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By Mary Karlin
Just a century ago, cheese was still a relatively regional and European phenomenon, and cheese making techniques were limited by climate, geography, and equipment. But modern technology along with the recent artisanal renaissance has opened up the diverse, time-honored, and dynamic world of cheese to enthusiasts willing to take its humble fundamentals milk, starters, coagulants, and salt and transform them into complex edibles.
Artisan Cheese Making at Home is the most ambitious and comprehensive guide to home cheese making, filled with easy-to-follow instructions for making mouthwatering cheese and dairy items. Renowned cooking instructor Mary Karlin has spent years working alongside the country's most passionate artisan cheese producers cooking, creating, and learning the nuances of their trade. She presents her findings in this lavishly illustrated guide, which features more than eighty recipes for a diverse range of cheeses: from quick and satisfying Mascarpone and Queso Blanco to cultured products like Creme Fraeche and Yogurt to flavorful selections like Saffron-Infused Manchego, Irish-Style Cheddar, and Bloomy Blue Log Chevre.
Artisan Cheese Making at Home begins with a primer covering milks, starters, cultures, natural coagulants, and bacteria everything the beginner needs to get started. The heart of the book is a master class in home cheese making: building basic skills with fresh cheeses like ricotta and working up to developing and aging complex mold-ripened cheeses. Also covered are techniques and equipment, including drying, pressing, and brining, as well as molds and ripening boxes. Last but not least, there is a full chapter on cooking with cheese that includes more than twenty globally-influenced recipes featuring the finished cheeses, such as Goat Cheese and Chive Fallen Souffles with Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Pear Galette.
Offering an approachable exploration of the alchemy of this extraordinary food, Artisan Cheese Making at Home proves that hand-crafting cheese is not only achievable, but also a fascinating and rewarding process.