Farm­house kitchen

A sim­ple cheese with a kick

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - WORDS JEAN MANS­FIELD

Dave and I are pre­par­ing for our 2017 over­seas trip and this year we’ve de­cided it’s time for a new ad­ven­ture.

That’s why be­fore we head to the UK to see our daugh­ter, and then France to ex­plore the wine and cheese, we are fly­ing to Doha. It’s the cap­i­tal of Qatar, a penin­sula that juts out into the Per­sian Gulf, dwarfed by its neigh­bour Saudi Ara­bia.

We have vis­ited the Mid­dle East be­fore and I am al­ways fas­ci­nated how they keep their cheese for ex­tended pe­ri­ods in the quite fierce heat.

Do­miati (pro­nounced doh-my-a-dee) or white cheese is a com­mon cheese you’ll find in the mar­ket places of Doha, lay­ered and pick­ling in large vats of brine.

Although it looks and tastes a bit like feta, it is made dif­fer­ently, it can be very strongly flavoured, and the older it gets, the more ac­quired the taste.

Not many cheeses have salt added to the milk when you be­gin the recipe, but do­miati is one of them. Salt in­hibits bac­te­rial growth and the milk will be more re­sis­tant to in­va­sion from un­wanted bac­te­ria. How­ever, it is also dif­fi­cult to get flavour devel­op­ment from a starter cul­ture be­cause of this.

The tex­ture, salti­ness and keep­ing prop­er­ties are its strengths. It doesn’t form a rind and has a fairly soft-close (no holes) tex­ture which hard­ens and turns flakey when old.

it can get very strongly flavoured; the older it gets, the more ac­quired the taste

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