I’ve been sitting on these photos for about a month now, but somehow word still got out: the cheddar is open! I’ve already tasted or given away half the wheel, and the initial reviews are quite positive. I’m pretty happy with it myself. It tastes good, but maybe not perfect. Given that I was worried about it being a soaking moldy rancid mess when I finally cracked it open, I’m feeling pretty accomplished. It’s a bit moist–creamy even–and somewhat mild at this point in time (it’s about eight months old). It doesn’t seem to be oversalted. The curd is really well knit, with no gaps or crevices. It tastes a bit like a colby to me, so I have to figure out what the similarity is there.
I cut the wheel up into eights and vacuum packed them all. Hopefully I’ll be able to wait out the full year before tasting the rest, and we’ll see if it changes much in that time. In the meantime, the weather is getting nice and cool, and I’m finding myself in the kitchen more often on the weekends, cooking and baking and brewing. Hopefully the cheesemaking will resume in October, and I’ll be able to put up enough cheese over winter to satisfy the snacking appetite of family and friends for the next year.