March is Vegetarian Month – the perfect time to ditch meat and go veggie. But, if you’re a committed carnivore, foregoing meat for a month could prove a challenge.
You may also not realise that not all cheeses that are available are vegetarian, as some are made with animal rennet. All Dragon cheeses are made with vegetarian rennet and therefore suitable when following a vegetarian diet.
We need to add rennet to cheese; it is an essential ingredient in cheese-making as it coagulates the milk causing it to form a large junket like a blancmange. The junket is then cut to separate into curds and whey. The curd is what cheese becomes. The curds and whey are stirred together before the whey is drained over a large sieve. The curd then passes through a machine, called a ‘Cheddaring’ machine which helps the curds knit together. The curd is then milled into small chips and then blown into open tables where it is continually stirred and turned to help to drain away any remaining whey. Salt is then added, which we do the traditional way by hand and once fully mixed, the cheese chips are blown into ‘blockformers’ which enable the sheer weight of the cheese, under vacuum, to form 20kg block, and then it’s onto maturation, with the cheese left for a chosen length of time dependent upon whether it’s a mild, medium or mature cheese.
This Vegetarian Month, why not try a selection of recipes using our Vegetarian Welsh Cheese?
For a delicious lunchtime snack or easy teatime treat, then Smoky Boston Beans are delicious, tasty and filling, especially when served with lightly toasted bread or a jacket potato.
Cheddar & Roasted Pepper Tartlets are super-easy to make and are a great starter when entertaining friends, or can be transformed into a larger family meal.
We’d love to see your recipes using our award-winning Welsh Cheeses, so please share on our Facebook page.