Discussions about making cheese, whether on the farm, as a hobby, or industrially.

Cheese is At Least 8000 Years Old

One of the things I love most about cheese is that, like wine and bread, it is a food whose consumption reminds us of the part we play in the thread of history. It is something that, unlike the Twinkie for example, has been made and eaten for millenia.

Dairy Cooking Vessels

The Discovery Channel reports on two new studies that show that people in Hungary, Romania and Switzerland were making cheeses as early as 8,000 years ago. The researchers analyzed dirty cooking pots (which were dated using conventional carbon and nitrogen isotope dating methods) that still contained ancient fatty residues (mmm!). Analysis of these residues indicated that they were likely from ewe's and goat's milks. Soot on the bottom of the vessels suggested that the milk was probably cooked in some way, leading the scientists to believe that

Kosher Cheesemaking Chart

The prohibitions regarding kosher cheese are quite confusing (as are many rules of Jewish observance when you get down to it), but our friends at the Kosher Blog have posted a handy and informative chart detailing the rules of kashrut as applied to the cheesemaking process. In addition, there is a larger "Executive Summary" outlining the larger issues at hand. The terminology does require some familiarity with both cheesemaking and kashrut, which I realize some readers of this blog may not have. However if you are an inquisitive mind, a good hard dose of Google will help you understand.

Dairy Science

Just found this site: Dairy Science and Food Technology. The site has loads of information about the many bacterial cultures used in cheesemaking. Not for the science phobic.

Cheese Sale at Cal Poly

Every December, the Cal Poly Cheese program at the Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA holds a cheese sale from that season's make. This year production is up 10% and according to the press release, the sale this year will be the biggest yet. They make seven varieties of cheese, from a mix of milk that's 60% Jersey and 40% Holstein: Gouda , Smoked Gouda , Mustang Cheddar, Smoked Cheddar, Chipotle Jack, San Luis Lace and Reduced Fat Lace.

Cheesemaking Workshop Update

Jim Wallace has posted an update about all the cheeses we made at the workshop last week, including pictures. They all look like they're progressing nicely!

Cheesemaking Workshop

This weekend I attended a fantastic, two-day, advanced cheesemaking workshop held by Jim Wallace of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. The workshop focused on making French cheeses, in particular Brie/Camembert (which, it turns out, are quite similar recipes despite their differences in shape), Reblochon, and Tomme de Savoie.

Cheese Varieties and Their Differing Methods of Manufacture

A diagram taken from Harold McGee's excellent food science book On Food and Cooking, which shows basic types of cheese and how they differ by manufacture. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Books on Cheese

The Cheesemaker's Manual, by Margaret Morris

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