Logo of Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm Farmstay Coonoor, Nilgiris India

Organic Cheesemaking Farmstay in Coonoor, Nilgiris, India.

Paper Packed Cheese

Hard Cheeses full rounds in butter paper

Acres Wild Gourmet cheese is part of Coonoor history now.  Making gourmet or artisan cheese from the milk of our hybrid Jersey and Holstein cows is a key activity at the farm. 

 

Gourmet or artisan cheeses are handmade natural-rind cheeses, the outcome of months of painstaking care and nurturing.  Each of these cheeses has an independent flavor, and unlike processed cheeses they carry the flavors of their natural habitat.

 

Depending on the period of aging, the texture and flavor of these cheeses range from mild and soft to sharp, dry, and hard.

 

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

Vacuum Packed Soft Cheese

Soft Cheese Vacuum Packed

Soft homemade cheeses we are now vacuum packing so that they stay longer on the shelf (about a month in refrigeration).

 

Once opened at home it should be eaten within about a week to 10 days, depending on refrigeration.  Do not not put soft cheese in the freezer as it will loose its texture after it freezes and then defrosts.

 

The weights are 150 gms to 250 gms.

 

Vacuum Packed Cheese

Hard Cheese Vacuum Packed.

Hard cheeses like Gouda, Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack are cut and vacuum packed using a vacuum packing machine.

 

This allows us to sell in slices weighing 100gm to 250 gms and the shelf life is much longer.  About 3 months in a fridge (not freezer).

 

We vacuum pack our cheeses as seen in the photo.

 

How to look after Cheese

Homemade cheese which is the 'real' kind of cheese, is a delicate item and needs care even after you have bought it and hopefully taken it carefully to your house.  Now how should you look after and it and what should you expect.  Some points are detailed below.

Shelf life of our cheeses varies with the type of homemade cheese.  Please see on the specific cheese page.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.  Vegetative rennet are made from fungal origin with Mucor mehei being the most commonly used.

Travelling and Transport

For transporting you should use an ice-box with an ice-pack inside. Remember, closed cars can get very hot in a very short amount of time.  If you don't have an ice-box then pack the cheese with the ice-pack inside several layers of newspaper and keep inside the bag that should then not be in a closed car or sun.  But note that all this fine for a maximum of about 24 hours of travel.  By then you should reach a fridge and put the cheese in it.

As a make-shift ice-pack we often use a 500ml soft-drink bottle filled water that is frozen in the ice-box of the fridge.

Storage

Our homemade, gourmet cheeses are without preservatives and so do require a bit of care.  All our cheeses must be kept in a closed container in the chiller compartment of your fridge or in the main part of the fridge but NEVER in the ice-box compartment of your fridge.  Freezing the cheese will make it lose it's texture once it defrosts.

Extra care has to be taken once you open the vacuum packing.  Especially in warmer climates.

Soft cheeses may give out some liquid whey sometimes but that is not a problem and should be drained out as soon as you notice it.  The rest of the cheese is fine to eat.

Hard cheeses tend to dry or could even get some mold on it if kept exposed but that is perfectly ok.  A bit of mold is not bad as long as the cheese does not start smelling.  You can cut out the mold part and eat the rest of the cheese.

 

 

Herb & Garlic Soft Cheese - Cream Cheese

Herb & Garlic is a perfect marriage of garlic and natural herbs that imparts a full-bodied exotic flavour – a favorite of the Indian palate.

Acres Wild Cheeses are called Gourmet Cheese or Artisan Cheese.  And since we don't use Rennet, it is a Vegetarian Cheese.  We use a microbial coagulant to make   Vegetarian Cheese in India.

 

Pepper Top - Cream Cheese

Pepper Top is a creamy soft-spreading cheese loaded with cracked peppercorns to provide a spice-of-life experience!

 

Celery - Cream Cheese

Celery is a soft cheese seasoned with freshly plucked celery and celery seed. Strictly for connoisseurs of good health and good taste.

