Saturday, March 30, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Cheese Making

Pyeongchang on the map
              Day 5: Nov/21/2012, 2.30 pm: After lunch, it was about 30 minutes journey and our bus arrived at the Uiyaji Wind Village at Pyeongchang for our next itinerary - cheese making. The early winter weather was a chill 3 degree, and we have to bundled up again before make our way down. As usual there is a gift shop that first greeted us on the right as Kent led the way, with his flag waved high in the crisp air, marching us to our next 'battle'.
              Located on the highlands of Pyeongchang county, the Uiyaji Wind Village is a mountain village situated on top of Daegwalleyong, about 800 meters above sea level. Because of its abundant early winter snowfall, it was also one of the first places for skiing in Korea. 
At Uiyaji Wind Village, the activity one can enjoy are the sight of sheep grazing peacefully on the expansive green fields. The area where Samyang Farm and Hanil Farm are located is the site of the nation’s largest grassland. There is also a wind power generation complex that utilizes the wind coming over the hills. This is also where high-altitude, low-temperature agro-farming began in Korea. Produce grown here includes potatoes, Napa cabbage, carrots, and onions. Beside 
Snow Park experience, other activities include candle craft experience, soap craft experience, foam clay mask making, cheese making, etc.
             Similar to Kimchi School the day before, we were assigned a lady host who will teach us the process. Our lady host does not speak Mandarin, so Kent acts as our interpreter. We are assigned as a table for our family and the drum roll begins. The cheese making process are more akin of making tofu, and to the delight of Little M, he got the 'major' tasks of adding ingredients, stirring and deciding what decorative to put on our cheese on the step-by-step cues of our lady host. Little M was all smile and proudly showed off his cheese at the end of the process. We had a good time and we finished off our cheese at the end of the session. 
             Here are some pictures I took cheese-making at Uiyaji Wind farm:

Location: 8, Saburang-gil, Daegwannyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang -gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea. 
Tel: +82-33-336-9812~3 
Middle M leads the way ahead of us toward the blue-roof cheese making building.
We arrived at the wooden building that housed the cheese making demonstration.
Our lady host explaining something in Korean to Kent who then translates it to us.
The main ingredients in the cheese making process. The GDL is the separating agent that separate water from protein and hold the milk protein together.
We were ready, and Little M started to stir as the milk heated up. It was more like science experiment to us.
As in all cooking show, the chef always took a sip of wine or the ingredient at cook. Here the cook, i.e. Little M took a breather and took a sip of his goat milk.
The milk is boiling and almost ready to be poured into a mold. We switched off the fire to stop the boiling.
Little M laid out some flower at the base of the mold before the boiling milk was poured on.
Mummy M helped Little M poured the boiling curd milk into the mold as it was too hot for him to handle.
Mummy M showed off some jam to be taken together with biscuits and our hand made cheese when it was ready.
The cheese were being pressed to squeeze out any excess water, not much different from making soya bean curd or tofu.
Family team work -  the whole family lend their weigh, or I say their hands.

The cheese was ready after much water was squeezed out.
Middle M took over and flipped the pressed cheese over so that it is upside down.
Mummy M helped to remove the muslin cloth to uncover the cheese as it was too hot for Middle M's delicate fingers.
Our cheese came out concave in the center as too much force was applied there, nevertheless this was our first hand made cheese. Yes!
Middle M cut the cheese in smaller portion to eat with the biscuits while Big M looks on.
Chow time - Little M had the first bite and he reached out for more. We finished off the cheese in no time, more for the nostalgic moment rather than the taste.

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