Both batches of chevre, both made with fresh raw milk but one with proportionally more rennet, were ready to eat today so I did a side by side comparison. The difference is amazing. You can see some of the textural differences in the photo above but its actually much more dramatic in person.The batch with less rennet (proportionally) than the recipe called for turned out great. It can smoothly be spread on bread or a cracker or pressed into a log. Herbs and spices can easily be mixed in with a fork. It is a bit too soft to be crumbled onto a salad like feta, but since I mostly eat it spread on crackers or veggies I prefer it on the soft side!
The over ripened batch with too much rennet is very firm- almost the texture of a grocery store cheddar. I put a portion of it in a mold when it was draining and this small round sliced smoothly and was actually quite nice in a caprese salad. The unmolded curds are very strange, though. They are somewhat like the squeaky cheese curds you can sometimes find sold as “Cheese Curds” but the flavor is a bit sour and the texture isn’t very palatable. It does not spread at all but thankfully it does melt and is nice melted on a piece of toast or crumbled on top of hot stew. It would also probably work well in a melted dip. Because of the sourness of the flavor, it is best mixed with other flavors that balance it out.
The over ripened batch will not go to waste, but I’m very relieved to have discovered why my chevre was turning out so firm as of late so that I can go back to my soft, spreadable chevre!