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Drying and washing

When the cheese acquired its shape, it was placed on the shingles - thin, planed boards with dimensions of approximately 130 x 25 and less than 2 cm thick. The shingles were adapted to the size of the “drier”; their dimensions were unified only with the machine production. The planed shingles prevented curd cheese from sliding. Originally, when weather permitted, the cheese was dried in the sun. Shingle sizes usually allowed to place one threescore of cheese on one shingle, shingles for thirty cheese pieces are also documented. The loaded shingles were stored in stands, simple racks, anchored firmly to the wall; later on, during mass production, they were replaced by the mobile racks. During drying, the shingles in the racks were relocated several times, i.e. the top ones were moved down and vice versa, so that the whole batch may be dried uniformly.

Original stands for shingles
Chamber driers
Shingles for drying
Sun drying in the yard

Foot treading represented the most laborious work and drying was the most sensitive part of production. The process of drying began at a lower temperature and final drying lasted for 1-2 days at the temperature of 30 to 35°C. If the cheese was dried too quickly, the curd cheese remained hard, was crumbly and had an undesirable colour (turned blue or black). Underdried cheese was runny and molten. The properly dried cheese was - bathed - as follows: cheese pieces were poured manually directly from the shingles shingles (during machine production sometimes using steel strings or a “scraper”) into the bathtub, tank or a similar container, where they were washed in salt water and/or in whey after sweet types of cheese. They were agitated slowly by hand and separated from each other. For mass production large washing machines with a rotating cylinder a rotating cylinder were used. When washed, the curd cheese was thrown loosely into crates - boxes - with perforated bottom or, more frequently, with cut off corners so that the water may drain off.

Boxes for curd cheese dripping
Curd cheese washing machine – mass production
Curd cheese washing
Curd cheese washing machine

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