Sunday afternoons are often a time that I spend doing affinage – caring for our cheeses that are in the process of aging. I have written about the Maggies Round in the past, it is a brushed rind cheese which means that each wheel needs to have the environmental molds brushed off of it regularly. Below are photos of Cara and I brushing this beautiful cheese. We brush the mold into bowls where it can (somewhat) neatly collect.
I enjoy doing affinage because it is a way to interact with the cheese in its (almost) finished form. Actually making cheese is rewarding in many ways but at that point it is just milk and curds and whey – it doesn’t look or feel like cheese as we know it. However, during affinage I can pick up the cheese and hold it and smell it and clean it, experiencing the cheese in a form very close to what it will become. I then put it back on its shelf to continue to age. It is a very satisfying form of maintenance for a living food!