 

Caraway Seed - Soft Cheese

Caraway Seed is a soft cheese mildly salted and loaded with caraway seeds - the flavour of the seeds seeps out slowly so gets better after a few days of making it.

 

Indian Summer - Soft Cream Cheese

Indian Summer is a zingy desi style concoction of garlic with powdered red peppers and zeera.

 

 

 

Gouda in India

Gouda Cheese at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm.

Gouda is a yellowish Dutch cheese named after the city of Gouda. The cheese is made from cow's milk that is cultured and heated up until the curds separates from the whey. About ten percent of the mixture is curds which are pressed into circular moulds for a couple of hours. The moulds give the cheese its traditional shape.

Next, the cheese is soaked in a brine solution which gives the cheese its rind and improves the taste. After the salt soaks in, the cheese is then dried for a couple of days before being coated to prevent it from drying out. The cheese then ages for at least a couple of weeks before it is ready to be eaten. The term "Gouda" is now a generic name, and not restricted to products of Dutch origin.

Gouda is a easy cheese to add flavours too so we have tried 'Pepper Gouda' and 'Caraway Seed Gouda' as shown in the photo above.

Shelf life

3 months if kept refrigerated. Do not put in freezer.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

 

Colby

Colby at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm.

Colby is a traditional, creamery, semi-soft cheese is made from cow's milk. The sizes vary, but they are generally block-shaped and free of rind. Colby is named for the town in Wisconsin, USA, where it was first made. It is a washed-curd cheese, which means that the curds are thoroughly rinsed in fresh water to remove all excess whey and any stray lactose. This prevents the acidity in the curd from rising, so the cheese remains soft and springy, with a sweet and mild flavor. Colby has a higher moisture content than Cheddar, and it feels more elastic. It is also sweet rather than savory. This cheese ripens in four months. It is made with a special procedure: when whey is drained off, the curd cold water is poured on until the temperature dips to 80 degrees F. Colby must be consumed shortly after purchase or it will dry out and lose its flavor. Great plain, on sandwiches or crackers, and for use in cooking.

Colby

Colby at Acres Wild

Shelf life

3 months if kept refrigerated. Do not put in freezer.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

 

Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm.

Monterey Jack is is a type of semi-hard cheese using cow's milk. It is named after its creator, David Jacks, a cheese maker near Monterey, California,.  Monterey Jack cheese is made from pasteurized whole, partly skimmed or skimmed cow's milk. It has a high moisture content which give it good melting properties.

In its earliest form, Monterey Jack was made by the Franciscan monks of Monterey, California, during the 1800s. A Californian businessman by the name of David Jack first began to mass market the cheese. He produced a mild, white cheese, which came to be known at first as "Jack's Cheese", and eventually "Monterey Jack".

Aging

Most of the softer types generally found in American markets are aged for only one month, while another variety of Monterey Jack is aged for up to six months.

An aged version of this cheese, known as Dry Jack, can be grated and used . Dry Jack was originally developed during World War II by Peter Vella as the Italian styled cheeses became increasingly difficult to obtain due to the embargo imposed on Italy during the war.

Another version called Pepper jack mixes hot peppers with Monterey Jack for a zesty flavor. Pepper jack is often used as an alternative cheese in dishes such as quesadillas, but can be eaten with bread or crackers as a snack.

Because of its low content of tyramine, an organic compound thought to be associated with headaches, it is frequently recommended as one of the few cheeses that are safer to eat for migraine sufferers.

Shelf life

3 months if kept refrigerated. Do not put in freezer.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

Cheddar

Cheddar cheese is a fairly hard, pale yellow to orange, sharp-tasting cheese originating from the English village of Cheddar, in Somerset. Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in the United Kingdom, accounting for just over 50% of the country's £1.9 billion annual cheese market. Although Cheddar cheese is originally English, it is also widely produced in other countries, including Ireland, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.

