Serious Cheese: Cheesemaking on NPR's Science Friday

Serious Cheese

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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.

The segment covers many of the basic scientific underpinnings of cheesemaking, including the roles of coagulating factors like acid and rennet, the process behind processed cheese, how to tell when cheese is spoiled, what makes stinky cheeses stinky, why Swiss cheese has holes, and other fun facts.

The website also has a short video of a visit to Hendricks Farms and Dairy near Philadelphia. In it, proprietor Trent Hendricks discusses the make process for his Cheddar Blue, as well as the reasons why Ayrshire cows make milk that's perfect for making cheese. He also delivers a choice quote right at the end of the video: "The fact of the matter is, I just teach milk how to become cheese. And that's what [it] is. [It's] really, really good milk, preserved."