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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1450

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Margarine.—Butter and margarine are classed together in the list of imports published by the Custom House, and until the Act of 1881 butter and margarine were sold together to the general public, both under the name of the more expensive product. By the provisions of the Act, passed to prevent the fraudulent sale of artificial butter, margarine, known also as oleo-margarine, must only be sold under that name, while butter must be made exclusively of milk or cream. Margarine is bought by pastrycooks and by some large consumers, as well as by retail traders, and, if well manufactured and sold at a reasonable retail price, would be a most valuable addition to the food of the people, who commonly suffer from a want of fatty food. Margarine is made of oleo-margarine, the oily constituent of the fat of animals, melted, mixed with a certain proportion of milk and of butter, and then churned. Afterwards it is washed and worked like butter, and made up to imitate the kinds most in demand. If carefully prepared and made from pure fats, margarine has a high nutritive value, but is always less digestible than butter, and it is sometimes carelessly prepared and insufficiently purified.


Cheese is the Curd of Milk, dried.—This curd, or casein, which is held in solution in the whey under natural conditions, or so long as the milk is fresh, has the curious property of coagulating under the influence of an acid.

Lactic acid, formed in the milk, serves to precipitate the curd in the ordinary process of souring. Curd is formed in the first stage of digestion by the action of the gastric acid of the stomach. Lemon-juice is often used to make curd for cheesecakes. In cheese making "rennet," or "runnet," is used—a preparation from the stomach of the calf; or in some countries, principally in Holland, a weak solution of hydrochloric acid is substituted for the rennet.

Method of Making.—Although the broad principles of cheese making may be said to apply to all varieties of a particular class, the cheese of each county has certain distinguishing characteristics. That of Cheshire and Wales has a crumbly texture, and a deep yellow colour, produced artificially by the addition of anatto. Cheddar cheese, although similar in shape and size, is less crumbly, and usually of a pale colour. The methods employed in making these well-known varieties of cheese are almost identical. They are usually made of whole milk, unless the milk is very rich in cream, in which case the night's milk is skimmed before adding that of the morning. A properly equipped dairy is provided with a jacketed milk vat, so contrived that the milk may be surrounded with either hot or cold water. By these means the temperature of the milk is raised to a suitable heat, usually about 70° Fahr., and the rennet is added. The temperature is then raised and maintained at a higher level until the curd is firm