Welcome to Cheese Notes, a blog created to enable my pursuit of the lactic art and science known as Cheese in all its forms; from cheesemaking to cheese tasting, dairy and agricultural politics and using this blog to share links of interest and aggregate all the cheese knowledge I’m finding in my daily wanderings and readings.
Cheese Notes HQ is my “Nano-Creamery” (aka my kitchen), in my apartment near the banks of the bucolic Gowanus Canal, using a couple of modded wine refrigerators as my “caves”. I am also currently researching the possibilities for renting space within Brooklyn (possibly from other food-related businesses, including a microbrewery) to establish a working creamery where I could legally make cheeses for market.
My primary cheeses are a cow’s milk bloomy rind based on a Camembert recipe (working with with both raw and pasteurized milk, and sometimes double-creme), an ash-coated, bloomie-rinded Goat’s milk cheese (working title: Gowanish), Raw milk Tommes, as well as experimenting with many other forms and recipes.
I just completed the Cheesemaker Certification program at the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese this month; in February 2011 I took the 3-day Master Class: Intensive for Professionals at Artisanal with legendary cheese expert Max McCalman. I’m also making cheese with cheesemakers in the field (including Peter Kindel at Hawthorne Valley Farm, Colin McGrath at Sprout Creek Farm, Jon Bonanno at Arattom, and others).
I was a guest on the Cutting The Curd podcast with Anne Saxelby and Sophie Schlesinger in April 2012, discussing Urban Cheesemaking and my translation project for the French documentary The War of the Stinky Cheeses.
If you are a cheesemaker, -monger or -mover who would be willing to exchange free labor (I have a good back, don’t mind heavy lifting or scrubbing out vats and will wake up at any time of day or night) in exchange for allowing me to take part in your cheese day, I would love to hear from you!
Finally, if you want to exchange your food goods for mine, or are interested in serving my cheese at a supper club or tasting, I would be very interested in discussing it. Unfortunately, due to the scale of my operation, on-hand supplies can be limited so advance notice is helpful.
Find me on Twitter: @mattspiegler
Note: The pictures above are two of my cheeses, one of my raw cow’s milk bloomy rinds, and my raw cow’s milk tomme, and the picture below is from a meal at La Cloche A Fromage, an amazing cheese restaurant in Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region of France, where my mom hails from, and where I first braved the washed-rind Munster d’Alsace as a young child.