This tool at Smith’s Tavern was a curd cutter. It has a wooden handle attached to a metal shaft, ending in an “S” shaped wide blade.
This tool was used to hand cut the curd before it went into cheese molds. Many say to cut the curds as precisely as possible, but others will say "precision" cutting wasn't that important. Curds may or may need to be cut "precisely" but there was a certain satisfaction in seeing uniformly sized cubes floating in the whey when stirred.
Curds are the white, solid, coagulated milk proteins that separate from the whey in milk after the addition of a coagulant such as rennet or vinegar, or by natural bacterial activity in milk left out at warm temperatures for a time. Cutting the curd is an essential step in the cheesemaking process, as it provides more surface area for continued drainage of the whey. Some recipes advise cutting the curds in larger pieces to achieve a moister cheese, while some advise cutting them smaller, to produce a drier cheese. Most recipes specify the curd size needed for the particular style of cheese being made.
|Location:||Right Shelves - Bottom|