A different day out to say the least! Prepare to get messy on this cheese making day in London. This was a fantastic day out. As well as being lots of fun, you will go home with a wealth of knowledge about milk and cheese and plenty to eat too. Note… if swearing easily offends you, bring some earplugs!!! …
Wildes Cheese is based in Tottenham, London. I purchased the course for my son’s birthday as he loves cheese and I am so glad I did! After attending the day with him, I realised it is also a great activity to do alone as no partner was necessary. Therefore, it will now be included on my website as a recommended solo activity to do in London.
Wildes Cheese, Queen Street, London N17 8JA
On arrival we were provided with a hairnet and apron which were worn at all times. We were briefed about hygiene necessary for cheese making and frequently washed our hands. Sometimes we washed up to our elbows!
The two guys that run it, Phil and Keith were very nice. Phil cracked jokes a lot, often at the expense of others and sometimes the language was strong. But it was always done in a fun way, nobody was bothered by it and everyone laughed…a lot! In fact it seemed to add to the enjoyment of the day. With everyone laughing and having a common interest of cheese, it didn’t matter that we were individuals from different backgrounds, ranging in age from teens to 70s.
Early into the day we were tasting the delicious hard cheese similar to Wensleydale and a softer blue cheese. We tasted them at various stages of maturity which helped us identify how strong/mild we prefer the cheese to be. This prepared us for the maturation process we would be continuing at home.
All the people who attended paired up. Each couple was given 3 buckets of milk and a different mother culture was stirred into each. We also had to inject it with vegetarian rennet.
Mid morning, more cheeses and crackers were set out on the table for us to enjoy as a snack.
We were taught how to cut the curd into 1cm and 2cm cubes to separate the curds and whey. The smaller the cubes, the harder the cheese would finally be. We did not cut the curd in the third bucket as this was going to be our soft, French style cheese, similar to a brie or camembert.
For lunch we were served a selection of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit, salad and dressings along with water, tea and coffee. Cakes and biscuits were also available mid afternoon.
We were then shown how to scoop up and mix the curds to release more whey before putting it into the moulds to bring home.
We flavoured our selection of soft cheeses with a large variety of herbs, spices and pastes to make our own unique flavours. One of the cheeses I made was with harissa paste, coriander and preserved lemon. These are perfect for crackers or in a jacket potato.
We brought the cheeses home in moulds to finish the maturation process at home. Mine are well on the way now…
This was a well run and extremely enjoyable day. I can highly recommend it as a solo activity in London.