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The best part about making cheese is eating the cheese!  This bloomy ash is about 6 weeks old.  It’s good but not great – a little more firm than I’d have liked but still good enough to eat in one sitting!

The milk is a local product from the Kilgus Farmstead, so far the most local small dairy I could find in the area with cream-top, fresh, pasteurized milk.  It produces great curds with an excellent flavor of its own.  The ash came from hay harvested on my three-acre homesite baked in the oven under a moderate broiler.

Central Illinois Bloomy Ash

Here’s a cut-away showing the interior layer of ash.  While I was going for a soft, hopefully runny, cheese, this one turned out firm towards the rind, with the interior somewhat soft.  The flavor was slightly tart with a nutty undertone.Bloomy Ash Central Illinois