Author Topic: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century  (Read 1152 times)

Offline NimbinValley

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Hi.

I am trying to replicate the style of cheese made by early Italian immigrants to my part of Australia.  Mostly they came from the Venuto area.  From what I know it is a cooked, semi-hard (hard??) cow milk cheese that is eaten young at 3 months of age or grated as it gets older.  They were all raw milk cheeses since they didn't have access to cultures.

When I talk to the older folks (many of who have now passed away or are well into their 80's) and ask them what type of cheese they used to make they say 'cheese'.

Does anyone have any knowledge or suggestions of the type of cheeses and cheesemaking skills they would have brought with them?  What would they mean by 'cheese'?

Thanks.

NVD.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 10:30:54 PM »
Where is Venuto? Do you mean veneto? If so, where in veneto? Pretty large region.
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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 11:36:01 PM »
Sorry, typo.  Yes Veneto.

Many small rural communities but the bulk came from Treviso.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 01:46:12 AM »
Most likely Asiago deriative if from Treviso. This is the predominant cheese style in the area for aged cheeses.
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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 04:40:47 PM »
Thanks Pav.  I was coming to that conclusion too.

The Aisago recipe I have recommends a TA50 series thermophile.  I guess they are chasing a slower acidification profile since TA50, from what I can determine, is the slower of the thermophiles.

Would you agree?

When I did some research I was amazed how many different strains there are of Step thermophilus!

NVD.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 04:58:10 PM »
Yep. spot on actually. Traditional asiago would often be left for 2, even 3 days to acidify. This is a very traditional practice for high calcium cheeses. Some pecorinos, definitely granas are acidified for a while. I would add some delbrueckii or acidophilus and some helveticus + NSLAB for added flavor if you want something tasty at 3-4 months. Can do classic mix and use LH100 or single strains.
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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 05:37:34 PM »
It seems a bit counter intuitive that a high calcium cheese is left to acidify for a longer period - I would expect the lower pH to result in a loss of calcium from the curd.  Is this where the TA050 comes in?  It just doesn't have the ability to make too much acid?

I was going to add a LH100. LH100 is the only LH we can get in Australia I think.

I thought I would add some LBC81.  I wasn't going to add any helveticus (FLAV 54) since there will be some in the LH100 and I didn't want to make it too 'swiss'.  Is my reasoning correct?

I also thought I would throw in a little PLA - just because I figure that these beasties would have been floating around in the raw milk environment anyway.

And lastly, I was toying with the idea of adding a tiny bit of lipase - the idea being to get some fruity notes in there as it ages, but I don't want to get any lipase flavours at all such as in a romano.  Do you think that is an achievable goal? Or is it straying too far from the original "asiago" goal?

NVD
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 05:43:35 PM by NimbinValleyDairy »

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 06:00:13 PM »
Quote
I would expect the lower pH to result in a loss of calcium from the curd.
That's the point :). To achieve good pH drop naturally, the practice was to keep building up the acid. Even now, for pecorinos, some are steamed to keep the temp high and encourage acid formation. It sometimes took a few days to achieve the right acidity naturally with no starter. Nowadays, I would target a 5.2-5.3 pre-brine.
Quote
I was going to add a LH100.
LH has helveticus and lactis. Is a good choice, pretty classic.
Quote
Is my reasoning correct?
Works for me.
Quote
I would throw in a little PLA
Could, will give it a rustic note. Could also stick to using pla in wash.

If you add lipase, keep it to a minimum. Traditional calf rennet had some in it naturally, but not much.

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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 06:30:23 PM »
Yep. spot on actually. Traditional asiago would often be left for 2, even 3 days to acidify. This is a very traditional practice for high calcium cheeses.

OK.  So what am I not understanding here? :P  You have talked about a 'high calcium cheese' but then we have also said that we need a good deal of acidification to remove calcium. 

Did you mean 'highly decalcified cheese'?

Or am I not understanding something?  ::)

I was going to put 0.1g of lipase per 100L milk.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2012, 07:44:29 PM »
Recall that there are two types of calcium bonds in curd:

1) The bonds between micelles that occur after rennet cleaves the k-casein, and
2) The intra-micellar bonds

When you rennet at a high pH, as happens with asiago, those intra-micellar bonds have not had an opportunity to break very much. Some breakage is necessary, otherwise, you will wind up with a cheese that takes drastically long to age, as tends to happen with, say, true grana types.

If you do not acidify the milk before renetting, you need to acidify the cheese. Acidification does not remove calcium. It can't go anywhere, the whey is already gone, this is a low moisture cheese. But, what can happen is that the bonds will break. They need to break at least to a post-brine pH of 5.2. If they do not, it is not the end of the world, but texture issues may develop, and it will take longer to age.

So no, not highly decalcified cheese. All high calcium means is high rennet pH. Without the intra-micellar degradation, quite a lot of calcium remains. Think about the two types of bonds and how acid affects them.
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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Cheese from Venuto, Italy in the late 19th - early 20th century
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2012, 09:01:46 PM »
 ^-^