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Schoolyard Blues in South Taranaki Back to News
26th September 2017 09:41pm

Massey University in collaboration with Fonterra are putting blue cheese on the menu at Hawera High School. The Schoolyard Blues project aims to engage Taranaki students in the science of cheese making, and along the way create a blue cheese that is more attractive to a young audience.

The first and most important step in any cheese related endeavour is to sample the cheese you intend to create. Nearly all of the Hawera High School students involved in the Schoolyard Blues project had never tried blue cheese before. Certainly none of them had ever made a blue cheese. Cue Fonterra cheese maker Cathy Lang. Across two days of meticulous stirring, gentle heating, rennet adding, curd cutting, whey draining, basket filling, cheese flipping, surface salting, and finally some tactical piercing the Schoolyard Blues students created their blue cheeses. The cheese must now mature for 4-5 weeks before consumption.

In between cheese making steps the students were lucky enough to have food scientist Alistair Carr of Massey University lead them through small experiments and delight them with dairy related facts.

Each group of students have made a control cheese and one that varies from the recipe in either the way it is salted, or the way it is pierced. Cheeses will be judged by the students to find which method or variation produces the most palatable result.

The Schoolyard Blues project is funded by the Curious Minds Participatory Science Platform which is coordinated locally by Venture Taranaki. For more information contact Josh Richardson at josh@venture.org.nz or 06 759 5158.

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