Ballymaloe Day 77: Just one day left in the kitchen…

With only five hours sleep last night, I woke up with a cranky feeling.

Wandering around at 8am to unlock our bedroom door I woozily staggered back to bed for an extra hour.

Thankfully today was all about Mammy Kavanagh’s visit and with an hour of study under my belt, I was glad to get out of campus for a while and head away.

With a refreshed feeling and a lot of yummy food under my belt, I came back with a full tummy.

Back at home, I’m in a non-studying feeling but know that I need to hit the books and get some sort of knowledge into my head (I had a lot of fun learning about cheese though)

Tomorrow is my final day in the kitchen and I’ll be rustling up a lamb tagine with couscous Then it’s down to exams, exams, exams. Wish me luck?

Some random things I learned today:

  • Many cheese now carry an Appellation d’Origine or sometimes they’re stamped on the rind of the cheese with the country eg. Parmigiano Reggiano (Italy)
  • When buying cheese, buy a freshly cut piece of cheese rather than a pre-packed section – the cheese should be cut cleanly with a wire or a special cheese knife and wrapped in cheese paper or greaseproof paper – not clingfilm!
  • Generally speaking, the stronger the cheese smells the riper it is.
  • Farmhouse cheeses quite often grow a mould on the skin or rind. This is perfectly harmless and can be brushed or washed off if you choose.
  • Cheeses can be divided into five groups:
    • Very soft: soft cheese, uncooked and unripened eg. cottage cheese, fromage frais and quark.
    • Soft: soft, spreadable cheese eg. Brie and Camembert.
    • Semi-soft: Firmer cheese that’s often crumbly eg. gorgonzola, Cashel Blue, Gubbeen.
    • Semi-hard: The largest cheese family and that can be sliced easily eg. Cheddar and Edam.
    • Hard: Cheeses that have been pressed but need to be grated when old eg. Parmesan and Grana Padana.
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