A collection of all Cheesepalooza Participants Feta and Halloumi making experiences!
Making homemade feta was definitely an eye-opener for me. It is almost fail proof. I made goat feta three times and each time was successful! Vanja doesn’t like goat cheese, so my next quest is cow feta! “Real” Feta Aficionados will tell you there is no such thing as cow feta, but that is the kind of feta most North American’s eat. Apparently, in the European Union, feta cannot be called “feta” unless it is from Greece and made with Sheep or Goat milk. I will be making feta many times, particularly after tasting Ian’s marinated feta at our Mozzarella making session on Sunday. WOWSERS! Is it ever yummy! Post coming soon!
NOTE to all participants: I had originally asked for a 300×400 image, and as you can see am using 800 + pixel images since my new site launch. If you would like to send me larger photos, I will definitely replace the ones here with the larger versions. I will make a note of this to each of you in the next challenge, too.
Stephanie at Clockwork Lemon from Calgary AB Canada and her mom, Lori Anne, managed to make this gorgeous feta even though she just moved and has been suffering from a very sore back! Look at this gorgeous cheese. She also used a different recipe and has included her recipe for brine.
Denise at Whole Made Goodness from Haymarket VA USA experienced great success with feta this round! That is a mighty good looking hunka-hunka-cheesy love!
Larry at La Bonne Vie from Edmonton AB Canada makes his cheese with his son! You will hear me singing about this, monthly! I am very excited this month, as Larry, his wife and his son will be coming to our local tasting November 23! I will get to meet this little cheese head in person!
They actually made feta twice this month! Talk about a great way to get your child to eat his veggies!
Rick at Explorations with Sailor Rick from Edmonton AB Canada is rockin’ his new website with his culinary skills! Cheesepalooza instigated his site, but we can all benefir as this local “hidden” culinary treasure now has a platform to share his other loves. Take a look!
Evelyne at Cheap Ethnic Eatz is a new participant from Montreal QU Canada. Her enthusiasm is contageous! I have already added her “catch up” chèvre to the Challenge Two round up!
Ntala at Crazy Mare Ranch from Barrhead AB Canada is on a roll! She has made so many cheeses that I cannot wait to get out to her place for a session and a tasting! She is now selling cheese making kits and is an incredible resource as she has her little goats and has learned all she knows by doing it herself! Check out her store!
Ian at Much To Do About Cheese from Edmonton AB Canada and the TOP Cheese at Cheesepalooza (well, Mary Karlin’s right hand man) made this marinated feta from the feta made at the Smoky Valley Goat Cheese Fieldtrip. I have testified to its incredible flavour and will also be making my own batch and posting it very soon as I have a plethora of homemade feta in my fridge right now!
After the cheese making day at Smoky Valley, I had to come home and make my own halloumi. I just didn’t get it. I still don’t. As I read and look at everyone else’s posts, the Halloumi is vastly different from person to person. Smoky Valley and I got a hard pressed cheese to slice and heat, as described in Mary’s recipe. Yet, others, like Heather, Nic and Simona, all below, yielded a softer looking mass. One thing I discovered, is that the heating of the cheese in the whey makes a difference to the texture. The Smoky Valley Halloumi was delicious and the texture was incredible for some batches, but for others, too tough. We didn’t watch the cooking time as closely as necessary. In any case, I am definitely a Halloumi fan and really loved the addition of the dry mint!
Simone at Jungle Frog Cooking from The Netherlands experienced unexpected Halloumi success with this challenge! Bravo, Simone! Stop buy and catch up on the multitude of adventures Simone has undertaken this fall!
Nic at Nic Cooks from Australia produced a stellar looking Halloumi. You must pop by her post to see the photos of her cooked Halloumi and a really great sandwich recipe she shares! Incredible!
Simona at Briciole from Northern California used Jim Wallace’s recipe and was thrilled with the results. It sure looks yummy! Simona has attended some really intense cheese making workshops and I have learned a lot from her techniques. She shares a great tip for heating the cheese in its whey in this recipe.
