Cheese Production for May 2014 – Romano recipe

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We use a lot of cheese in cooking and for light meals.  There is very little choice in Dunedin where Italian cheese is concerned, so I hope to keep us supplied all year round. I shall soon post some information on the background and various uses of Italian cheeses


The month of May has been relatively productive with five kilograms of hard cheese (Parmigiano, Montasio, Cheddar and Romano) two kilograms of bacteria and mold ripened  cheese (Brie) and about four kilograms of soft cheese (Three types of Ricotta, Mascarpone and Mozzarella) being produced. I purchase about 20 liters of Dairy and Goat milk  per week and after harvesting some cream, drinking milk and making yogurt (four kilograms per week) the rest of the milk is being used for cheese making. All the whey, off coarse, is being made into Ricotta and the “whey” after the ricotta is being fed to the animals. The Dunedin climate, during the next three to four months, will be very good for cheese maturing and my outdoor cheese ripening safe on the South side of the house compliments the process very well. I therefor expect my first cheese season in New Zealand to produce good products. Because of the favorable conditions, production will increase during the following months to produce another 60 Kg of hard and Mold ripened cheese during the next four months, thereafter monthly production will decline to normal levels.

Next week we kick off with Cacciocavallo and Scamorza, then back to Provolone, Parmigiano and Romano. I am also going to try a yogurt cheese shortly. We also hope to have some sheep milk coming on line soon, which will result in Pecorino being produced.

Last week’s Romano. one of the easier cheeses to make, produced a very high yield and here is the recipe.


Heat 10 Liters of milk to 32 C and ad 150 g of Thermolytic mother starter.  Mix well and ad 2 g goat Lipase. Cover and allow to ripen for 15 minutes. Now ad 7 ml rennet and stir for two minutes with an up and down motion. Top stir for another minute. Allow to set until the curds gives a clean break. Cut the curds in 6 mm cubes – I use my salmon filleting knife and a stainless steel whisk.

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Slowly, over a period of one hour, raise the heat of the curd whey mixture to 48 C, while stirring constantly but gently, to prevent mat forming. Now keep the temperature at 48 C for another 40 minutes, whilst stirring gently.  The curd granules should now be firm enough to hold their shape if pressed between the fingers. Drain the whey and keep for Ricotta. Line a 1 Kg cheese mold with cheesecloth and pack the curd inside. Press at 2 Kg for 20 minutes, then flip and press at 5 Kg for 40 minutes. Flip again and press at 10 Kg for 2 hours. Flip again and press for 12 hours at 20 Kg.

Cheese Press

Remove cheese from the mold, peel the cheesecloth and submerge in a saturated salt brine solution for 12 hours. Pat dry and leave to air dry. Ripen for 4 – 12 moths. Turn daily for the first few weeks, thereafter turn weekly. If any molds form on the surface, rub lightly with a vinegar cloth.   ENJOY!!


7 thoughts on “Cheese Production for May 2014 – Romano recipe

  1. Pingback: Paccheri alla Puttanesca | Back Yard Farmer

    • Rebekkah – I buy all my milk from local farmers. Jersey milk from a dairy farm in Port Chalmers – sheep milk from a farmer about 5 km out with North Road and goat milk from a farmer in Waitati

  2. I am with Wendy on this…I would LOVE to make my own cheese and as Steve is about to do a couple of weeks work at a local dairy my cheese making dreams might come true. If I can get hold of some wonderful fresh milk I will head straight here to find a good recipe to try 🙂

  3. These look so good! I would like to try cheese-making myself but will need to buy the right equipment. Do you find it economical? Nice cheeses are so expensive, we no longer get them but I do love good cheese.

    • The equipment is not that much and most people have the majority already in the kitchen. The rest can be purchased relatively cheaply or manufactured, as I did with my press. It is a wonderful relaxing and enjoyable hobby that I have practiced for many years. Most definitely is it economical as I made all those cheeses with about 50 liters of milk ($100), plus about $4 for rennet – 11 Kg of cheese in total and I have harvested a lot of cream as the hard grating cheeses I make with low fat milk to give it a sharper taste. Whey after ricotta were fed to the animals and they love it. So at the end of the day my cheeses were costing less than $9 per Kg across the board. You cannot buy 2 Kg of Parmigiano for $100 today. Good luck and let me know how you are doing with the cheese making.

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