As I pore through cheesemaking books during the low milk season (1/2 gallon per day…high milk season is 5-6 gallons per day) and have not enough to make cheese, I am filling my brain with cheesemaking information. One can (and must) always continue to learn.
So, in the Book Reviews that will follow over the next couple of months, I strive not to be an expert at reviewing books, but only on sharing my opinion with you.
And, I will start by saying: To write a book must be a HUGE undertaking, and I admire all of the authors who have done it, regardless of what I might say in the review. Thanks for reading that little disclaimer, and now, I shall proceed.
I enjoyed the book and learned from it. It provides great detail in some of the more chemical and biological aspects of cheesemaking (ie. molds and cultures), but lacks detail in some of the other chemical and biological aspects (ie. uses the term “flocculation” but I never found an explanation of what it means.).
The recipes it provides for actual cheesemaking are for larger scale cheesemaking than the home cheesemaker would undertake. However, it does do an exceptional job of describing in great mathematic detail how to break down the larger measurements into smaller home-scale quantities. When I decide to sit down and tackle the formulas it provides, I know they will be very helpful.
The authors provide delicious sounding and looking (nice pictures) recipes to accompany the cheeses they write about. The fact that an odd thing (in my mind) like tomato jam (above) would be “so delicious you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner” makes me want to make it and see.
Overall, my opinion is that parts of the book are very well written and detailed, while other parts are not. It seemed that in some areas of the book, the authors got tired and were less detail oriented. And, there were many spelling errors. At one point, they point out that you will get white fizz on your cheese as it ages. Really, what you’ll get is white fuzz.
I will purchase this book for my library (this one is on loan from the Pikes Peak Library) to consult when I need to use the formulas. It also has good suggestions for setting up a cheese board. However, for goat milk specific cheese recipes, I will refer to other books with smaller recipe sizes to avoid going through the math.
Let me know what you think if you’ve read it!
– The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S. If you are new to the term “flocculation” in cheesemaking, it means the time at which the milk begins to coagulate/gel and become curd after you add the rennet. To test for flocculation, put a toothpick on top of the milk/rennet mixture right after you mix in the rennet. Bump the toothpick every few minutes. It moves, right? Until it doesn’t. Flocculation is the time at which you gently bump the toothpick and it doesn’t move.