Adding herbs etc

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  • #2040 Reply

    Hi there

    As a beginner cheesemaker, one issue I find confusing is what other ingredients such as herbs and spices you can safely add to cheese, or to oil that cheese is marinated in. For instance I know in general we are told that garlic in oil is a potential botulism risk. But you see things like feta in oil with fresh garlic in the shops all the time. So how can you add garlic in a safe way?
    As far as I’m aware, adding anything dried to oil is fine, but what about fresh ingredients such as fresh herbs, lemon slices, chillies etc.
    Also, is it safe to add fresh ingredients directly to the cheese or should they be dried. If it is safe, how does it affect the shelf life of the cheese?

    Any information would be much appreciated.

    #3740 Reply

    Liv. I am no expert here but I am very careful of what I add to cheese. The fact that cheese can last virtually forever and most other foods rot or spoil is some indication of just what can be added. I microwave even dryed herbs for ten or twenty seconds to sterilize them. I only use pickled hot peppers or dryed pepper flakes. I don’t believe fresh anything and aged cheese make a good combination. Fresh cheese is a different story and herbs and fresh ingredients are used. I used to even microwave horseradish before I added it but found it made the flavor bland so I began using high quality horseradish straight from the jar but still try to consume in a month or so. The environment inside cheese is acidic, salty, and void of much water. All three help make for less bad bacteria growth but still one needs to err on the side of caution.

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