Mike started making cheddar a couple months ago, which means the first batch is aged enough to eat. Last week, we decided that whenever we ran out of store-bought cheddar, we'd break into his first round. Although we actually finished off the commercial cheddar on Wednesday, the kids and I decided that Mike should get the honor of opening his first cheddar, so we waited until he was home today to break into it.
He coated it with red wax for aging. The red wax did not thrill me, but at the time, I couldn't find any wax that wasn't colored. I have since found some uncolored wax from The Dairy Connection and purchased it, so we'll be using it as soon as we use up the red wax. However, you can re-use wax, so we'll have some red wax around the homestead for a while.
But enough about the technicalities. The cheese is delicious! It really does taste like cheddar. Our only complaint is that it is on the dry side, which Mike expected. For some reason that he no longer remembers, he didn't get it waxed until three weeks, which gave it too much time to dry.
After tasting the cheese by itself, we decided to see how it melted, so we made a plate of nachos. They were also delicious. It didn't melt extremely well, but again, that's due to it being too dry. We expect future batches to be much better in that department.
It is so exciting to have our very own cheddar, since it's the cheese we eat the most. We easily go through a couple pounds a week, so we are saving a lot of money by making our own cheddar, especially since our milk isn't filled with icky hormones and antibiotics and other things that are found in non-organic, store-bought cheese.
Tonight, in addition to making two Italian pizzas with Mike's mozzarella, we are also making a Mexican pizza with the cheddar. I am practically drooling just thinking about it!