We’ve just hit our 30th year Milawa, and we’ve celebrated by releasing a special, limited series of washed rind cheeses with some of our oldest and finest friends! Although it is second nature to us, we sometimes forget how fascinating cheese fans find the process. In our last post we talked about the basics of washed rinds, and now we delve deeper into the process. Since all good things come in threes, we’ll be following this series up with a closer look at what went into creating our 30th Anniversary washed rinds. Stay tuned!
Ours: MILAWA WASHED RIND – King River Gold
Our King River Gold was influenced by family trips to Europe, both igniting and fuelling a love for washed rind cheeses. Originally the King River Gold was based on the Taleggio, an Italian soft rind cheese, but over time it has morphed into a more French style washed rind like a Port Salut or Pont-l’Eveque. These are much more approachable washed rind cheeses than other overly ‘stinky’ ones, which the Browns thought appropriate, given their early pioneer status of the style in Australia. Now, it represents their signature apprach.
THE PROCESS: How Do You Wash a Rind?
Generally, a cheese is either bathed or gently massaged in a wash solution with a frequency that will vary according to how quickly the rind dried out. Some will be washed for as little as two weeks whilst others will mature over a few months. The washing process causes the bacteria from the original cheese rind to literally drink the brine and this forms a new bacteria called brevibacterium linen. This is what turns the rind into that distinctive orange colour which will generally darken and develop it’s wilder aromas the longer the cheese matures for.
Our Wash Process: The day after the fresh milk turns from milk to curd is when the young cheese will be immersed in Milawa’s brine for four hours. The brine is a concoction of minerals, cultures, yeasts and moulds that have been leached out of their fresh cheeses over a period of about eight years now to cteat the perfect balance of acid levels in the brine to those of the cheese. The cheeses will then be stored in a maturing room where the humidity is closely monitored to ensure that cheeses won’t dry out or get too moist for a minimum of five weeks. Each week the cheeses will be washed under a stream of purified water. Once ripe, the King River Gold has a creamy mousse texture with beautiful sweet and buttery notes with a cabbagey, haystack aroma.
Our Milawa cheesemaker gurus have noticed that the mroe full the maturing room is, the quicker the rind will develop. This means that the cheeses are happier when they are together!
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