Blue Cheese DIY

Caution: Do Not breathe in any mold powder.
The powder contains  spores, and while the spores are not toxic, per se, they are baby molds and can grow into bigger molds if they land on something moist and warm and you do not want them to do so inside you. 
  Flavoring Cheese With Blue and White Penicillium Mold wrapped a few pieces of lemon peel with blue mold on it and put it with some chunks of generic cheddar cheese (bought on sale at a Farmers' Market).

At first, I closed the jar tightly with a lid, but this made it too moist and resulted in too much gray fuzzy mold (butrytis). I scraped off the gray fuzzy and removed the lemon peel. I returned the cheese to its jar with a loose plastic cover.

After a couple weeks, I looked at it again. There was some blue mold (penicillium), some white (diplodia), some yellow that disappeared when I touched it (probably fragile yellow slime mold or Fuligo septica which, if left to grow on its own, becomes what is called "dog vomit fungus", because that is what it will look like, or
"egg batter mold" and "Cacao de Luna"* by Central American Indians who fry and eat it like scrambled eggs.

Two months after I had originally put it by with the moldy lemon peel, I decided to try it. It was delicious. The generic cheese had become gourmet. The texture was a little softer than the original cheese, and there were a variety of different tangy tastes to it, although there was none of the blue marbling you expect to see in blue cheese. I was only going to take one bite this first time as a test, but somehow it all got eaten in a couple hours. And I don't even know what to call it. For lack of another name, I will call it house-sharpened cheese.

I don't have any moldy lemons currently available so I made 3 new test batches using (1) some moldy cooked organic and wild rice from the fridge, (2) mold-infused dried bread and (3) the rind from the first batch of sharpened cheese. I will follow, or I plan to follow, the same schedule, since I know of no other: I will leave the cheese in with the innoculant for a month, then remove the moldy bread, rice or rind and poke holes the cheese with a knife or pin, and return it to set for another month. I may make some more in the hopes that if there is enough I will be able to let it mature longer to see if there is any further change or improvement to its taste.

Update: In case anyone should be inquisitive enough to want to try this on their own, I will leave this here, however,  the results of this experiment were not satisfactory. Using moldy bread ended up in wasting too much cheese as the bread fused with the cheese and needed to be cut off, and the rind from the cheese didn't impart that much flavor in the time I let it set. Maybe it would have if I had left it for a year rather than a few weeks.

See Mold for information on identifying and safe handling of mold.

Goats Produce Too! The Udder Real Thing Volume II Cheese Making & more by Mary Jane Toth. It includes pasteurization in its recipes, but you don't have to pasteurize, except for the mozzarella and yogurt. Mozzarella has to be heated to 100F make it stretchy. All the others can be made with raw milk and skip the pasteurization.
Keeping A Family Cow   by Joann S. Grohman

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