LL and Tom....
Great looking examples of hard cheeses.
Gouda is one of my favorite cheese to make and it is one example of hard cheese that can be eaten young.
I've tried them as young as two weeks and as old as 6 months. Both had a very nice flavor and texture.
As for a press for hard cheese, I've been using a simple board and dowel type of press for the past three years. Although functional, it does leave a lot to be desired.
I would recommend that anyone who is looking for a cheese press, visit Carter's cheesemaking supply site before making any sort of commitment to anyone else.
Not only is Cater a great contributor to this board, in my opinion he is making the best designed press available.
If you check any of Carter's posts (and believe me, they are very numerous) you will find the link to his site in his signature.
It will be the weekend before I am able to post my first hand experience with this style of press ( I expect the one I purchased to come in tommorrow) but I am confident that it is exactly what I've been looking for.
Hope this information helps someone and again, very nice looking examples of a farmhouse cheddar and Gouda.