Hudson Flower Cheeses
Behind The Rind Volume II: Hudson Flower
Hudson Flower Master Profile
Batches Being Offered: Batch “A”
Target Profile: Much of Hudson Flower’s flavor stems from a unique combination of herbs and hops that are rubbed on the rind during production, which combine to create an essence of citrus and pine. The rich, savory taste of the sheep milk cheese holds up well to these intense flavors. Lastly, we get a mild mushroom undertone that is commonly found in Penicillium Candidum (bloomy rind) cheeses, such as brie and camembert.
Actual Profile: This is an excellent batch of Hudson Flower. The cheese was slightly more firm and slightly more acidic than our ideal profile, but it’s well within acceptable range and makes for a delicious eating experience. The pine flavor was also a little higher than normal. All the other tastes and flavors were pretty much on target.
Figure 1 – Spider graph of Hudson Flower sensory attributes for batch “A”. Results are based on an average of 3 tasters. “Target Profile” represents a theoretical batch of Hudson Flower that is perfectly on profile.
Cheese Cave Spotlight
The Flavor of Hudson Flower
Hudson Flower comes in as a green Kinderhook Creek from Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. Like other bloomy rind cheeses in our caves, Hudson Flower spends a small amount of time in the Drying Room to remove excess moisture and promote mold growth. In this case the mold is the fromage rockstar, Pencillium camemberti. This white, pillowy mold is most commonly known from its namesake, camembert. P. camemberti does some heavy lifting in the aging of Hudson Flower. One of the many tasks it performs is the creation of 1-octen-3-ol and 1-octen-3-one, which give the cheese its mushroomy flavor.
Unlike other bloomy rind cheeses in the caves, Hudson Flower is removed from the Drying Room before the mold actually forms- typically after one day. The green cheese is then coated in a blend of herbs and aromatics before being placed back into the caves. This is done so that the mold can grow around the herb mix and incorporate it into the rind. It is this herb blend that lends the cheese its two other characteristic flavors.
Mold development on Hudson Flower cheeses in Murray’s Caves
An non-aged Hudson Flower, covered in the mix of herbs that give the cheese it’s citrusy flavor
The finished product of Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Hudson Flower
Cheese Cave Spotlight
What makes sheep’s milk cheese so special?
Small ruminant dairy (goats and sheep) is generally still considered a niche market in the United States, and as a result, not much research is done with them in our agricultural universities. Often they are treated like “little cows” for the purposes of nutrition, and somehow the myth that goats will eat tin cans continues to propagate (they won’t, by the way -- goats are actually very picky and selective). For this reason I opted to work with dairy goats for my doctoral research, in hopes that I could, even in a minuscule way, contribute to our domestic knowledge base for management of these creatures so that the niche market could continue to thrive.