Friday, February 17, 2012

Something Different: Vermont Artisan Cheese

Mount Elmore
     Last week while we were on vacation, my neighbor asked me if I wanted to observe his artisan cheese making process. He started an artisan cheese making business last year, Mount Mansfield Creamery, using the milk from their Brown Swiss and Holstein cows. They have been very successful and now have award winning raw milk cheese which is being sold locally and on the East Coast.

     I observed for about a four hour time period and I know now that cheese making is as labor intensive as making a quilt. The milk is carried over from the farm in large steel mik cans-heavy milk cans. It is then poured into a large steel vat, heated slowly and enzymes added over time and at a specific temperature and pH. (? Don't know exactly but I listened!) The vat is slowly stirred by the electric paddles and when a certain temperature and curd consistency, the curds are scooped out and placed in molds.

Stan, the cheese  man

Just after the stainless steel vat, curds in the molds


 The whey left behind slowly drains off over the next few hours as the cheese is flipped every thirty minutes which allows it to settle. The whey is collected for the pig farmers.

Flipping the cheeses in the molds

A proud cheesmaker

Beautiful cheese mold pattern

    I can't believe I am showing you this picture but I did get to help.



making cheese:)


Over the next sixty days, the cheeses are placed in cold storage, their rinds washed  periodically and tended to. Then, after it is aged, you get to enjoy the most beautiful tasting cheese there is! 

I enjoyed watching and appreciate even more the cheeses that their farm produces and the labor it involves. 

3 comments:

  1. What FUN! The cheese looks wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. haha i can't believe it either, no way would i have the courage to show myself like you are but you do look fun :)
    thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. But did you cut the cheese?

    ReplyDelete