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The curd of milk is the material of which cheese is made. This consists of a nitrogenous substance closely resembling albumen of eggs, blood and vegetable matter, fibrin of flesh, gluten of wheat, oats, etc., and legumin of peas, beans and other leguminous plants.
The curd or casein will thicken or clabber naturally as the result of the milk-sugar decomposing and forming lactic acid. The acid thus formed combines with the free soda which always exists in normal milk in its fresh state, and this combination goes on until the alkali is all exhausted, when acid begins to accumulate.
Cheddar and many other cheese are made by treating the sweet milk with rennet which coagulates the curd or casein. The lactic ferment plays an important part in the future ripening of these cheese the same as those made from “sour curd.”
COTTAGE CHEESE (Schmierkase). In the manufacture of cottage cheese, the skim-milk is allowed to sour until the casein has formed into a clabber. The whey is then removed. It can be removed without heating, by draining through muslin; but it is better to heat the clabbered milk to about 85° F. While warm, it is poured in a bag made of thin muslin, or preferably of crash toweling, and allowed to drain for 20 to 24 hours. The bag can be hung over a vessel so as to collect the whey if desired. The drained curd is then made fine by running through a curd mill as per Figure No. 1.
The mill (Fig. 1), is made by T. II. Smith, Myerstown, Pa., but can be made by any tinsmith. The size described will fit into a gallon crock. The cone is made of perforated tin No. 0, (20 perforations per inch). The cone is 5 inches long and 54 inches in diameter at top. The top is made of heavy tin 7 inches in diameter at top and 54 inches at bottom. An inch of No. 8 or 9 wire is soldered on each side. The wire serves as a support when the mill is placed in a crock. The arch or handle on top is made of heavy tinned strap iron with small hole in center for handle. The ends are fit into a notched ear which allows the arch to be removed when the mill is to be washed. The triangular board is made of hard wood so as to fit on inside of cone. The right side edges of the board are beveled. On the top a small iron washer with square hole is fastened, into which the turning handle is placed.
The curd, when ground, can be thinned with milk or cream if too thick. By the addition of cream the tlavor is materially improved, but for marketing, heavy cream seasoning would likely be unprofitable. It is eaten as a side dish or spread on bread and sweetened with molasses, etc. Some people use pepper and salt in seasoning.
In preparing for market, a muslin or linen cloth is placed in an ordinary soup bowl which is then filled with cheese and the cloth folded. The cakes are then placed in a water-tight vessel, such as a dishpan or pail, to convey to market. The purchaser is expected to have a bowl or pail into which the cheese can be emptied out of the cloth,
About 1.) pounds sell for 5 cents, or 3 1-3 cents per pound. 100 pounds of skim-milk produces 18 or 20 pounds of cheese, or 60 to 70 cents worth.
BOILED CHEESE, POT CHEESE, CUP CHEESE, SCALDED CHEESE,
The skim-milk is allowed to clabber as for cottage cheese. The clabbered inilk is heated slowly to 130° or 150° F., placed in cheese bag and whey extracted by pressure. If the amount of curd is small, the whey can be sufliciently extracted by hand pressure and wringing the bag. The whey should be pressed out thoroughly while warm. The curd is then ground fine with a mill similar to the one used for cottage cheese. The cone is made of galvanized wire netting 4 to 5 meshes to the inch instead of No. 0 perforated tin as described for cottage cheese. A simple and more rapid method is to have a pan with sieved botton as per Figure No. 2.
A heavy tin dish-pan can be used for the purpose. The bottom is cut out leaving an outer rim one inch wide on which the screen is soldered. The galvanizerl wire screen should be four meshes to the inch. By rubbing the curd through the screen it will be made fine enough to set away for ripening. The lumps of curd should not be larger than a small pea for best results. The breaking can be done entirely by land, but takes considerably longer than with a sieved pan.
The ground curd is then placed in any convenient vessel, but preferably in a shallow granite dish or stone crock. The fermentation proceeds the most rapidly when the layer of curd is not over four inches thick. The vessel should be covered with thin muslin to prevent contamination by flies, and yet allow free access of air. In the winter the cloth serves as a heat conserver and dust protector. In summer the dish is set in a cool place, but in winter it must be kept where it is warm. The curd will need to be mixed and the lumps which form as the fermentation progresses must be broken up once each day