So a while back I got myself some starter cultures from our partners in Spain. They specialize in bacteria cultures for charcuterie and started to get into the nuances of beer production as well. They’ve even isolated some of the cultures used in producing Jamon Iberico. I got a hold of that culture too and went to making different sausages. Man, they make such a huge difference.
But after the novelty of curing sausages wore of, my scatter brain thought, what else can I do with this stuff?! I’ve seen cultured butter before, maybe that’s something I can dabble in, but with cream.
Let me tell you right now that man, the differences were astounding for some of them, as well as the textures. Keep in mind this was a spur of the moment trial. I’m also not sure if the stainless steel containers react with the cream.
Day 2 of the fermentation. Differences are starting to appear.
- Heat the heavy cream (35% fat) to 40 degrees Celsius and separate them into 5 containers
- Add 1% sugar, by total weight.
- Add the different strains of starter cultures to each container
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 3 days. My kitchen lab hovers between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.
Here are the notes.
Control – no culture added
This one was slightly unappetizing, and had some bitter notes. It was just reminiscent of spoiled cream, the kind that’s been left at the back of the fridge for 2 months. It was also a bit sour but it was not very pronounced. No trace of sweetness
Cultures 1 and 2 on the center. Control is the one on the very left.
This tasted like that honey yogurt you get off grocery stores, but with a milder yogurt flavour. In fact, I would say the flavour was quite mild overall, but delicious. The texture was also like smooth and soft store bought yogurt.
This one had a very interesting flavour – sweet and strong hints of lemon. It definitely surprised me! It also didn’t loosen up when I stirred it around, so the viscosity is consistent. The texture was like double cream.
Cultures 4 and 5
This was by far my favourite due to the overall balance of flavour and texture. It tasted of mild yogurt with a hint of acidity. The texture was rich and velvety like a 10% fat Greek yogurt. It would also hold its shape.
Last but not the least, is the Iberico cultures. Texture was not that great – in fact it was quite runny and a bit stringy, as if Xanthan gum was added to it. But the flavour…wow! Very strong nutty note, and reminiscent of hazelnuts.
All of them side by side
So the next step is to perhaps combine the cultures to try and get the best qualities. I would mix Cultures 4 and 5. But who knows, the cultures might compete with each other and I would get something completely different!