There’s cheese in them thar hills

I bumped into Spyros G the other day and he told me that he has a new batch of cheese. This is a fresh cheese that last year he said he would never make again. Promises, promises.

As many know, Spyros along with his son Michaelis, have the goat farm “tyrokomeio” (cheesery/dairy) up on the mountain on the road to the helicopter pad. They have a lot of Skopelitan breed® goats which produce a lot of milk.

Elsewhere I had written the story behind this particular cheese as it is not typical for the island. A friend, a French resident of the island, had urged Spyros for years to make a kind of cheese that she was sure he could master. The cheese she had in mind was more ‘western’ than the cheesemakers in Greece were producing. Also I am not sure how this information was transmitted to Spyros, though I believe that there were samples of ‘foreign’ cheeses carried back to the island, and a lot of discussion.

That was some years ago and I think that Spyros made the cheese as a favor and out of curiosity. But when Spyros makes cheese he makes it in volume so naturally there were cheese rounds left-over. Those extra rounds were put away and “allowed to age” for a few years as Spyros thought that his regular customers of typical local cheeses would not want it. One day last year we visited and Spyros pulled out a round covered with mold (mould). It was good.

previous year’s model

Now, according to Spyros, it turns out that “Skopelitans like it”. So he has made more.

this year’s model

He continues to make his typical products and says that he will be do so now through September.


2 thoughts on “There’s cheese in them thar hills

  1. The seasoning – the period after the curds are separated from the whey and drained – is a crucial step in cheese making. As I understand this is the period in which any cheese develops its distinctive taste and texture. The balance of temperature, humidity, and time are very important. This is the time (I read somewhere) when Emmental develops its characteristic holes. True Parmesan is aged from one to three years before coming “Parmesan”.

    On the other hand (or fork) “Fresh cheeses” are meant to be consumed within days or a few weeks after forming and ageing is not a factor.

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