thistle, (Cynara cardunculus), rennet

Thistle Rennet can “accelerate” the aging of young cheeses

Thistle Rennet has a documented use as far back as the time of the Roman Empire. In addition to being used as a rennet, there is evidence to show that thistle rennet can “accelerate” the aging of young cheeses, making a one-month-old cheddar taste as if it were aged significantly longer, and be an effective protease for EMC Production.  For EMC production, it can be used to create a strong flavor from fresh or young cheese, or cultured milk.  The result is the production of a flavor that mimics a long-aged cheese and only a matter of days.

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Thistle Rennet has a documented use as far back as the time of the Roman Empire.It is mentioned in the works of Lucius Junius Columella in his treatise De Re Rustica: “though (milk) can also be coagulated with the flower of the wild thistle…” One of the primary reasons that Vegetarian rennets, such as the Thistle rennet, are used is that, unlike Animal Rennet, the botanical rennets are not limited by potential religious restrictions. Thistle Rennet is suitable for use in both Kosher and Halal Cheese. While other options may exist now, 2000 years ago, the choice for cheese making was limited.

Intense flavor
Using thistle rennet as a protease helps intensify the natural flavor in the cheese without modifying it too much or causing the production of other flavor notes. When used at higher dosages, it can add a slight herbal note that can complement the cheese flavor. The main concern that most thistle rennet users have is the generation of bitter flavor notes, which is a result of over hydrolysis or overdosing of the enzyme. Commercially produced, this all rennet is standardized based on activity allowing users to have better control over their hydrolysis and reduce the possibility of generating bitter flavor notes.