For years, as the great cheese renaissance took off, there was no magazine to unify those making the cheese or tell the serious cheese-philes where to buy it. Then in 2008, at the bottom of the worst recession in generations, Culture magazine started. I loved it but feared its future. But, thankfully, two and half years later it's thriving like the wheels of goat-gouda at your local cheese shop. The magazine's editor wouldn't be surprised if McDonalds started selling cheeseplates in ten years.
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One of the things that often surprises people is just how easy it is to make mozzarella cheese. If you're practiced at it, you can use a cheesemaking kit to go from a gallon of milk to nearly a pound of mozzarella in about an hour. Here's a quick overview.
Lou DiPalo, third-generation co-owner of Di Palo Fine Foods in NYC's Little Italy, shows how the 85-year-old latticini makes fresh mozzarella from milk curd.
I'll be honest, before I talked to David Wright and Corey Hinkel, I would have bet my life that you couldn't find something like the artisan dairy operation they run in a place like Northeast Alabama. But a conversation last week with the duo shattered my Northerner-biased expectations and has given me a mind to visit the Heart of Dixie. They're churning out Gouda, Cheddar, Abodance, and an Asiago cheese they call Wanda.
Making mozzarella at home is ridiculously easy, especially if you've got Kevlar hands. Mozzarella is a pasta-filata style of cheese which involves hand-stretching hot curds into pliable strands. Like pulling bread dough, the point is to manipulate it just enough to improve elasticity, but not so much as to toughen the thing.
Home cheesemaker Colleen Graham of Chicago has found a unique way around the Illinois state laws that prohibit the sale of raw milk—she simply bought a partial share of a cow and, as owner, is free to do with the milk what she pleases.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear one of my favorite radio shows, NPR's Science Friday, tackle the science of cheesemaking on its most recent show. The program featured Liz Thorpe, vice president of Murray's and author of The Cheese Chronicles, a new book about making and selling cheese in America....
Every Tuesday, Jamie Forrest drops by with Serious Cheese. Photograph courtesy of Hidden Springs Creamery Yesterday's Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article about folks who have given up the corporate life for a life on the farm making cheese. It profiles Wisconsinite Brenda Jensen, whose Hidden Springs Creamery burst on the scene last year with a first place finish in the fresh sheep's milk cheese category at the American Cheese Society annual competition. Crafting small batches of hand-made sheep's milk cheeses, Jensen is beating a new path in a state with an entrenched dairy industry that is decidedly non-artisanal and heavily cow-focused. I (and probably most cheese lovers) have at least fantasized about leaving their urban existence behind to...
Labor Day has just passed, of course, but we should bear in mind the difficult, ceaseless work that goes into making cheese. It requires intense amounts of backbreaking, sometimes tedious effort, from herding the animals to milking them twice a day, from cutting and stirring the curd to flipping the wheels during aging. Cheesemaking also represents an ongoing sanitation challenge; since milk is a veritable feast for bacteria of all kinds, every piece of cheesemaking equipment that comes into contact with it must be diligently washed. Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont has even gone so far as to call cheesemaking "glorified dishwashing."...