Chapingo cheese . It is one of the authentic Mexican cheeses. It occurs in a particular context.
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- 1 Features
- 2 Importance
- 3 Elaboration
- 4 Pairing
- 5 Sources
Ivory yellow to golden yellow semi-hard paste, made with 100% whole cow’s milk. It has a flat cylindrical shape of medium format whose dimensions on average are 20 cm in diameter and 10 cm in height, and variable weight of up to 5 kg per piece, usually matures. It is produced only in small quantities and has practically a designation of origin. Made from fluid milk, from cow or goat, fundamentally raw, with the minimum use of additives: rennet, salt and possibly calcium chloride. They have a strong national historical root. They are manufactured within the country by Mexicans. Many of these cheeses are regional or merely local and are the expression of ecological conditions and traditional knowledge of the territory where they are made.
This cheese has played a relevant role in the rural development of Mexico; The opportunities offered to small and medium milk producers that generally do not find a place in industrialized chains, the stability they bring to the price of milk in the face of seasonality, the expansion of the job offer, the generation of added value in rural areas, and the improvement of family income in the territories where they are produced; in general terms, they favor a set of social and economic dynamics around the production and marketing of milk and cheese, in the food security and sovereignty of the country, since they participate in reducing dependence on this type of products (the cheese trade balance in Mexico is negative),
For its later elaboration, strain the milk with fine cloth. Subsequently, it is heated with boiler steam in the stainless steel tub for slow pasteurization. It is then pumped to a plate heat exchanger, where it is cooled and then passed to the stainless steel double bottom setting tubs. By stirring the milk, calcium chloride is added, in a concentration of 200 grams per 1000 liters. Then, a direct inoculated lactic culture is added, containing Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis and L. l. ssp. cremoris in adequate quantity. The milk inoculated with the culture is left to rest. Then renin or microbial rennet is added, stirring while distributing. To cut the curd, a vertical stainless steel lyre is used across the length and width of the vat to form “rectangular prisms”.
The grain is stirred for half an hour and rests for five to ten minutes; Stir again for another half hour, raising the temperature to 37-38 degrees and rest for another ten minutes. For the draining, with a stainless steel rake, the curd is placed at the opposite end to the whey exit. The curd is then cut with a stainless steel knife to form blocks, which continue to be cut successively until they are about one inch in size. During the course of this operation, serum is gradually eliminated; the pasta ferments a little and is given a very light texture. Fine salt (2% by mass) is added to the already fragmented pasta. Subsequently, the curd is placed in stainless steel molds, open on both sides, to which previously a cotton canvas is placed. Once molded, the cheeses are placed in a screw press on stainless steel plates (four per plate), and increasing pressure is exerted for approximately four to six hours. Once the first pressing time is completed, they are removed from the molds and overflow. They are then turned over and pressed again.
After 18 hours, they are removed from the press and from the molds, the edges are removed with the help of a knife, and air-dried for one hour. The cheeses are placed on wooden shelves, in refrigeration chambers of 4 to 8 degrees for a period of four to six weeks. They are turned daily for the first two weeks and then every two or three days. After being in the maturing chamber, they are cleaned by scraping them when there is little mold, or by washing and carving them with a broomstick if there is too much.
It combines very well with red wines.