Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cheese Disaster

I was away from my cheese cave for the better part of a week. Last night I opened the fridge which contained four batches of cheese. One was a bonny clabber cheese experiment, a raw cow called Kim goes to the Pyrenees, a new type of cheese called Montasio which was mixed milk, and two of my Humboldt Fog style cheeses I call Woodbridge Foogy.

I flipped the Pyrenees and started to brush off bright green mold using a paper towel. It was looking pretty good but a little dry. Then I flipped the bonny clabber and thought it may soon be eating time for this wheel. Then I cleaned mold off the Montasio. Next I brought out the Woodbridge Foggy to see if I needed to spray them with a mold solution. Instead I found little things with wings! Not sure how or why but there was a bug party on the Foggies. Why did they only like that cheese? Where did they come from, how did they get there?

I threw everything out. All of my aged cheeses for August 2009, ruined. It was such a good month for milk and I was so excited to enjoy these cheeses in due time. Cheese is like a frozen time in a certain place and now it's gone forever. I now have an empty fridge that needs a through cleaning. Then I must rebuild and stock my fridge for winter. In my year of cheesemaking, I have never had an infestation and hope it will not happen again.


  1. Hi Charlotte,

    I believe we have talked before when you asked about samples of cheese from Bonnyclabber Cheese Company. We have sold everything direct this past Summer and had a great year.

    Did you have fruit flies? They are attracted to the acidity as well as rancidity of cheese. I'm not saying yours were rancid, it's just that that's one of the conditions that they like. Your aging area probably needs to be colder where they can't live, until the rinds develop fully. After they are properly dried, the fruit flies won't be a problem. If they were something else, I don't know.

    I wanted to clarify something. As you know Bonny Clabber was and is a fresh yogurty -like cheese meant to be eaten fresh. Bonnyclabber as an aged cheese is the name of my company's raw milk line that doesn't use rennet, starter's, cooking, chilling, etc. Did you mean that you were experimenting with the Bonnyclabber process? I am very happy for people to use the process, but not the name, since you can create your own cheeses with the process, and then name them as you wish. Just wondering.

    Kind Regards,
    Rona Myers Sullivan

  2. Hi Charlotte,
    I'm happy to find this blog. I was searching for info on bright green mold on cheese. I am doing some experimenting with bag cheeses and I'm aging them in a small root cellar. We used this cellar last year and aged some pressed wheels and it worked quite well. Some of my bag cheeses are developing a bright green mold and in this post of yours you speak of it in a way that implies it's a normal occurrence. Is it? What do you know about it?

    Chrys Ostrander, Director of Farming Programs
    People for Environmental Action and Community Health
    "Local Food for All"

    p.e.a.c.h. Community Farm at Pine Meadow
    10425 S. Andrus Rd.
    Cheney, Wa 99004