Character

In England, Cheddar tends to have a sharp, pungent flavour, often slightly earthy. Its texture is firm, with farmhouse traditional cheddar being slightly crumbly. It is always a pale yellow colour, and food colourings are not used. In parts of the United States and Canada, Annatto, extracted from the tropical achiote tree, is used to give Cheddar cheese a deep orange colour.

Cheddar cheese was sometimes packaged in black wax, but more commonly in larded cloth, impermeable to contaminants but still allowing the cheese to breathe, although this practice is now limited to Europe and to artisan cheese makers. In the United States, Cheddar cheese comes in several varieties, including mild, medium, sharp, extra sharp, New York Style, Colby/Longhorn, white, and Vermont. New York style Cheddar cheese is a particularly sharp Cheddar cheese, sometimes with a hint of smoke. It is usually slightly softer than milder Cheddar cheese. Colby/Longhorn Cheddar cheese has a mild to medium flavour. The curds are still distinct, often marbled in colour, varying from cream to yellow. Cheddar that has not been coloured is frequently labelled as "white Cheddar" or "Vermont Cheddar", regardless of whether it was produced in the state of Vermont. Vermont Cheddar is the nearest of any North American cheese to authentic English Cheddar.

The state of Wisconsin produces the most Cheddar cheese in the United States; other centres of production include upstate New York, Vermont, and Tillamook, Oregon.

Cheddar cheese is a good source of vitamin B12. A slice of vegetarian Cheddar cheese (40 g) contains about 0.5 µg of vitamin B12 (required daily intake for an adult is 2.4 µg).

Famous Cheddar cheeses from Somerset include Keen's, with a strong tang, and Montgomery's, with an apple after taste and the unpasteurized Cheddar made by the Gorge Cheese Company in Cheddar itself.

Shelf life

3 months if kept refrigerated. Do not put in freezer.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

 

Gruyere

Gruyere is a hard yellow cheese made from cow's milk, named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland, and made in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Jura, and Berne.  Before 2001, when Gruyère gained Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée status as a Swiss cheese, some controversy existed whether French cheeses of a similar nature could also be labeled Gruyere. (French Gruyere-style cheeses include Comté and Beaufort.)

Characteristics

Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming with age more assertive, earthy, and complex. When fully aged (five months to a year) it tends to have small holes and cracks which impart a slightly grainy mouthfeel. To make an 80 kg round of Gruyère cheese, about 800 litres of milk is used.

How to use Gruyere

Gruyère is generally known as one of the finest cheeses for baking, having a distinctive but not overpowering taste. In quiche, Gruyère adds savoriness without overshadowing the other ingredients. It is a good melting cheese, so particularly suited for fondues, along with Vacherin and Emmental. It is also traditionally used in French onion soup, as well as in Croque Monsieur, a classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich. It is a fine table cheese, and when grated, it is often used with salads and pastas. It is used, grated, atop Le Tourin, a type of garlic soup from France which is served on dried bread.

Production

To make Gruyère, raw milk is heated to 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit), and then curdled by the addition of liquid rennet. The curd is cut up into pieces the size of a grain of rice and stirred, releasing whey. The curd is cooked at 43 °C (110 °F), and raised quickly to 54 °C (130 °F). The pieces shrivel up, and the mixture is placed in molds to be pressed. After salting in brine, the cheese is ripened for two months at room temperature. Gruyère can be cured for 3 to 10 months, with long curing producing a cheese of intense flavour.

Shelf life

3 months if kept refrigerated. Do not put in freezer.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

 

Caraway Gouda

Caraway Gouda

Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack - Red Chilli and Zeera

Pepper Gouda

Pepper Gouda

 

Smoked Cheese

Smoked cheese is done with our home-designed smoker as shown below. Don't go by the looks - it is a smooth operator.  The idea is to get cool smoke and so the separation between the smoker maker and the smoking cabinet.

Cheese Smoker

Smoke Maker

Smoker

Smoking Cabinet

Smoker

Cheese smoking inside Smoking Cabinet

So we smoke Gouda, Colby and Monterey Jack in the smoker.  Of course we can try it with just about any cheese.

