Just an introduction, as was suggested as a first post.
I am English but having retired I have emigrated to a small Greek island.
It's probably the move that has got me into cheese making. I have always been a lover of cheese, the stronger the better. In England I could always get extra mature Cheddar, Roquefort (my all-time favourite), Stilton and Brie but living in Greece everything is different.
I can purchase dozens of different cheeses here but ultimately they are all either Feta, or something approximating Gouda or Edam.
I like these but what I cannot get is a decent palate-stripping Cheddar or Stilton.
It's one of the few things I actually miss about UK. It was only by chance sat in a taverna having a beer with friends of friends from UK that somebody suggest that I ought to make it. It had never occurred to me that it was even possible. I did a bit of research and decided to give it a go.
My first problem is milk quality. I live on a small island and to the best of my knowledge there are only 2 cows here. That's the downside; the upside is that the number of goats and sheep outnumber the people by about 10 to 1.
The only cows milk I can get is pasteurised and homogenised so that's what I'm stuck with.
I must have watched every video on YouTube concerning cheesemaking and downloaded a beginners guide, ordered the bits that I needed and jumped in. All the advice was to start with something simple and work your way up to the more complicated blues and Camambert but I basically ignored that and jumped straight in at the deep and. First cheese I attempted was a Stilton. Won't bore you with all the details but as you may imagine, it did not all go according to plan. Has anybody else watched 80% of their attempt pass effotlessly through a cheesecloth and down the sink?
It didn't put me off and if anything just made me more determined to improve and get it right.
That was all a few months ago and I have now made about 15 lots of cheese, some pretty good, some less so but more importantly, some of it is awesome. I currently have 3 Stiltons, a Cheddar, 3 farmouse cheddars, one with peppercorns, a Cotswold sat in my cheese cave. Biggest problem at the moment is resisting the temptation to sample them too early.
I also have one entirely experimental cheese underway which looks very promising but will save that for another post.
Looking forward to exchanging ideas and learning more, it looks like a very friendly and helpful site.
BTW, My name is not really Guiseppe, that's what my friend has decided to call me, Guiseppe the Cheesemaker. Seems as good a name as any other.