Thursday, 16 August 2012

Smoked cheese and garlic

While I gather everything together for my next charcuterie project I thought I'd try cold smoking some foods other than meat.

I'm a big fan of smoked cheese and had heard about the magic effect cold smoking has on Edam. Now, don't get me wrong: I like a bit of Edam now and then, and I'm sure it has some devoted fans; but generally the word 'Edam' is associated in the mind (somewhat unfairly) with other words such as 'rubbery', 'flavourless', 'Babybel' and perhaps 'Northern Dutch town'. I wanted to see if cold smoking could indeed turn this boring, every day, run-of-the-mill, Vauxhall Nova of a cheese into something a bit more special. The cheese was cut into 1" thick slices to allow the smoke to permeate.

Raw Edam ore mined in The Netherlands 
I also wanted to try smoking garlic. The information super towpath, as always, had a number of suggestions: smoke for at least 3 days, no  5 hours, no – you should have started smoking it before you left the womb etc. In the end I followed some advice I found in a smoking forum: I  removed most of the outer skin, sprayed with a thin coat of oil, and put it in the smoker for 3 hours (mainly because this was the time suggested for the cheese and I wasn't going to get up twice from watching whatever generic E4 comedy was on).

Smoke my pretties
I used cherry wood this time; after 3 hours cold smoking everything was taken out and left to rest for 24 hours. The Edam worked out well: it has slight smokey taste, and is delicious. It could do with a longer smoking time perhaps, but not bad for a first try. I'll report back on the garlic once I've used it

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