We are proud to be one of the few to make genuine Artisan Cheese in India or Gourmet Cheese in India

 

 

Feta Cheese

Acres Gretta at Acres Wild Organic Cheesemaking Farm, Coonoor.

Acres Gretta is a fresh, soft kind of cheese that is usually made of goat's milk but we make if of cow's milk.  At present we are selling it fresh and coating with dry salt. 

It takes at least three months to make Acres Gretta but currently we are selling it much fresher. When it is removed from the solution, this type of cheese dries up immediately. Milk from goats, sheep or cow can be used to make this. The processes involved are: curdling of the milk with rennet, separation and draining of the curd, putting salt on the blocks of curd, slicing the slabs which are then salted once more.

The color of Acres Gretta cheese is white. It is usually formed into four-sided cakes that can either be soft or semi-hard. Its salty flavor can be adjusted to suit the taste of the maker.  It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads, pastries and in baking.

This cheese is also an important ingredient of salads and is much tastier when combined with tomatoes, olives and green vegetables.   A wise tip: if you want to reduce the saltiness of the cheese, soak Acres Gretta first in milk or water (just for a few minutes) before eating. .  Acres Gretta, like most cheeses, can also be served cooked; it is sometimes grilled as part of a sandwich or as a salty alternative to other cheeses in a variety of dishes.

Shelf life:

About 1 month for our Acres Gretta cheese which is salted and packed in a box but not vacuum packed or it will loose its lovely texture and shape.    We are still experimenting and not soaking in brine yet.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.  Vegetative rennet are made from fungal origin with Mucor mehei being the most commonly used.

 

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm, Coonoor.

Ricotta an Italian sheep milk whey cheese. Ricotta literally means 'recooked' and uses the whey, a limpid, low-fat, nutritious liquid that is a by-product of cheese production.

A soft white cheese made from whey. Must be eaten absolutely fresh. Used in savoury stuffing and sweet fillings.

Ricotta is a fresh white cheese made from whey and it should be soft creamy and sweet-tasting. Because of its fresh character it should be used quickly as it is extremely perishable and acquires a sour taste and a yellow colour when old. It is extremely useful in stuffing in sweets or served with fruit.

Making Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta being scooped from the whey.

Ricotta is produced from whey, the liquid separated out from the curds when cheese is made. Most of the milk protein (especially casein) is removed when cheese is made, but some protein remains in the whey, mostly albumin. This remaining protein can be harvested if the whey is first allowed to become more acidic by additional fermentation (by letting it sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature). Then the acidified whey is heated to near boiling. The combination of low pH and high temperature causes additional protein to precipitate out, forming a fine curd. Once cooled, the curd is separated by passing though a fine cloth.

Ricotta

Ricotta being poured into basket for draining.

After realizing that whey cannot be safely dumped as it creates an environmental hazard. Romano makers discovered that when the protein-rich substance is heated, whey protein particles fuse and create a curd. This curd, after drainage, is ricotta. Because ricotta is made from whey, rather than milk, it is a whey cheese, not technically a "cheese".

Ricotta is a fresh cheese (as opposed to ripened or aged), grainy and creamy white in appearance, slightly sweet in taste, and contains around 5% fat. In this form, it is somewhat similar in texture to some cottage cheese variants, though considerably lighter. Like many fresh cheeses, it is highly perishable. Ricotta comes in other forms as well, see variants below.

Manufacturing process

Whey from acid-set cheeses cannot produce ricotta, because all of the protein has curdled out in the original cheese. Whey contains little protein, since most of it was removed during the production of the original rennet-set cheese, from which the whey resulted. This makes Ricotta production a low yield process, considering the amount of whey required to produce it. The whey is heated, sometimes with additional acid like vinegar, to curdle out the remaining protein in the whey. The whey is heated to a near boiling temperature, much hotter than during the production of the original cheese, of which the whey is a remnant. This use for the whey has ancient origins and is referred to by Cato the Elder.

