Author Topic: Essential Oils in Cheese?  (Read 152 times)

Online AeonSam

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Essential Oils in Cheese?
« on: November 18, 2016, 06:58:54 AM »
Hello all,

I have a sister that's real into these essential oils and she sells them in what appears to be a pyramid scheme. Anyway, she has oils from just about every herb and spice - including cumin. If you can think of it, she seems to have it. Apparently, there are a lot of chefs now using the oil as a more potent way to flavor dishes.

Has anyone used oils to flavor cheese and if so, at what point would add it to cheese? I know a lot of these are claimed to be antibacterial so I wouldn't want to add it at the same time that I'm culturing the milk.

Sam

Online awakephd

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Re: Essential Oils in Cheese?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 08:50:49 AM »
Sam, as I recall, the usual time to add herbs and spices is after draining the curd but before pressing. Otherwise, you'd lose most of the flavor when the whey drains away. I'm sure there are exceptions; for example, I think I remember seeing some "threads" where saffron "threads" were added directly to the milk. (I'd say, "no pun intended," but no one would believe me!)

Personally, I'd want to be very sure the oils are food-safe and sterile - not just free of bacteria, but free of any mold spores. When you work with herbs or spices, the way you usually do that is to boil them in some distilled or filtered water; strain the water into the milk (and yes, most of this flavor will be lost in the whey, but might as well); then add the cooled herbs to the curds and mix them in before pressing.

I know many folks here do this (adding cumin to Gouda or peppers to Jack, for example), but I confess that I have always been a little hesitant - visions of botulism dance in my head. I'm sure that there is a reason this isn't a concern, since it is so commonly done, but ... I haven't yet done the research to convince myself. :) So all of the above is based on my memory of what I have read ... aka, take it with a grain of salt!
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Offline Gregore

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Re: Essential Oils in Cheese?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 10:40:17 PM »
I am not sure I would want the whole cheese tasting like 1 oil flavor  as it could over power the natural cheese flavors  and some of them can be very subtle .

, but I would bet it would be great to wash the ring with  ..... maybe deluted in olive oil .

Online AeonSam

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Re: Essential Oils in Cheese?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 04:55:37 PM »
Thanks Andy. I'm not sure that I know a way to find out about the spores or molds.


Gregore,  this stuff is highly concentrated so I was just curious if I could dilute it somehow and then use it for experimentation. I bet it would work well as a rind. Rosemary, Lavender, Sage, etc. She even has lemongrass but I don't think that would work well with cheese.

Sam

Online awakephd

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Re: Essential Oils in Cheese?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 09:21:08 AM »
Rubbing on the rind sounds good to me.

(Sounds like a bad country-western song title ... :))

I would guess that the flavor will not penetrate very far, or at least that has been my experience with rubbed rinds - I sometimes rub olive oil + smoked paprika on the rinds of Lancashire or Caerphilly, and it is fabulous -- but the flavor is imparted by eating the rind along with the paste. If I were to cut the rind off, it would just taste like the regular cheese.

This, of course, is a good thing when you are experimenting - if the result is awful, scrape or cut the rind off and enjoy the cheese underneath!
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Re: Essential Oils in Cheese?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 10:40:10 PM »
I would first check that the oils are food grade before adding them to anything edible.
If they are you could also try adding them to cream and mixing the oil/cream mixture in with the milk.
-Bill
One day I will add something here...

Online AeonSam

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Re: Essential Oils in Cheese?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 07:14:16 PM »
I would first check that the oils are food grade before adding them to anything edible.
If they are you could also try adding them to cream and mixing the oil/cream mixture in with the milk.

That's an idea. Thanks bill!

Sam