Using Whey to Make Ethanol

Whey, the protein and sugar-laden by-product of cheesemaking, may turn out to be an important raw material in the manufacture of ethanol. Sometimes seen as a problem of disposal, whey can in fact be reused for a number of other applications. Ricotta cheese is traditionally made from the whey left over after mozzarella making; whey is also used as a food supplement for both livestock and humans (as an additive in muscle-building supplements and other foods). But since whey contains a good deal of milk sugar (lactose), scientists are researching ways to turn that sugar into ethanol, a fuel that promises to eclipse crude oil in the next decade.

President Bush referred to ethanol in his 2006 State of the Union Address, and since then the media has been buzzing with news about it. Most of the ethanol in this country is made from

Cheese of the Week - Gubbeen

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In honor of St. Patrick's Day, this week's Cheese of the Week is Gubbeen, a washed-rind cheese made from cow's milk in West Cork, Ireland. The name Gubbeen is from the Gaelic word "gobin" which means "small mouthful," and refers to the bay near where the cheese is made. The dense, savory taste of the cheese is at least partly attributable to the quality of the grass that grows in the warm and humid Gulf Stream climate in West Cork. This cheese uses vegetable rennet and is suitabl

The Endless Debate: Pasteurized or Raw?

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In this recently published article from Gourmet Retailer Magazine, James Mellgren gives a very thorough account of the raging debate between pasteurized and raw milk, particularly as it relates to cheese.

His point about the possibility of quality cheeses made from pasteurized milk is well taken; and if you've ever tried the Mt. Tam or Red Hawk cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, you might be inclined to agree. In the final paragraph of the article, Mellgren says

The Olympics of Cheesemaking

On March 21st through the 23rd, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association will host the 26th biennial World Championship Cheese Contest at the Monona Convention Center in Madison, WI. According to the press release, "dairy manufacturers from more than 20 nations are expected to send more than 1,500" cheeses to the competition, to be judged by an international panel of dairy experts.

Cheeses (and butters) will be judged similarly to olympic sports such as figure skating. Judges will start with a perfect score of 100, and

Cheese of the Week - Chimay Grand Cru

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Made in Belgium by Chimay, the same company behind the fantastic Belgian beers of the same name, Chimay Grand Cru is a semi-hard pressed cheese made from pasteurized cow's milk. Aged for 6 weeks, this is a Trappist cheese in the best sense. It is fairly pungent, super creamy, and, best of all, delicious.

Possible Listeria Drives Recall in Australia

Australian Cooperative Foods is recalling their Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp 500g cheese due to fears of listeria contamination. Since this cheese is made from pasteurized milk, this outbreak should serve as further evidence that listeria is not just a problem for raw-milk cheeses, but is a larger problem for food safety in general. Read the full story here.

Kraft Sees Organics Going Mainstream

NOT FOUND: 1 alignDavid Johnson, president of Kraft Foods' North American Commercial Group, said on Wednesday that he sees the organic movement as "a freight train that's going to pick up steam. I don't think it's a fad." This announcement, made at the Reuters Food Summit in Chicago, comes in the wake of a recent announcement by Wal-Mart that they will begin stocking twice as many organic products as before. Read the full story here.

Feta! Feta! Feta!

Yesterday's New York Times ran a wonderful article about the decision by the European Union to grant "protected designation of origin" status to Greek Feta cheese. If it is possible to determine the greatest cheeses in the world by how often they are badly imitated (e.g. Brie, Parmigiano, Emmenthaler), then Feta is by all means a world-class cheese. Protecting its name in such a way can only help both producers and consumers alike.

One of my favorite ways to serve Feta cheese is to combine it in a summer salad with watermelon and fresh mint. The article in the

Artisanal Cheesemaking on the Rise

The Home News Tribune, out of central New Jersey, posted a story the other day about the recent growth of the artisanal cheese business. The article mentions Franklin Peluso, maker of the famous Teleme cheese, who recently relocated to Maine from California. According to the article, "U.S. cheese consumption grew from

New Look and Feel?

Well, for now anyway. I was having trouble with the old "theme" I'd been using. Apparently in some browsers the page was quite garbled. So I've reverted to a simpler presentation, at least until I iron out the kinks in the old one. Please leave a comment if you have any opinions about this new look and feel or about the old one.

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