Latvian cheese is in consistently high demand not only in its historic homeland. It is eagerly tasted by visiting tourists, taken home for a sample to relatives. Also in some supermarkets in Europe you can find the most popular varieties from this country, sent for export.
Gourmets are used to the fact that the most exquisite offers for cheese are traditionally offered by plants from France and Switzerland. Even the same Lithuanian Jugas is considered a more popular solution than the classic Latvian counterparts. But the latter are famous for their relatively democratic price, while maintaining excellent taste characteristics.
Strict requirements for the production process and the final product help the maintenance of the image of bona fide manufacturers. This allowed the production of local cheese makers to become repeated winners of various thematic contests.
Unlike many countries that were previously part of the Soviet Union, Latvians began to produce cheese in large quantities at the dawn of the twenties of the last century. Over the years of regular deliveries, people have become accustomed to the good quality of the finished delicacies, as well as rightly appreciated the semi-solid consistency.
Specialists recipes of local experts require the use of traditional rennet, which some other manufacturers refused to reduce costs and time. However, most of these proposals have a fairly high rate of fat, which is not always like people who want to follow the harmony. But the gourmets call it the fatness of the main acting force, which gives the slice unique distinctive taste characteristics.
It is believed that the canons of Latvian cheese making are based on the basics derived from German experts in their field. The main recipe was the cooking instructions of the German legendary Backstein. Since then, until today, the only company that delivers truly genuine Latvian cheese to the market has been Smiltenes piens.
The masters decided not to change the previously usual cooking strategy, leaving everything almost as it was. No wonder that cheese is still cooked by hand here. This technology is used, characteristic of most hard cheeses, but with a few deviations.
The main secret-difference is the absence of a standard pressing phase. This allows the mass to ripen on the principle of soft varieties.
Instead of cargo, several excreted lactic acid bacteria actively work here, which contribute to efficient and uniform ripening. They act as a kind of press of natural origin.
The result will please spicy taste and spicy aftertaste, the aroma will surprise with a pronounced cheese smell.
How to choose?
According to the established rules, the head should mature two months. For convenience, the subsequent implementation of the product form the bars. And each piece can boast:
- 45% fat;
- 3% salt.
Each head, on average, pulls around 2.5 kilograms. And inside the consumer expects an elastic consistency, which, despite the doubts of consumers, is cut very simply. At the cut, one can see branded oval eyes, but without thoroughly repeating this geometric shape.
Since such goodies are often forged, experts advise to carefully inspect the purchase before purchasing it. Particular attention should be paid to the crust, which:
- should have a reddish tint;
- don't be dried out.
The mass itself will vary in color from light brown to rich orange. If the head has any other shades, then this indicates either a fake or a stale product.
If the buyer manages to find the original cheese, he will be able not only to obtain moral satisfaction, which is typical of all gourmets, but also to replenish his own body with various vitamins.
The presence in the mass of amino acids and microelements allows to stabilize the indicators of sugar in the blood. And due to the tandem of calcium and phosphorus, it turns out to protect the bone skeleton from the damage that occurs during age-related changes.
In total, this will be achieved if you do not exceed the daily dosage and buy only Latvian-made high-quality cheese.