Gardening with Children

School Zone

Have you seen our Cheese Making Kits

Date Posted: 01 February 2016

Cheese is delicious, healthy (in moderation and as part of a balanced diet) and extremely versatile, eaten raw: add it to a salad, as a filling in sandwiches, on crackers and at parties cubed on a stick with a pineapple chunk or a sweet pickled onion, eat cooked: in a sauce, as a topping/garnish, on pizzas, in toasted sandwiches, with a fondue, in biscuits, bread and cakes and of course one of the simplest and tastiest ways - cheese on toast.

Cheese is available in different shapes, colours, textures and flavours in fact there are over 700 named varieties in Britain.

According to their texture and the way they are made they can be placed into seven different categories:

Fresh Cheese - This cheese is almost ready to eat as soon as it is made, it has a high moisture content and does not keep for long, examples include Cottage Cheese, Ricotta and Mozzarella.

Soft Cheese - Has a very soft texture and needs time to reach maturity and a full flavour, it is high in moisture and does not keep for long, examples include Brie and Camembert.

Semi Hard Cheese - Has a rubbery texture and is mid-range between soft and hard it is left to mature for a few months, examples include Edam, St. Paulin and Port Salut.

Firm Hard Cheese - These are cheeses that have been pressed to remove as much of the whey and moisture from the curds as possible. They are matured from 12 weeks to 2 years and will keep longer, examples include Cheddar, Parmesan, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester.

Crumbly Hard Cheese - These cheeses are pressed to remove most of their moisture, they are only matured for 4 to 8 weeks and retain their crumbly texture and fresh flavour, examples include Lancashire, Wensleydale and Cheshire.

Blue Cheese – There are many Blue Cheese variants of those cheeses listed above, all contain the blue mould 'Penicillium Roqueforti' which can be added to the cheese at different stages, either in the milk or sprayed onto the curds, once made the cheese is pierced with a stainless steel needle which allows the air in and activates the blue mould, they are quite strong tasting cheeses produced within a few months, examples include Blue Stilton, Shropshire Blue and Blue Cheshire.

Blended Cheese – They are also known as fruit or herb cheese or cheese with bits, they are made using high quality hard cheeses that are chopped into small pieces, the fruit or herbs and added it is mixed together and re-formed into cylinders or blocks, examples include Wensleydale with Cranberry, Cheddar with Caramelised Onion and Lancashire with Garlic.

My favourites are Crumbly Cheeses and Fruit and Herb cheeses.

Try out different types of cheese

There are so many different flavours of cheese available why not buy a few different varieties and have a cheese tasting session at school or a home or why not have a go at making your own?

Make your own Cheese

One of the newest products on the Gardening Works website are Cheese Making Kits, which enable you to make your own Hard or Soft cheese, there are six different kits to choose from, each kit contains everything that you will need to make your own delicious cheese, they are perfect for beginners and would make an unusual gift (Mother’s Day Sunday 6th March), there are enough ingredients in each kit to make several production runs, each one producing a cheese approx. 400g.

Hard & Soft Cheese Making Kit - Extra

Cheese making is an excellent educational Classroom activity and a fun, family hobby that's perfect for weekends and school holidays.

Why not give it a try, how will you eat your cheese?

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