How’d they come up with that?

We are getting all of our cheesemaking supplies organized again for the coming year, and it occurred to me that our readers are not necessarily aware of the unusual ways in which cheese is prepared for aging/curing/affinage. You may wonder, upon viewing the following pix, how in the world the cheesemaker came up with these methods. It’s a testimony, we feel, to using indigenous materials to preserve and enhance flavor. Use what you have!

Soft-runny bloomy-rinded cheese, wrapped in pine strip

Wine or beer-washed cheese, called a "beer coaster"

Forester's Cheese, wrapped in Spruce bands

The banon, wrapped in brandy-steeped chestnut leaves

Like a bloom opened up, the banon without its covering

Italian cheese, steeped in grape skins and grape cider

Now if you see these strange exteriors, you will know that they have a specific purpose: to flavor and/or to protect the cheese as it ages. These idiosyncracies are so fascinating!

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