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 email@example.com.
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)
Today’s tasting is a relatively new cheese on the market: Kinsman Ridge, from Landaff Creamery. Doug and Debby Erb, the cheesemakers behind Landaff, are known for their relationship with The Cellars at Jasper Hill — Landaff makes the farmstead cheeses at their creamery in New Hampshire, and then sends it to Jasper Hill for affinage.
Until now they’ve focused on one cheese, the eponymous Landaff (reviewed in Feb ‘12), a Welsh farmstead (Caerphilly) style raw cows milk natural rinded tomme. That focus was worthwhile: Landaff has been a big success and is a ubiquitous presence in finer melting recipes (eg grilled cheese) across the Northeast. To their lineup they have now added a second cheese, the Kinsman Ridge, a (in their words) “soft French Tome”, semi-soft tomme with a washed and bloomy rind, similar to the French classic St. Nectaire.
The dusted white rind might lead one to think it’s a classic bloomy, but the Kinsman is actually a washed rind cheese, that is allowed to develop a growth of white molds near the end of its aging. The rind is gray-amber, with a thin layer of bloomy rind, with deep grooves from the aging shelves scoring its surface and creating the distinctive rolling surface. The paste is pale yellow, semi-firm and tending towards the soft as it warms and lightly eyed.
Jasper Hill’s motto is “A Taste of Place”, in tribute to their efforts to create a new American consciousness of terroir and the importance of — in Heather Paxson’s eloquent phrasing — local ecologies and economies of production; this is a cheese that exemplifies that philosophy, both in practice and in flavor. The first thing that strikes you upon tasting this cheese is “earthy” — buttery and milky in flavor, this cheese also has a deep flavor of the caves in which it ages, a pleasant mustiness and depth that immediately connects it to the environment in which it resided — what I like to think of as a “stony” flavor and aroma, because it reminds me of what you smell if you put your nose up close to a cave wall and inhale. There are also wonderful vegetal, tangy, nutty and meaty notes, rounding out a mild but complex flavor profile.
Landaff did well by focusing on and perfecting one cheese for so long, but the Kinsman Ridge is a notable addition to their lineup and worth seeking out (the San Francisco Chronicle has nice profile on the Erb’s).
Purchased at Beechers NYC.
In It’s Not You, It’s Brie, cheese expert Kirstin Jackson tells the whole cheese story. Through fifty American cheese profiles, she takes us “backstage” into underground caves, into funky scents and traditions that link today’s cheese makers to American history. You’ll meet the people who dedicate their lives to artisan cheese—from those who run generations-old family farms to others who ditched their day job to start a dairy.
Jackson groups the cheeses into sixteen styles ranging from American Originals to Mixed Milk, explaining how each one’s unique flavors, appearance, and production practices have come to define its style. Featured cheeses include Queso Oaxaqueño, a Mexican-style cheese hand-stretched in California; Scholten Weybridge, a double-crème made in Vermont from the milk of a rare Dutch Belted cow; and River’s Edge Mayor of Nye Beach, a funky washed-rind goat’s milk that knocks its French rivals out of the water.
Beer, wine, and food pairing suggestions round out each profile, along with recipes that use every cheese style in refreshing new ways, from Gouda Almond Toffee to Landaff and Celery Root Beer Soup.
Order it now on Amazon, or check your local bookstores and cheese shops!
Over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution site, John Kessler looks into the renaissance in Southern cheesemaking, including established names like Sweetgrass Dairy and rising stars like Sequatchie Cove (makers of the ACS Conference sensation-cheese Dancing Fern, one of my American Cheese Month picks):
Sequatchie Cove Creamery is one of dozens of quality small farmstead creameries that have opened in the Southeast in recent years. Producers throughout the region — from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal plain — are making quality small-batch cheeses from cows, goats and sheep raised on their own farms. Just a few years ago, the only cheese the South was known for was of the pimento variety, as Southern cheese production virtually ceased during the industrialization of the 1950s and 1960s. But all that has changed, and the region has a newfound cachet.
Amanda Parker of Murray’s Cheese Shop in New York says that her colleagues were blown away by some of the cheeses they tried at the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival in Nashville in early October. “There seems to be a lot more interest in the South, a lot more people being exposed to great cheeses.”
“The South is rising again in farmstead dairy,” said MaryAnne Drake, a professor of food science at North Carolina State University who’s a consultant for the many small dairies that have turned to cheese making in recent years.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a few pioneers such as Sweet Grass Dairy and Fromagerie Belle Chèvre of Elkmont, Ala., began making small-batch cheeses. They would win the occasional medal at a cheese competition but were treated as curios — good cheese from the Deep South.
read the full post here.
(Photos ©2012 AJC.com)
Tonight at Bedford Cheese Shop in Manhattan, Willi Schmid, highly respected artisan Swiss cheese maker, will discuss his craft. (The photo above is from my previous post about “Jersey Blue”, one of his best known cheeses):
Willi Schmid has been coined a “A Hero of Swiss Cheese” and rightly so. He is a cheese maker from the Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland devoted to upholding the integrity of raw Swiss cheese making. In this class, we will focus on his cheese making technique. Schmid decides what cheese to make depending on the batch of milk he collects from his local herdsmen. Using his sense of smell and taste, he lets his “yellow thumb” guide him. Schmid’s approach to making cheese is similar to an artist’s approach to producing art. Just wait until you hear him talk about “cheese bug” philosophy. Class includes a tasting flight of a selection of his cheeses and classic Swissbeverages.
“I will happily leave the large-scale production of pasteurized pseudo-Alpine cheeses to the factories. I personally fetch my milk from the farmers and bring it to the dairy. It only takes minutes from there into the cauldron.” -Willi Schmid
July 11, 2012 7:00 pm—8:45 pm
Venue: The Homestead
67 Irving Pl, New York, NY, 10003, United States
More info here.
This should be interesting. on 06/06, Beechers NYC will be hosting Kurt Timmermeister, Restauranteur turned farmstead cheese maker, to discuss his cheeses and how he came to the life. The talk will be moderated by Elena Santogade, lead cheesemonger (and Tumblr’er at http://wannabemonger.com/):
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese New York is proud to welcome Kurt Timmermeister of Kurtwood Farms in celebrating the New York premiere of his signature farmstead cheese, Dinah’s Cheese. Kurt has built a great reputation in the Pacific Northwest as an excellent cheesemaker and a restaurateur-cum-farmer, telling his compelling story in his recent book, “Growing A Farmer, How I Learned To Live Off The Land.”
Dinah’s Cheese, a soft, bloomy-rind, cow’s milk, Camembert-style cheese made from milk produced only by the cows on Kurt’s farm, has never before been sold in New York. It will be exclusively available at Beecher’s New York.
Join us for a special event on the evening of June 6th to celebrate the arrival of Dinah’s Cheese in New York and to learn more about Kurt’s extraordinary story. You’ll get to taste Dinah’s for yourself along with a curated wine pairing. Our Lead Cheesemonger, Elena Santogade, will lead a discussion with Kurt about his experience and the intricacies of farmstead cheesemaking.
Sign up on Eventbrite.
(Photo ©2012 Kurtwoodfarms.com)