Common culinary uses

Like mascarpone in northern-Italian cuisine, ricotta is a favorite component of many Italian desserts, such as cheesecakes and cannoli. There are also kinds of cookies that include ricotta as an ingredient.

In Italian households and dining establishments, ricotta is often beaten smooth and mixed with condiments, such as sugar, cinnamon and occasionally chocolate shavings, and served as a dessert. This basic combination (often with additions such as citrus and pistachios) also features prominently as the filling of the crunchy tubular shell of the Sicilian cannoli, and layered with slices of cake in Palermo's cassata.

Combined with eggs and cooked grains, then baked firm, ricotta is also a main ingredient in Naples' pastiera, one of Italy's many "Easter pies".  Regional variations may be sweet or savory.

Ricotta may also be used in savory dishes, including pasta, pizza, manicotti, lasagna, and ravioli.

It also makes a delicious substitute for mayonnaise in traditional egg or tuna salad and as a sauce thickener.

Variants

While Italian Ricotta is typically made from the whey of sheep or water buffalo milk, the American product is almost always made of cow's milk whey. While both types are low in fat and sodium, the Italian version is nutty, slightly sweet and has dry texture, while the American is blander, sweeter, moister, and therefore more neutral in cooking.

In addition to its fresh, soft form, ricotta is also sold in three preparations which ensure a longer shelf life: salted, baked and smoked. The pressed, salted and dried variety of the cheese is known as ricotta salata. A milky-white hard cheese used for grating or shaving, ricotta salata is sold in wheels, decorated by a delicate basket-weave pattern.

Ricotta infornata is produced by placing a large lump of soft ricotta in the oven until it develops a brown, lightly charred crust, sometimes even until it becomes sandy brown all the way through. Ricotta infornata is popular primarily in Sardinia and Sicily, and is sometimes called ricotta al forno.

Ricotta affumicata is similar to ricotta infornata. It is produced by placing a lump of soft ricotta in a smoker until it develops a grey crust and acquires a charred wood scent, usually of oak or chestnut wood, although in Frili beech wood is used, with the addition of juniper and herbs.

Ricotta scanta is the process of letting the ricotta go sour in a controlled manner, for about a week, then stirring it every 2-3 days, salting occasionally and allowing the liquid to flow away. After about 100 days the ricotta has the consistency of cream cheese with a distinct, pungent, piquant aroma, much like blue cheese but much richer. Ricotta scanta tastes as it smells, extremely aromatic and piquant with a definite bitter note. Tasted with the tip of the tongue, it has a "hot" sensation.

Ricotta is known in Indian cuisine as Khoya and in Portuguese cuisine as Requeijao.

Mozzarella

Mozzarella at Acres Wild Farm, Coonoor.

Mozzarella is a generic term for several kinds of originally Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting (hence the name; the Italian verb mozzare means "to cut").

WE ARE NOT MAKING MOZARELLA CURRENTLY.  THIS WAS JUST AN EXPERIMENT.

Fresh mozzarella is generally white, but may vary seasonally to slightly yellow depending on the animal's diet. It is a semi-soft cheese.  Due to its high moisture content, it is traditionally served the day it is made, but can be kept in brine for up to a week, or longer when sold in vacuum-sealed packages. Low-moisture mozzarella can keep refrigerated for up to a month, though some pre-shredded low-moisture mozzarella is sold with a shelf life of up to 6 months.  Mozzarella of several kinds are also used for most types of pizza, lasagna, or served with sliced tomatoes and basil in Insalata caprese.

Types

The mozzarella from bufala campana (DOP 1996) is a particular type of mozzarella; some consider it the best for flavour or quality and it is protected by European DOP.  It is a raw material in Italian style neapolitan Pizza - rather than mozzarella made with pasteurized cow's milk.

