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Finnish cheese mould Cheese mould is a container into which curds resulting in cheese making are poured and left to stand and drain until firm. The bottom of the mould has openings or holes for the excess whey to run out.

Cheese moulds come in many different shapes and sizes. Traditional Finnish moulds intended for domestic use are mainly small, rectangular frames made of birch wood. A decorative pattern is usually carved on the bottom of the frame, so that it will be imprinted on the surface of the firm cheese.

In picture above: a traditional Finnish cheese mould made of birch wood, fitted with a lid to press the cheese.

In the old days, making fresh, homemade cheese in the summer was an annual tradition in every Finnish farmhouse that kept cows. Because their feed was scarce during the winter, the cows did not start producing milk until spring, so summer was the only time possible to make cheese and other fresh or fermented dairy products.

To make fresh cheese, milk is heated and curdled with rennet, a lactic bacterial culture (found in buttermilk, for example) or an acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, causing the protein in the milk to coagulate. The curdling separates the curd from the whey. The drained curd may then be pressed to form a block of soft cheese, usually using a cheese mould.

See a recipe for making traditional Finnish egg cheese.


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