I made a couple batches o' feta this weekend. Mugwump, from Mugwump Chronicles, is a writer for a newspaper in Colorado Springs. She is coming over to learn how to make cheese, get the full on dairy goat experience and write an article about it sometime in September.
Hey, I'll do just about anything to squash the bad rap goats get and spread the goatie love.
I don't make feta often and figured I'd better get cookin' to be sure I still knew how! I read in one of my Yahoo! groups about home cheese making that someone made feta with thermophillic culture (yogurt) vs. the mesophillic culture (buttermilk) feta normally calls for. They thought it made the feta softer and more crumbly.
I made one batch with the meso and one batch with the thermo.
I was surprised that there wasn't really much difference. I tasted them and thought the meso had more flavor... but maybe the thermo would catch up in flavor after a week of aging in the fridge? I ran a tupperware of each to a neighbor who was interested in feta the next time I made it. Told him he could be my guinea pig and let me know what he thought.
I also used way less salt than most recipes call for. The salt hardens the curd, which means less crumble, and personally I don't like the extreme salt. Besides, my hay supplier will trade me 1 bale o' hay for 1 container of feta and she wanted less salt too.
Sometimes I get stuck in the "rules" but this time decided I could *gasp* deviate from the written directions, use less salt and to increase flavor add a skosh more lipase. We'll see how it goes.
*Light bulb moment*
Heyyyyyy..... wait just a stinkin' minute here.... I wonder if I could make 400 containers o' feta to trade straight across for the hay we need for winter?