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I’ve seen man caves devoted to rest and relaxation, sports and gambling, and other “manly” activities, but my idea of a man cave is an actual cave where you can store and age your slow foods.  In my old house, the red brick basement stays between 55 and 60 degrees year around and averages 65-75% percent humidity, making it a perfect “cave”.

While I didn’t do much cooking today – started a new batch of milk ripening for a surfaced ripened moldy soft cheese and roasted a batch of coffee – I did get the root cellar rearranged to satisfy my desire to have a place to age the cheeses, wines, and cured meats, plus act as a root cellar for my canned and dried goods.

an antique sofa to sit on and view the cheese maturing


From the repurposed seating I can survey my foods and enjoy my new man-cave cheese cave, wine cellar, root cellar.

A variety of cheese aging in a basement cheese cave

Some of the cheeses, including a cloth-wrapped and hay-wrapped mold ripened soft cheese, a few hard cheeses, and some triple-cream paprika coated and layered cheeses.

Triple Creme, ash covered cheese ripening

Mold ripened, ash coated soft triple-cream cheeses.

a mold ripened cheese wrapped in hay

That hay-wrapped mold ripened cheese looks just about ready to cut into!

a hybrid cheddared tomme cheese

This big guy has just started aging, he’s young at just as week.  He’s a hybrid between the traditional tomme style, mixed with a cheddar style.  A couple different types of bacteria for flavor, and a salt rub to finish.

cheese rubbed with dehydrated tomato and hot peppers

This tall boy is going to be hot.  I started with the idea of adding a powdered tomato layer using some dehydrated tomatoes I had from the garden, and at the last minute added what I thought was one of my dehydrated jalapenos, but now think it must have been a dried habanero.  It’s spicy!

duck prosciutto, spanish style chorizo dry curing in the basement cave.

Duck prosciutto and Spanish style chorizo.

The cheese cave doubles as a root cellar

Some of the canned goods, including the ketchup, salsa, sauerkraut, etc.

cheese cave doubling as wine cellar

Wine and Sherry…I need more.basement cheese cave, wine cellar, and root cellar all-in-oneAnd finally, a view of the setup.