Take 1 on cheese making did not turn out starting off at the first step. The only reasonable conclusion for why is due to the ultra pasteurized milk that I purchased to make my first attempt with. Which makes me wonder and squirm a little. You are supposed to be able to make cheese from whole milk....but the fact that it was so over processed that the solids would separate from the liquid as it naturally should. What are we doing to our food people. But I digress. So back to the successful attempt number 2.
Cheese making has been another one of those things that we have done for eons as a way to preserve food and create basically shelf stable foods so that we can save for leaner months. So I had to try it for myself. Soft cheeses have been easily accepted as being made throughout time but harder cheeses not so much, but this is exactly what I got when going through the process.
There is written evidence for harder cheeses and here is one example:
In Harold Siguardsson's Saga~ His daughters were brought bound to the ships. Earlier that winter they had spoken with scorn about how King Harold would come to Denmark with warships. They cut out anchors of cheese and said that those were enough to hold the ships of the Norwegian king. After this event the following stanza was created: "The Danish women cut anchor rings of cheese."
The process was basic and required very little other then rennet, whole milk to create the cheese as well as a few items. All easily available items even in the Viking and Celtic ages. I hope to make a few more batches and gather real wooden cheese boxes and materials but for a first go it went well with what I had around. Then salt to cover the outside of the cheese for the first few days. And yes we can get into a debate on salt and how much may or may not have been available at a later date. After that it was a matter of flipping it daily and keeping an eye on it, till it was done which was 28 days later. Salt crystals began to form on the outside of the cheese. It can go for longer though after 28 days it is recommended to make a salt and lard mixture to coat the cheese in.
The cheese is very salty and for the most part reminds me of feta, it shaves nicely and combined with honey, or apple butter and some bread is absolutely on point and has great flavors. I have some ideas to play around with adding herbs and other things to the cheese. The possibilities really are endless with this basic cheese. A basic cheese that really is not all that basic.