A slice of Leerdammer, one of Manchego plus some rye bread (pane di segale): that's what's in the spread above. Trust me, it's lovely. (In fact, it was eaten as soon as I finished taking photos.)
I like sweet, nutty Leerdammer a lot, and I am very pleased with the nice holes it has. I wrote about my first attempt in this post and by comparing the results, you can see that my formaggio coi buchi looks much nicer now, thanks to a bit of practice during the past three years. The recipe I follow comes from the book 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes by Debra Amrein-Boyes (I halve it, using two gallons of milk.)
I have made Manchego-style cheese many times using different recipes, as described, for example, this post. (I am calling the cheese Manchego-style because true Manchego is made with ewe's milk, while my cheese was made with cow's milk.) The version above was made following the recipe in Mary Karlin's book Artisan Cheese Making at Home and it includes some saffron (zafferano). The photo shows the cheese ready for aging.
What I like about this cheese is that it can be eaten young or aged longer. This time, I cut it after 10 days of aging.
Above is an image from the process of making the Manchego, where you can see a couple of saffron threads among the white curds. The image was taken shortly before putting the curds in the mold.
The cheese has a lightly elastic texture, a pleasant smell of young cheese and a delicate flavor that makes it perfect for a snack.
The top photo is my contribution to edition #73 of Black and White Wednesday - A Culinary Photography Event created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, now organized by Cinzia of Cindystar, and hosted this week by Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte aka kochtopf.
The photo was shot in color and then converted to black and white (Lightroom preset Split Tone 1).
This post contains the gallery of images submitted to the event.
And I suspect the cheese lovers participating in the year long Cheesepalooza project, organized by Valerie of A Canadian Foodie will enjoy watching the photos in this post. Manchego is one of the cheeses chosen for the March edition and while Leerdammer is not Jarlsberg, the process for making the two cheeses has similarities and they both have holes. I have also made Jarlsberg, more than once, and this is a post about it.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the del formaggio, per favore audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]