Day 373

In Business Ethics, we covered corporate governance models, and learned the basics of how such governance–which is designed to protect shareholders’ investments–has in some cases been subverted in order to provide the company’s senior officers with unlimited power and money.

However, since none of us is likely to start up a huge publicly-owned company, we moved back to ethical dilemmas, with an eye to the types of issues that might face a smaller business. First, Prof. Perry paired us off with a classmate for the purposes of debate. Yes, in two or three weeks, we will be faced off against each other, engaged in a no-holds-barred duel of words and wits regarding an ethical dilemma. Today however, we worked as a team, combing through today’s newspaper, looking for an ethical dilemma, then writing lists of pros and cons for each side of the dilemma. The class then discussed each dilemma.

In Sensory Evaluation, it was the second week of Chef Olson’s 4-week sojourn with us, and today was all about cheese. The “ploughman’s lunch”–some cheese, meat and bread accompanied by beer–has become an enormously popular brewpub dish. Knowing more about cheese is therefore important.

Like the process of dehydrating charcuterie meat in order to preserve it, the process of making cheese is simply an attempt to remove some or most of the water from milk in order to make it last longer than a few days.

The first thing Chef Olson did was pour a litre of 35% cream into a food processor and hit the “On” button. After about 2 minutes, the food processor suddenly went silent as the cream became completely whipped. Then it became noiser and started making “chunking” sounds, and the whipped cream slowly turned pale yellow. Removing the yellow stuff from the food processor, Chef Olson squeezed as much liquid from it as possible, then placed it in ice water to harden it. Yes, he had just made fresh butter. He also showed us a bowl into which he had poured warm milk and then added citric acid. Now, half an hour later, the milk had separated–chunks of solids floated on a clear liquid. He was well on his way to making ricotta cheese.

However,that was enough show and tell. For an hour, he described to us the various processes for making soft cheeses such as Brie, washed cheeses like Oka, firm cheeses like cheddar, hard cheeses such as Parmegiana Reggiano and smelly cheeses like blue cheese. Then it was time to sample each of them, accompanied by a fairly bitter ale, a steam beer, and a Belgian Trappist ale.

It’s good to be a Brewmaster student, but sometimes it’s The.Best.Day.Ever!

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One Comment on “Day 373”

  1. Great blog! Good luck !

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