05.31.10 | 4 Comments

In my cheese-making experiment lineup, I wanted to try to make a cheese with “eyes” (or holes). The kind of cheese you would see in cartoons to lure a mouse into a trap, but the mouse would outsmart the ambush and end up savoring the piece of the yellowish cheese with large holes.

The piece of cheese with eyes is pretty much the universal symbol for representing the idea of cheese in general. If you were to play a game like Pictionary and draw up a piece of cheese, it’s likely you will end up with somewhat of a triangle wedge with holes. If no-one gets it, you’ll draw a mouse and point at the cheese. At least, that’s what I would do… maybe I watched too many cartoons as a *cough* child.

I knew that making a cheese with eyes required a culture called Propionic Shermanii. I went and got that here and flipped through my favorite cheese making recipe book to figure out which type I would make. I needed to start easy (with mild ripening necessities, aka no brushing the rind for months and months, for example). So I settled with Jarlsberg.

After a fairly easy washed curd cheese-making process and a couple of months to ripen, the result is pretty darn great. Starting with the way it looks:

I know Jarlsberg as being (quote from Wikipedia): “mild, buttery, nutty and slightly sweet. It is an all-purpose cheese, good both for cooking and for eating as a snack. It has a characteristic smooth, shiny-yellow body, and a creamy supple texture. ”

And my Soleil Jarlsberg ended being “mild, buttery, nutty and slightly sweet. […] It has a […] smooth, shiny-yellow body, and a creamy supple texture. ”
Incredible! Success! Hurrah!

I could just eat the whole wheel as is (ok… with other people too) or I could use it in things like quiche or potato gratin.