Mozzarella is available fresh; it is usually rolled in the shape of a ball of 80 to 100 grams (6 cm diameter), sometimes up to 1 kilogram (about 12 cm diameter), and soaked in salt water or whey, sometimes with added citric acid, until sold.

When slightly desiccated (partially dried), the structure becomes more compact; then it is better used to prepare dishes cooked in the oven, for example lasagne.

When twisted to form a plait it is called treccia.

It is also available in smoked (called affumicata) and reduced-moisture packaged varieties.

There are now offered a number of variations, such as "stuffed mozzarella", filled with olives and cooked or raw ham, as well as small tomatoes (pomodorini).

Production

The production of mozzarella involves the mixture of curd with heated whey, followed by stretching and kneading to produce a delicate consistency -- this process is generally known as pasta filata. According to the Mozzarella di Bufala trade association, "The cheesemaker kneads it with his hands, like a baker making bread, until he obtains a smooth, shiny paste, a strand of which he pulls out and lops off, forming the individual mozzarella."  It is then typically formed into ball shapes or in plait. In Italy, a "rubbery" consistency is generally considered not satisfactory; the cheese is expected to be softer.

Legend has it that mozzarella was first made when cheese curds accidentally fell into a pail of hot water in a cheese factory near Naples...and soon thereafter the first pizza was made! Actually, new cheeses are often formulated when mistakes happen, so there well may be truth in the tale!

Mozzarella was first made in Italy near Naples from the rich milk of water buffalos. Because it was not made from pasteurized milk and because there was little or no refrigeration the cheese had a very short shelf-life and seldom left the southern region of Italy near Naples where it was made. As cheese technology, refrigeration and transportation systems developed the cheese spread to other regions of Italy. However, to this day it is widely known that the best and most highly prized artisanal produced buffalo mozzarella is still found south of Naples near Battipaglia and Caserta where small factories continue centuries-old traditions making buffalo mozzarella fresh daily for their local customers, who line up at the factories to buy this delicacy.

Fresh mozzarella is soft and moist, very bland and milky tasting, almost spongy and oozing with milk.  It was often served with tomatoes in a salad. Fresh mozzarella was made from the milk of water buffalos and it was called "Buffalo Mozzarella" and some was made from cow's milk and it was called "Fior di Latte"!

 

Today two types of mozzarella are produced in the USA. Low moisture mozzarella that has a moisture content of less than 50% and high moisture mozzarella that contains more than 52%. The former was developed in the USA to fit our transportation and distribution systems, and it has been available in grocery stores for years. This is the cheese that the huge factories produce for the pizza industry. Fresh mozzarella is different. It is soft and moist and more perishable.

Types of Mozzarella

There are 3 types of mozzarella.  First is the industrially produced fresh mozzarella that is available in many specialty stores.

Then there is mozzarella curds that are available for delis to mix with hot water to form soft mozzarella in their stores, and some handmade fresh mozzarella and that is what we are trying to make at Acres Wild.

Fresh mozzarella can be packaged dry in vacuum-sealed plastic packages or in a governing liquid sometimes called "latte". It is available salted and unsalted. It is most often made from cow's milk; however it can be made from a combination of other milks such as cow's milk and goat's milk mixed.

Methods of Production

There are two basic ways to make mozzarella: direct acidification of the milk to form the curds or the culture/rennet method. In both methods, raw milk is pasteurized and then coagulated to form curds. Once the curds reach a pH of 5.2 they are cut into small pieces and mixed with hot water and then "strung" or "spun" until long ropes of cheese form. This "stringing of the curd" is unique to cheeses in the "pasta filata" family, such as mozzarella, scamorza and provolone. When the proper smooth, elastic consistency is reached, the curds are formed by machine or hand into balls which are then tossed into cold water so that they maintain their shapes while they cool. They are then salted and packaged. It is a short making process, usually less than 8 hours from raw milk to finished cheese. The critical moment is determining exactly when the cheese is mature and ready to be strung...waiting too long can result in a mushy cheese, while stringing too early can result in a tough dry cheese.

