Looking for a job in cheesemaking? Edgwick Farm, in Cornwall, NY, is looking for a Cheese Room Assistant. I visited Edgwick back in July 2012, you can see my post about it here, or check out the Edgwick page on Facebook. This sounds like a great opportunity for someone looking to learn all about farmstead cheesemaking and goat dairy operations:
We are a farmstead goat cheese makers based in Cornwall, NY. We have a micro-dairy and creamery, milk 45 Nubian and Alpine goats and make nine varieties of goat milk cheeses. We sell at five or more farmer’s markets and over twenty restaurants in the Hudson Valley. We have just completed our first year of operation and are starting our second. We started up cheese production again in January. We focus on making our aged cheeses in the winter and turn to our fresh cheeses when the farmer’s markets start in June through October.
We seek a self-motivated, meticulous, and creative person interested in learning the craft of cheese making. The position is full time (about 40 hours/week - there is some flexibility, maybe more during the summer) starting April 1 through the end of October.
• Assist with basic processes of cheesemaking and affinage
• Assist with cheese packaging
• Maintain accurate, detailed records
• Maintain hygienic conditions including routine daily cleaning and intensive weekly cleaning
• Prepare and organize cheeses for farmers’ markets and other sales outlets
• Sell cheese at farmers’ markets.
We are able to offer a weekly stipend based on experience.
If interested, email your resume and a description of yourself and interests to Talitha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Via Minnesota Public Radio, the story of Crave Brothers (Petit Frere was featured on this blog back in 2011), who not only make award-winning cheeses but do with sustainability and energy-efficiency always at the forefront:
Tom Crann: Crave Brothers have picked up a reputation for their energy efficiency. How does their operation work?
James Norton: The farm and cheese-making plant operate within a circle of energy, with sunlight being the main input.
The sun grows the crops that feed the cows. The cows produce milk, which is chilled and stored in two 750,000 gallon storage tanks before it goes over to the cheese plant. By avoiding the jostling of truck transportation and any aeration, they’re able to keep the milk fresher for cheese making. This helps with consistency of product and makes a huge difference for soft and semi-soft cheeses like those made by the Crave Brothers, where slightly older milk or off-flavor notes will come through in the finished product.
The whey from the cheese-making process is processed for resale; the waste from that process joins the waste from the cows in a big, 105-degree anaerobic digester unit, where bacteria help draw off methane, which is burned to power an engine, which produces enough electricity for the cheese plant, the farm and 300 more households. The remaining waste is pressed — the liquid product goes onto the fields as fertilizer and the clean, spongy, earth-like solid material is used as bedding for the cows…To some extent, everyone who is running a farmstead plant is having a bit less of an impact on the planet, by the strength of not having to ship their milk and being able to take advantage of local pasture.
Read the full story, or listen to the broadcast, here.
(Photo courtesy of Becca Dilley/Culture: The Word on Cheese)
Slicing open the Bloomy Rind, double-creme couronne experiment. Salt levels need tweaking, there’s a bit of a brassica, maybe cabbagey flavor and aroma. I’m happy with the texture of the paste though and the rind, while perhaps not as thin as I’d like is decent. Needs work but a good first step. This is the first time I’ve experimented with raising the fat levels in a cheese, in this case to the 60-65% range, roughly (I’m estimating as I don’t have the means to test fat content). If you’re wondering, triple-creme is 75% or more (Formaggio Kitchen has a great post explaining the definitions of double- and triple creme). I don’t currently have a source for raw heavy cream, so the cream that was added was pasteurized.
If you’re in or near the Atlanta, Georgia region, and you’re interested in taking a cheesemaking class with Peter Dixon, the cheese-whisperer and legendary consultant of the cheese world, now’s your chance:
Peter Dixon Workshop, April 17, 18, 19; 9:00am-4:00pm
During this course, we will study and produce washed-rind cheeses and camembert-style cheeses. The class will cover the fabrication of these cheeses, as well as a full day of instruction on starter culture selection and affinage. This class is geared towards professional cheesemakers, those considering becoming a professional cheesemaker, and home cheesemakers wishing to improve their skills. This class will be taught using sheep’s milk, rarely worked with in educational settings!
Peter Dixon has been making cheese and dairy foods commercially in Vermont for the past 30 years. He and his wife Rachel operate Dairy Foods Consulting and Westminster Artisan Cheesemaking in Westminster West, VT. He also consults and provides technical assistance to cheesemakers all over the United States, Canada, and eastern Europe.
Housing and breakfast is available at a discounted rate for students of this course at the beautiful Inn at Serenbe. You may reserve rooms on the course registration form, also linked below.
This class is limited to 12 students. No prior cheesemaking experience is required.
$680 w/o housing, with lunch included; $1095 w/housing, breakfast & lunch included
The Ten Eyck, from Meadowood Farms in Cazenovia, New York, is made by Veronica Pedraza, a restaurant-world alumni and former Saxelby monger, who also put in time at Sweetgrass Dairy and the Cellars at Jasper Hill, before taking over the cheesemaking at Meadowood (one “W” in the name) Farms. Meadowood has a herd of East Friesian sheep, from which they make their cheese, dairy and lamb products. Their Rippleton, a washed-rind, sheep’s milk cheese, has attracted strong praise from mongers and restauranteurs alike and been featured on the menus of restaurants like Per Se. The cheeses are produced seasonally and in small quantities though, so they can be tough to locate, but the Rippleton should be arriving in cheese counters in late April; keep your eyes peeled.
the Ten Eyck, a raw sheep’s milk, Spanish-inspired pressed curd cheese has a dusty grey natural rind with a distinct ridged pattern. The paste is pale ivory-yellow, scattered with irregular eyes, and semi-firm, smooth and slightly springy in texture. In flavor the Ten Eyck is mild but complex, buttery, grassy and with hints of lanolin, herbs and nuts.
