Author Topic: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!  (Read 295 times)

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
"Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« on: October 06, 2017, 03:20:47 PM »
When I was a kid, we would go to the little general store in town and there on the counter, above the meat cooler, was a huge wheel of cheese. It was coated in thick red wax and the cheese itself was an other-worldy atomic orange. The butcher would chop off a huge wedge with the wooden guillotine, wrap it in white butcher paper and off we'd go for a sleeve of saltines and "Rat Trap Cheese." It was sweet and salty and elastic. Like a cross between cheese a[/size]nd polyester. It was divine![/font]
[/color][/size]
I've found that it wasn't a Texas phenomenon. All through the South and Midwest there are similar stories. Usually called "Rat Trap Cheese," some folks referred to it as "Hoop Cheese."
[/font]
[/color][/size]
It just doesn't exist anymore. I've searched and searched and discovered why. It was ORIGINAL Colby. Not the stuff they make now that is like a young cheddar. Wisconsin changed the laws regarding what constituted Colby in the 60's and by the 70's "Colby" was mass produced using different methods.
[/font]
[/color][/size]
I'm on a quest in my cheesemaking kitchen to try to reproduce that nostalgic cheese of my childhood.
[/font]
[/color][/size]Does anyone else know what I'm talking about AND do you have a recipe?[/font]
[/color][/size][/font]
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline SOSEATTLE

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Posts: 189
  • Cheeses: 12
  • Default personal text
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 08:31:34 PM »
I had never heard of "rat trap" cheese, but was curious. It seems that some people say it is a type of cheddar. I also looked under hoop cheese and did find a recipe: http://www.cheesemakingrecipe.com/Hoop-Cheese-Making-Recipe.html. However, not sure how close it is to what you are talking about since it has no salt added and you described what you had as being salty. This recipe might be a place to start. You would add annatto  to get the orange color.


Susan

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2017, 09:18:51 AM »
Thanks Susan
It was definitely not a cheddar--I've done a butt-load of research about it and it looks like it was what Colby was before the mass production of it began in the 70's.


Thanks for the link to the Hoop Cheese recipe.  I've been experimenting with various ways to try to reproduce that elusive, strange but delectable cheese of my youth and I think I'll be able to incorporate some of the ideas from your link to help me get there.

Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline teacat2

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Lousiana
  • Posts: 2
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 12:01:19 PM »
I know exactly what you are talking about and I am searching for this recipe. The link listed above goes nowhere.... (boo!!) but I am going to reach out to New England Cheesemaking tomorrow.  If I find success, I will come back and tell all
teacat2

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 12:34:47 AM »
Hey there teacat2


I've been working on variations and I think I've come up with a recipe that is really close.  I just did a tweak on my last version and I'm feeling really good about it.  So I'll know if I've done it really soon...should be ready to try by end of the week. 
I'll keep you posted.  If it works, I'll be glad to share the recipe; then you can tell me if you think we've found an answer. :)
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline teacat2

  • New Cheese
  • *
  • Location: Lousiana
  • Posts: 2
  • Cheeses: 0
  • Default personal text
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 09:17:34 AM »
Thank you..... I have one "aging" right now which I hope will be close. In the meantime, I am about to write Rikki a message about the missing link at her website.

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 04:03:12 PM »
teacat2 (Chris)


Here's the scoop on my Rat Trap Cheese.  I have finally gotten the recipe exactly right.


Here's my recipe (but bear in mind I use raw goat milk so if you use something else you'll need to adjust the temp and quantities of the culture, rennet, etc,.)


Rat Trap #3


6 gal raw goat milk (I use La Mancha--fat content 4.5%)
Add enough Annato to get a deep golden color in the milk
Heat to 84 F
Add 36 drops of Rennet to 1/2 C water --add to milk
Set time:  4 hours
Cut curds to 2 inch cubes.  Wait 10 minutes
Cut again to bring curd size to 3/4 inch
Slowly raise temp to 110 F over 75 minutes. Stirring gently and only enough to prevent matting
Place in mold.  (I use a 8"x6" round)
Press with 5# weight for 20 min
Turn/Redress  and Press with 10# weight for 30 minutes
Turn/Redress and Press with 15# for 1 hour
Turn/Redress and Press with 15 # for 2 hours.
Brine in saturated brine for 2 1/2 hours per pound.
Dry
Age 55 F x 10-14 days.  Keep rind clean
Then it's ready to eat.  I vacpac whatever portion I'm not going to use right away and keep in regular fridge.



Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 04:12:22 PM »
Here are pics of the make from start to finish
It starts with the "girls"
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 04:14:45 PM »
Then to the kitchen
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 04:28:22 PM »
Finally the results
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.

Offline GortKlaatu

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Orosi Valley, Costa Rica
  • Posts: 277
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Goat milk?
Re: "Rat Trap" Cheese HELP!
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 04:37:03 PM »
The whole cheeses
Somewhere, some long time ago, milk decided to reach toward immortality… and to call itself cheese.