Once strung the curds can be formed into balls of varying sizes or into rolls or loaves filled with sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto, and other delicacies. Mozzarella can be smoked, either in a smoking chamber with intense smoke or by "painting" with a liquid smoke. The curds can be mixed with fresh herbs or chili peppers before forming to flavor the mozzarella. The possibilities and variations are endless.

What distinguishes a superior fresh mozzarella from the rest of the pack? Taste above all. The cheese should taste fresh and reminiscent of milk. It should be mild and delicate. Some say it is bland, yet there is flavor. There should be a hint of sourness. If it tastes too tart or sour the cheese is past its prime. The color should be white; however, seasonally the cheese can be more yellow due to the cows' diet of grasses. The fresher the cheese, the more elastic and springy the curd. As the cheese ages it becomes more and more soft. The perishability of fresh mozzarella varies according to packaging. Vacuum sealing extends the shelf life dramatically.

Halloumi

Fresh Halloumi at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farm.

Halloumi cheese is traditionally made with a combination of goat and sheep milk in Cyprus but industrially cow's milk is used to a great degree.

The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to mozzarella, and has a salty flavour. It is stored in its natural juices with salt-water, and can keep for up to a year if frozen below −18 °C (0 °F) and defrosted to +4 °C (39 °F) for sale at supermarkets. It is often garnished with mint. The mint adds to the taste while some claim that it has natural anti-bacterial action that was traditionally helpful to increase the life of the cheese.

Halloumi is the type of cheese that can be cooked in many different ways; with fried eggs or grilled on the barbeque with meat, in pita bread ,or fried in cubes and served in soup, in salads , shredded in stuffed vine leaves, in omelets , or with macaroni or in pastries.

Haloumi can be eaten plain.  It has a “squeaky” feel as you bite the firm but pliable texture.  A good way to eat this delicious cheese is to slice it and sear each side on a flat grill, then serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and some vine-ripened tomatoes!  The flavour intensifies and advances from mild and milky to a strong, full bodied and salty finish.

It is used in cooking, as it can be fried until brown without melting due to its higher-than-normal melting point, making it a good cheese for frying or grilling (such as in saganaki), as an ingredient in salads, or fried and served with vegetables. Cypriots like eating halloumi with watermelon in the warm months, and as halloumi and lountza - a combination of halloumi cheese and either a slice of smoked pork, or a soft lamb sausage.

The resistance to melting comes from the fresh curd being heated before being shaped and placed in brine. Traditional halloumi is a semicircular shape, about the size of a large wallet, weighing 220-270 g. The fat content is approximately 25% wet weight, 47% dry weight with about 17% protein. Its firm texture when cooked causes it to squeak on the teeth when being consumed.

Traditional artisan halloumi is made from unpasteurised sheep and goats milk. . Many people also like halloumi that has been aged; it is much drier, much stronger and much saltier. It is easy to find this traditional product in Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot shops. It is kept in its own brine. This cheese is very different from the squeaky mild halloumi that Western chefs use as an ingredient.

Halloumi was known in Cyprus before the invasion of Ottoman Turks in 1571. For example doge Leonardo Dona, who lived in Cyprus, recorded the production of halloumi (calumi) in a 1556 AD manuscript.

Camembert

Acres Blanc is a soft, creamy white-mold cheese.

Production

Acres Blanc is ripened by the moulds Penicillium candida and Penicillium camemberti for at least three weeks. It is produced in small rounds, about 250 grams in weight.

Acres Blanc maturing in temperature controlled Fridge

Characteristics

When fresh, it is quite crumbly and relatively hard, but it characteristically ripens and becomes more runny and strongly flavoured as it ages.

Acres Blanc can be used in many dishes, but it is popularly eaten uncooked on bread or with wine or meat, to enjoy the subtle flavour and texture which does not survive heating.

Shelf life:

15 days if kept refrigerated.  Do not put in freezer.

All our cheeses are made of microbial rennet and therefore 100% vegetarian.

