Author Topic: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon - Update!  (Read 1554 times)

Offline DeejayDebi

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My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon - Update!
« on: September 06, 2009, 07:23:54 PM »
I found a picture of this cheese and it looked yummy. I like hot and spicey so the paprika sounded good.

This recipe was derived from a series of investigations. I found the DOP registration which basically described the process and a few studies that lead me to my choice of cultures - we shall see!

In any case here are a few pictures to show you the making and the semi finshed cheese. I did drop the monster in the sink - it was alot heavier than I thought. It cracked on one corner so I will have to watch it very carefully.

I also tried the new plastic cheese cloth stuff. It's pretty tough and washes nicely.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 09:36:20 PM by DeejayDebi »


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 10:02:49 AM »
Debi, your cheese looks great! Soft and creamy. Great homework on building a recipe/procedure.

I've never heard of Mahón cheese so had to go search on it, it's a cow's milk from port town of Mahón (spelt Maó in Catalan language) on the Spanish Island of Minorca (also spelt Menorca) in the Mediterranean.

Wikipedia says the rind is slightly orange due to being rubbed with butter or oil & paprika. This website lists an non-detailed method on how to make Mahón and says rind is cow buttered or olive oiled and paprika'd.

Offline Christy

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Re: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 10:09:23 AM »
Wow!! That looks fantastic ;D

Christy
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 12:14:25 PM »
It is actually a very dense cheese.  I was looking for Irish cheese when the link you posted popped up. It just looked so good and the paprika and olive oil got to me. I found some at the grocery store ($12/.25 pounds YIKES). Almost cheddary mouth feel but a slight hint of sour with a medium/strong Italian hard cheese overtone.

I am thinking this might be a good canidate for a smoked cheese for a BBQ side dish.

Those links give a lot of hints as to making cheeses. I used them and the DOP registrations a lot!

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon - Update!
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2009, 09:42:30 PM »
Cut the Mahon tonight. I am not sure if I like this one that well. I don't dislike it but I expected more flavor. Might be better smoked. Very little flavor from the spanish paprika - that was disappointing. Very mild mild cheddar flavor. Maybe it will devolp more flavor if it ages longer. I think I am going to smoke it anyway I love smoked paprika. Very tough dense cheese to cut. I thought I would have to sit on the knife which only reached about 3/4 of the way across. I will age the other half another few months.


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon - Update!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 10:33:40 AM »
As this has come up again I will finish posting the history of the cheese and the make:

This cheese has multiple suggested aging periods when it is sold.
TIERNO - 60 days is to short to develop really good flavor - kind of blah.
SEMI -  2-5 months very good cheese at the 4 month point.
CURADO - 5 months well worth the wait! Don't cut the cheese early.

Longer than 5 months ... I cut the cheese into 4 big squares (I was a big cheese 9 lbs) and smoked one and rebagged the others. One chunk was opened at 8 months and was an outstanding piece of cheese! I have one more chunk I will save until September and try it again at 1 year - bet it's awsome!

Don't waste your time at 60 days it is disappointing but anything after 4 months it's worth a taste. I'd just go for the 6 month point and be happy to try it there - you won't be disappointed.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Interpretation of the Spanish Cheese Called - Mahon - Update!
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2010, 10:34:28 AM »
Mahón – Spain – Deejay’s

Ingredients:
7 gallons whole milk
½ teaspoon MM100
1/4 teaspoon kid lipase
Calcium Chloride
1-1/2 teaspoons Rennet

Heat milk to 86-88ºF.
Add cultures, Calcium Chloride, lipase and ripen for 45 minutes.
Add rennet – should be ready to cut in 40 to 60 minutes.  
Cut curd into rice like pieces and rest for 5 minutes.
Cook curds stirring gently for 30 minutes or until springy.
Collect curds in cheese cloth and squeeze out excess whey.
Place curds in a square mold and press lightly with 5 pounds of weight for 15 minutes.
Flip and press again for 15 minutes.
Final press is over night with 25 pounds of weight.
Place cheese in saturated brine for 24 hours, flipping to ensure even salting.
Air dry for 2 days or until dry t the touch.
Place in cave at 45 to 50°F and 85% humidity for 1 month.
Rub cheese with olive oil and paprika.
The rind is smooth, closed, but oily, yellow or slightly orange, due to the treatment with paprika. The interior is compact, with holes of different sizes, and an ivory to bright yellow color, and brownish beige on the edges.  
The taste is very particular, slightly acidic and salty, but not buttery. It can be milky and humid when fresh, and dry, strong and piquant as the aging grows.  

TIERNO – a smooth cheese with a yellow/white color and thin, soft and elastic crust. A lactic aroma with a mild hint of butter and light acidic characteristics. (21-60 days).  

SEMI – an unmistakably characteristic cheese with a compact rind that will vary from pale yellow (typical of young cheeses) to orange/brown if it is artisan. Firm and easy to cut, this ivory/yellow cheese will darken as it matures and features a variable number of small, unevenly distributed holes. The taste is mild, slightly salty and acidic with hints of butter and roasted hazelnuts. (2-5 months).  

CURADO - A delight for cheese lovers with a firm, hard and notably less elastic texture and a reddish rind. Once in the advanced stages of maturation, this cheese becomes more brittle and flaky when cut. These cheeses have a complex and intense aroma and a salty, woody, leathery taste that lingers long in the mouth. (5 months)