Sarah at Several Gardens from Seattle WA USA writes about making Halloumi and then posted the real story about making her Halloumi the next day! Hilarious!
Dianne at Bar Over V Ranch from Okanogan WA USA
Heather at Sweet Wood Farm from Mahone Bay Nova Scotia Canada is a Master Cheese Maker, currently in France, making cheese and nursing 3 adorable and very ill maremma pups that she adopted while there. I truly hope to hear a happy ending from her upon her return. She also made a special ricotta from the whey the Halloumi was cooked in, above, right.
Addie has an excellent slide show of our day at Smoky Valley Goat Cheese at The Big Cheese Project from Edmonton Alberta Canada!
Laurel at California Laurel from California made feta this round and oh, my – doesn’t it look delicious?!
I will be adding more round up cheeses to this post as those making them a bit late get them to me! If I have somehow missed yours, please send it right away, and I will add it to the parade!
NOTICE: Cheese Making in Belize!
Jeri from New England Cheesemaking has shared this opportunity to learn cheese making in January at a resort in Belize – http://www.cavesbranch.com/cheese-adventures and would like all of our cheese making friends to learn about it. I am going to take a serious look! The classes are limited to 10 each. Jeri is going and wants to make sure the classes fill to enable an optimum cheese making experience! Read an article about it here!
Awesome round up, everyone did so amazing. ha ha thanks for the comment 😉
Wow, these look great! Did anyone else have the issue of the feta getting soft and gelatinous after awhile? I am wondering if the rennet should be cut back a bit. I know this would not be traditional, but I wonder what basil added to the halloumi would be like? I think we may try that.
Yes Larry – I believe it’s the brine’s fault. Val will know more about it. Too bad that happened to you :(.
Thanks, it was great for a few days, it just didn’t have the staying power. All part of the learning curve!
christine @ wannafoodie says
I just read another great article from Curd Nerd on potential reasons for the feta-melt to occur. I wanted to share – http://bit.ly/SfnThg
Valerie Lugonja says
Excellent read, Christine!
Makes perfect sense from what I have “learned”, too.
Thanks! I can’t wait to make more feta!
Valerie Lugonja says
Leslie from Smokey Valley Goat Cheese told me it was the brine… did you use distilled water? That is a must, and she has started adding a little vinegar to hers to avoid this. Shoot her a line.
Yes, I used distilled water. Ian suggested using the whey too, can’t wait to make more
Great round up!! I’m popping our feta into some brine today and will hopefully have the post up soon 🙂 Loving reading through these
Congratulations to everybody and thanks Valerie for a great roundup. More cheese adventures are awaiting!
Dianne Ader says
What I love most is how you do a little introduction on each person! I was really looking forward to reading that. We all did a wonderful job making cheese! I can not wait for the next one!
Valerie Lugonja says
That is the part I enjoy the most, too, Dianne – getting to know each of you a little – and learning with you how to make yummy cheese!
I’m going to start paying more attention to the kind of feta I buy. In fact, I’m going to go right now and see what I have in the fridge.
Another great round up! But I would just like to confirm that my cheese was definitely not soft! It was a rubbery, sliceable mass that gave a very distinct squeak on eating!!!
I’m glad you found feta “foolproof”. It’s the only cheese I’ve had a major disaster with, it dissolved in the brine! But lessons were learnt and I am still partial to a bit of goats milk feta!
Valerie Lugonja says
That is so disappointing – your feta experience! I can absolutely relate! I did find it “fullproof”, yet got different results each time… and the first, mine also dissolved in the brine, but was delicious before that, though a little “hard” for my liking. The second was made at Smokey Valley Goat Cheese and that was a really firm cheese, but delicious. All were made of goat’s milk. The last one, I got the texture to my liking, but the brine was just too salty, but, I can wash it off…. so none of my makings were “perfect” for my palate, all were successful. I used goat milk in all three, and fresh in the first two. That may be the difference?