An interview with Head Cavemaster PJ
Meet Crushed Velvet, our latest Cavemaster Labs cheese! This colorful cheese is a beautiful bloomy experiment that’s been rubbed with hibiscus and aged in our Caves, emerging with a distinct new flavor and unique purple hue. Buttery, velvety, earthy, and sweet, this floral masterpiece is one show-stopping cheese. We sat down with Head Cavemaster Peter (PJ) Jenkelunas to get the inside scoop on our latest release:
What’s the original cheese used?
St. Stephen from Four Fat Fowl.
What was the inspiration for creating this cheese?
We’ve experimented with hibiscus in the past, and we realized that the Hibiscus turned the cheese slightly pink/purple around the cream line. We thought this would be a fun thing to do for Valentine’s day.
*Editor’s Note: Though reddish-purple coloring is atypical in cheese, our hibiscus rub has the desired effect of creating a light lilac band around the cream line, like a cheesy tie-dye.
Was the creation process different at all from our other Cavemaster Labs cheeses?
Every Cavemaster Labs cheese is unique. Someone comes up with an idea, and we put together a prototype.
How is it aged and treated?
We received green St. Stephen, and immediately rubbed it with dried hibiscus petals. It was then treated similarly to our other bloomy rind cheeses: it was aged for 2-3 weeks, and flipped every other day.
What’s the flavor profile?
It’s very buttery and slightly floral. It’s a little bit fruity and berry-like. I would say the red-fruit flavor most closely resembles fresh cherries.
How does the flavor and treatment differ from our other flower and herb-rubbed cheeses?
The hibiscus lends a unique color to the paste of the cheese. It is also not very subtle–you can tell that the hibiscus is there.