Bacillus Subtillus anybody??

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    Howard Wilkinson

    I’ve played with microbes since I was a child…….. well over 50 years. Some I probably should not talk about 😉 But mostly food or alcohol related microbes, but I’ve dabbled in decomposition microbes and agricultural microbes……. I probably should have been a microbiologist. I was given my first microscope for my tenth birthday, and never looked back.

    My new best friend is Bacillus Subtillus. I have a culture of it going as I write. The popular Japanese food Natto is fermented with B Subtillus. The flavor is quite rank, and offensive to the western palette, but it is the best source of vitamin K2 which is extremely valuable. I culture it, and dehydrate it for the most part, and use the powder in various things from smoothies to hummus where a little bit goes a long way.

    The flavor of natto has been compared to a ripened cheese, and I’m actually considering including this in one of my cheeses. It feeds on proteins, and is usually made with soybeans. I don’t know if it would culture within a cheese, as it seems to need some oxygen. A small amount of it would provide an interesting flavor profile. As it is not used as a cheese culture anywhere I have found, it probably would be best suited to a crumbly cheese like the paneer I’ve been playing with. On my next go around, I will try this to see if it will take… I will forgo the salt, and avoid adding any other culture at the outset, though I might add kefir after 24 hours enhance the flavor profile.

    Any thoughts or insights???

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