Blue Cheese at Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay, Coonoor, Nilgiris, India

Acres Blue is our version of Blue Cheese. We make it on and off mostly for our own needs. 

Blue cheese is a term for cheeses which have been inoculated with Penicillium mold cultures, forming dark streaks, patches, or veins of blue-green mold.  Some of the most famous cheeses in the world are blue cheeses, including Roquefort, Stilton, and Gorgonzola. Blue cheeses usually smell very pungent, and have a strong, tangy flavor.

Generic  blue cheese is made by heating milk with rennet so that it curdles, and then stirring the mold in with the curds before pressing them, ensuring that the mold is evenly distributed in the cheese. The curds are pressed in a cheese mold and allowed to sit for several days before holes are made in the cheese to aerate it. Next, the cheese is stored in a cool cheese cave to ripen for three to six months, or longer in some cases, before being packaged for sale.  Blue cheese requires careful handling while it is made and processed for sale, and home consumers should also take good care of their blue cheese by keeping it well wrapped and cold.

The result of the cheesemaking process is a soft, dense cow's milk cheese with seams of blue mold running through it.  Some consumers find the mold unpleasant to look at or taste, since it certainly has a distinct flavor.  However, most cheeses are technically made with molds and bacteriums, so the mold should not put consumers off, although it can sometimes make it difficult to tell if the cheese has gone bad or not.  As a general rule, pink, brown, yellow, and red spots of mold indicate that a cheese has been poorly handled.  You can scrape these molds off and still eat it but that is a personal taste thing.

Some special blue cheeses have an Appellation of Controlled Origin, meaning that the cheese must be from a particular region and prepared in a certain way. Roquefort, for example, is inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti, and aged in special cheese caves while it ripens. In order to be labeled “Roquefort,” a cheese must meet these basic standards. In the case of Roquefort, sheep's milk is used instead of cow's milk.

Well made blue cheese is moist, creamy, and packed with intense flavors. It can be used in salads, quiches, and spreads.

 

Acres Wild Cheese in Nilgiri Stores in Coonoor

 

Bakers Junction - Nilgiri Stores (Coonoor)

This is where Acres Wild Cheese made it's debut in the Big Bad World of cheese selling.  But thanks to Cedrik, the owner, who had faith in our cheese and our commitment to cheesemaking, we have a country-wide following.  Baker's Junction is in Bedford, in Upper Coonoor and has the best stock of our cheese.

 

It is a modest looking shop that has put the fear of God in the hearts of owner's of more 'modern stores' than this one Smiley.

 

Checkout the grand display of our cheese on Cedrik's latest acquisition - a 3 door fridge!  Watch out all you modern folk in Ooty.   Coonoor is cheese town!

 

 

 

   0423-222-2223 OR 0423-222-2250 (Mr Murli - Shop Manager)

Mobile Phone  94430-35551 (Cedrik - Shop Owner)

 

Tulsi Mall (Coonoor)

A proper shopping mall that keeps just about everything and Acres Wild Cheese.

   0423-220-7277 or 220-7377 or 220-6977 (Mr Susheel - Manager)

   Variety Tulsi Mall, 31, Mount Pleasant Road, Coonoor 643101

 

Green Shop  

Green Shop (Ooty)

This quaint place, near the Ooty club, is run by Keystone Foundation and stocks unique items from wild honey to handicrafts made by local tribals that they work with and support.   Do drop in there to check out the other fabulous work they are doing there with tribals, bees, honey and what not.

 

  0423-244-1340 (Shobha OR Prabhu)

  Sargun Villa, Club Road, Opp. Hill Bunk Petrol Pump Ooty 643 001

 

Shivani Stores (Ooty)

This is a hot-spot for most tourists when they are in Ooty.  It is conveniently located on Commercial Street that is the main street in Ooty and where everybody goes.

  0423-244-2134 (Shop)               94431-01700 (Owner - Murli)

    55, Commercial Street, Ooty 643001