My email this evening to Holly Gale of Smoky Valley Goat Cheese who’s consulting on my cheese cellaring project.
“Finally hit an aging hurdle. These Valencays went in there in mid October, so nearly 2 months. They looked like this when they did. They held up really well until the last week or two.
What’s interesting is that they seem to have dried considerably, but not softened. And that brown mold simply does not look friendly. I’m going to cut them open to do a post-mortem on them and see what the inside is like tomorrow when I have some good light to take pictures.
The rest of the cheeses in that case show no sign of this. There’s a chance it was because I crack the lid to allow humidity to escape on the opposite side of where these are – perhaps resulting in too much humidity on their side of the case [95%+]?
Look forward to hearing whether you’ve seen this or not, and what you figure it is.
“Wow, looks interesting! I’ve never had/seen anything like that before but I wish I could achieve that brown color on my Tommes. I’m taking a wild guess that it is some kind of oxidation as the micro flora is coming to an end. With the Valencay becoming too dry it probably is not sustaining it well enough??? Also, I use a Geo 17 for my St. Maure & Valencay. This particular Geo has a short life span and may have also contributed to what I think looks like oxidation by-product. I wonder if the Tommes were left long enoug that the Mycodore (white felt mold) would die off too and create more of a brownish rind – Holly”