as a direct, live-in disciple to a Japanese martial and zen master, as well as Shakespearean actor with years of apprenticeship and training (look where it's left me).  I'm afraid as to "method," I'm pretty well screwed. ;D
Sounds like the makings of a great "life story" book.  You aren't by chance Arnaud Forestier the inventor as well?

Offline Boofer

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2014, 08:08:19 AM »
So long as we're making cheese....how bad can it get?  :)
Um...bad. :o

You know, qdog, while focusing on one style (that may take considerable time aging) it's okay and handy to do parallel makes to fill in the gaps. These parallel cheese makes can be different styles with shorter aging requirements so that there's something to look forward to while the long-term cheese does its thing. I still see that within the bounds of focusing on one style. One style here...one style there.... It's all good. :D

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 12:46:22 PM »
Hahahah - No, John, I'm not! - though I'm astounded somehow in my popping up with a username (drawn from a pal's name, Arnaud, and a bit from a much loved, comfort-food, rustic sauce), there actually is someone by that name.  Priceless, John - thanks for that connection.... ;D
- Paul

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Re: Questions about Maasdam (Leerdammer)
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2014, 12:49:37 PM »
So long as we're making cheese....how bad can it get?  :)
Um...bad. :o

You know, qdog, while focusing on one style (that may take considerable time aging) it's okay and handy to do parallel makes to fill in the gaps. These parallel cheese makes can be different styles with shorter aging requirements so that there's something to look forward to while the long-term cheese does its thing. I still see that within the bounds of focusing on one style. One style here...one style there.... It's all good. :D

-Boofer-


My Abondance keeps me digging, and my reblochons keep me eating.  I very much like what Pav once talked to me about - in this case, alpines - to think of these cheeses as a kind of family, with very similar processes; tweaks to make different cheeses entirely. Very rich earth, imo.
- Paul