RINDWASHing Vacherin Mont d'Or with Brandy
I have purchased a young cheese with a use by date 29 October, from today that is 20 days away from optimum ripeness. Plenty of time to play with our cheese.
Unwrap the cheese, set the wooden lid aside for closing after washing.
Though it is interesting to see the cheese outside the box, one must refrain from taking it out as it is that box that helps your cheese to ripen. The spruce flavours imparted by both the belt and box are very sought after.
Brush gently with brandy wash, I have used Calvados because that is what I had, you may want to use another brandy, such as Armagnac, Cognac, whiskey.
I will dilute the brandy as it may be too harsh, about 2 measures water for 1 measure brandy.
Cider or white wine work well too ( no need to dilute there!). You may keep that lovely washing solution in the fridge for next wash.
Once washed, the thin white ( geotrichum ) coat which naturally colonized the cheese when wrapped has vanished and gave way to a beautiful yellowish colour.
It has as well a fantastic alcoholic whiff. I shall repeat the process every two to three days over the next 10 days, that should do it!
Time to put the wooden lid on as it will contribute in maintaining humidity, wrap up the cheese and store for a maturation purpose at a temperature no higher than 13 c. If you don’t have a garage or an attic put your box in a plastic bag and then the warmest part of your fridge, it will work just fine as the cheese will create its own heat.
After 10 days the cheese is ready to enjoy as it comes with a spoon or cooked in the oven.
I might have a couple of prepped cheeses on sale on the site soon.
On a Food Safety point of view http://www.reading.ac.uk/foodlaw/pdf/uk-06026-temp-control-draft.pdf page 9 of 17, 34: exemptions annex !!! explaining on which basis i am allowed to mature the cheese, and many others in that manner.
I hope this helps.