January 18, 2014
I love cheese. It makes up a very large part of my diet. A couple of years ago I got in the habit of shredding it a pound at a time and keeping the shredded cheese in plastic boxes in my refrigerator, ready to use on whatever I want to eat: quesadillas, cheeseburgers, cheese toast, melted onto crackers, augmenting pizzas, and sometimes on my breakfast eggs.
I don't actually eat a lot of meat, though I do eat some. The majority of my protein comes from cheese and eggs.
I usually keep two kinds of cheese around: sharp cheddar, and jack cheese. The Fred Meyer jack cheese was really good and that's what I was buying. But I ran out, and these days the Fred Meyer store might as well be on the moon as far as being available to me, considering how immobile I am. I cannot walk a mile there and another mile back. Not possible anymore.
So I get all my groceries delivered by Safeway. I tried a chunk of their jack cheese and it wasn't really to my taste. So this time I decided I'd try mozarella from their house brand "Lucerne". I figured it would be similar to jack, being a soft white cheese that isn't aged.
A pound of it comes in a cylinder.
I can't figure out why it's such a strange shape. The cheddar cheese is box-shaped, which stacks neatly, but cylinders are more problematic. Is there something about how it's made that makes it better round? I know that some mozarella comes as balls, which is even less convenient. But I've also seen mozarella which are loafs, like my cheddar.
Some aged cheeses come in great big rounds, cylinders a couple of feet across. That's a side effect of the aging process. But mozarella isn't aged.
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at January 18, 2014 07:41 PM (DnAJl)
Anyway, take milk, blah, blah, blah.
IIRC, and this may only apply to certain types of cheesemaking, the shape is set in a step that involves taking the material and squeezing some of the liquid out. One way, perhaps an old way, involves wrapping precursor in a cloth, and squeezing the juice out through the cloth until it is solid, or some other criteria is met. A round of cheese makes sense if you put your glob of precursor into the middle of a cylinder of cloth, and squeeze it by taking up the slack from both ends of the tube. A sphere makes sense if you squeeze it by putting the glob onto a sheet of cloth, lift up the edges and squeeze the 'tail'.
The block makes sense if one is working in large volumes, especially if one uses equipment and processes that make cutting it into blocks efficient.
Posted by: PatBuckman at January 18, 2014 07:59 PM (+LcKg)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 18, 2014 08:25 PM (+rSRq)
Well, I just grated a pound of it. It sure tastes good. But it's really soft. It reminds me of Havarti.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 18, 2014 08:36 PM (+rSRq)
Indeed, our kitchen legend was that the half-dollar sized top bit was the best part of the lump o' cheese and it would never make it into the bowl of grated cheese. Instead, it'd be eaten "raw" by one of us... usually her, because I was that sort of son.
Posted by: Wonderduck at January 18, 2014 08:57 PM (eYYyy)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 18, 2014 09:12 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: muon at January 18, 2014 10:35 PM (jFJid)
I notice at my local store, irregularly-shaped store-brand bread is priced at double the same weight of a regular loaf, just because the shape reminds people of bread from a small, "Shining Hearts"-style bakery.
Posted by: jcm3 at January 19, 2014 12:37 PM (Gv6Un)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at January 19, 2014 02:11 PM (+rSRq)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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