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Question

I would like to know how cheese was made in the olden days (17th Century). I can’t seem to find any recipes.

Answer

As far as we know, cheese making on farm in the Tudor – Victorian era, followed the same pattern. Evening milk was put into low pans and left to settle overnight. Because the milk was warm from the cow, the fat rose quickly to the surface, and the milk also started to go sour, as the bacteria in the milk grew. The next day, if required, the fat was skimmed from the surface of the pans and could be made into butter, or kept for cream or cream cheese. The remaining milk, now containing about 2% fat, was mixed with the morning’s milk and rennet added. When the milk had clotted, the curds were broken up, placed in a cloth and hung to drain for a while, before being further broken, salted and placed in a mould and pressed. The cheese surface was rubbed with butter or lard when the cheese came out of the press and the cheese stored, being regularly turned, until eaten. There are some handwritten recipes existing from the 17th century Britain, generally these are found in historical records offices.

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