Purchased at Saxelby Cheesemongers.
Veronica was a guest on Cutting The Curd back in March of 2010 (Episode 22), when she was still working at Jasper Hill; give it a listen! If you’re interested in a life in cheesemaking she has great anecdotes and behind the scenes tips (and a few warnings, like: “cheesemaking is 75% cleaning, 15% record-keeping, and 10% cheesemaking”).
You can also check out Meadowood Farms’ YouTube Channel.
3Geometric Progression of Bloomy Rinds in Cheesemaking.
Actually, there’s no logic to it. I was making a fresh batch of Couronnes in a few different sizes (and one regular mini-wheel) and happened to create this cascade of forms and sizes on the drying rack. Almost looks like a frame from a claymation movie or something. :)
Allison Hooper, of Vermont Butter & Cheese fame, has a great blog entry about the long tradition of Geotrichum-rinded cheeses in France, and VB&C’s many-year efforts to perfect their own versions of these quintessential cheeses. One of their recent cheeses, the Torus — check back tomorrow for my tasting — is a Couronne-shaped version that they collaborated on with Murray’s Cheese. As someone who’s been experimenting with Couronne shapes recently, using a rind that includes Geo (paired with P. Candidum), it’s an inspiring and interesting read:
If you have ever had the good fortune to find yourself at an open air market or a cremerie (cheese shop) in France’s important goat cheese regions of Provence or the Loire Valley, this photo is not foreign to you: Small and delicate wrinkled goat cheeses proudly displayed begging to be plucked out of the herd to be paired with some olives and a glass of Rose.
Such are the goat cheeses that I devoured as a student in France and made during a summer internship on a Diary farm in Brittany. There, the cheeses were all made from raw milk. they miraculously developed a uniform opaque rind that wrinkled as it aged and dried out. Geotricum is a yeast and is in the air around us. Providing just the right conditions in which geo likes to grow , we can promote its growth on the cheese to create these beautiful and iconic rinds for which many of the traditional cheeses of France are known.
Allison goes into detail on the technical challenges in creating these cheeses, and the aging spaces necessary to develop them properly:
It took three years to design, finance, and build the creamery which required sophisticated French Aging room technology to connect with the very dubious American Engineers’ design. It has taken another six years to revise the cheese technology (recipe) , the packaging, and aging rooms to have the cheese that we sell today. With help from former teachers, equipment suppliers, Adeline’s husband and cheese expert Marc Druart (another one of those French interns at the creamery) and a production team that is maniacal about quality and getting it right, Adeline managed a project fraught with challenges. Keeping the cheesemakers and sales team motivated and resilient required tenacity and a passion for making a cheese that we love and knew would succeed. We were the first in the US to make geo cheeses that had to travel to the West Coast ripening along the way. We couldn’t tell each consumer and chef that a spot of blue mold on a geo rind is okay,not harmful, and normal in France. If we were going to be the first and pioneer geo cheeses we had no choice but to reformulate and augment our aging room technology to assure a pristine cheese without mold.
Read the full post over on the VB&C blog.
(Photo ©2013 vermontcreamery.com)
Socheese.fr has a great photo essay about a young couple, Eric and Sophie Gutknecht, who are making the famed AOC cheese Etivaz, one small, wood-fire heated, copper vat at a time:
Eric and Sophie, both 30, are part of a young generation of 70 Etivaz producers and spend 110 days a year in high mountain pasture. They have a well organised work schedule: two weeks in the lowest alpine hunt (1,530m), then two and a half weeks in the next (1,715m) and 6 weeks at the summit. Before going descending the mountain again, 10 days are spent in the alpine hut half way down and then another three weeks in the lowest hut. Then, it’s back to Moulin, near Château d’Œx, the couple’s ‘base camp’. All of the alpine huts are at least 200 years old, and have been extended and done up according to what work needed doing and how much money the couple had at the time.
The season for high mountain pasture, authorised for this prestigious AOC cheese, is from 10th May until 10th October, at a height of at least 1000m. With this time schedule, they are able to make 210 rounds of cheese (25kg each on average, 17kg the smallest, up to 36kg for the biggest). In winter, the milk is provided by the dairy in Moulin, which makes organic Gruyère.
Check out the full story here.
First growth of Mycodore on the new Tomme wheel. #cheesemaking (Via Cheese Notes’ Instagram).
Ira Grable, Cheese Maker, also known as “The Big Cheese,” purchased Berkshire Blue four years ago from Michael Miller, who founded the company in 1998. Grable moved to the Berkshires and, after meeting Miller through a mutual friend, agreed to become the sole distributor for Berkshire Blue Cheese. One year later, with Miller deciding to “hang up the apron,” Grable bought Berkshire Blue. Miller stayed on for the first six months to teach and mentor Grable, and they continue to talk monthly.