Discussions about making cheese, whether on the farm, as a hobby, or industrially.
I received the following email the other day from Deborah over at the Jersey Cheese Festival:
Cheese made from the milk of Jersey cows is especially tasty, owing to an unusually high cream content. Of course, you wouldn't want to make a Parmigiano-Reggiano from Jersey milk, but most cheeses really benefit from the extra fat. In fact some cheesemakers, like the folks behind Vermont Shepherd and Nettle Meadow Kunik, add Jersey cream to their sheep and goat cheeses to give them some heft and richness.
The Jersey cow originated in Jersey islands of England, but can now be found all over the world. This is the first I've seen of a cheese contest specific to one dairy breed, and it'll be interesting to see the results.
If you have any leads on Jersey cheesemakers for Deborah, leave a comment here or contact her directly.
One of the sections that resonated most personally was one in which Pollan theorizes why many people today fill their lives with activities that draw on ancient or ancestral ways, especially certain food-related activities such as baking bread or making homemade preserves. He proposes that this is largely because we are so
Dairyscience.info is an amazing website that surely puts the "nerd" in curd nerd. Run by Michael Mullan, a food technologist and professor of food science in Ireland, dairyscience.info contains a wealth of scientific information on the bacterial cultures used in cheesemaking, on the organisms that can harm those bacteria (phages), and on factors that can affect quality and quantity (yield) in cheesemaking. If you have any interest in the science of cheesemaking, like I do, you could while away many, many hours browsing this site. There's also a well-populated links page, rounding out one of the best cheese-related sites out there. Apparently the feeling is mutual, since, as of this writing, curdnerds.com is the "featured website" on dairyscience.info!
There were also lots of specific categories, each of which had its own winner. Vermont's own Cabot cheese won
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
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
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