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From Seed to Cheese

From SEED to CHEESE Cheese may come from milk, but great milk begins with grass, and great grass comes from fertile soil. Add a touch of rain and generous amounts of sunshine and a seed of grass grows, enticing ruminants, such as cows, to consume vast quantities. The diversity of grasses and the soil's minerals contribute greatly to the specific flavor profile of each cheese. This effect the land has on the final product is referred to as "terroir". Raw milk from cows is a nutritious, but highly perishable food. A cheese maker orchestrates the magical process of preserving this perishable food in the form of cheese. The Process SSS Milk flows into a cheese vat where it is gently warmed to the desired temperature, usually about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the target temperature is reached, friendly bacteria called "starter cultures" are sprinkled on the milk, which consume lactose, contribute flavor and help stabilize the cheese during aging. After the starter culture is allowed to work, rennet is added to coagulate, or curdle, the milk. The cheese maker then determines the proper stage for cutting the curds. The curds are cut with special cheese knives. Some cheeses, including Alpine types such as Fortsonia, require curds to be cut very small...the size of grains of rice. Other cheese types, such as blue cheeses, are cut bigger, often one half inch or larger. Once the curds are cut the next steps vary greatly depending on the 1 style of cheese being made. For blue and softer, higher--moisture cheeses, the curds are stirred gently for a brief period of time. For firmer, lower--moisture cheeses, the curds are heated, or cooked, for a period of time while being stirred. This is to get moisture out of the curd. Most cheeses are then hooped at this point into moulds that give them their unique shape. One exception to this is Cheddar style cheeses, which are cut into slabs, stacked and then milled into small pieces. They are then sprinkled with salt and hooped into moulds. After hooping, softer cheeses generally are not pressed, but rather rely on gravity to drain and expel whey. On the other hand, firmer cheeses, such as Cheddar and Gruyere, are pressed overnight, often with high pressure. 10 After draining or pressing and the cheese has taken its shape, it is either dry salted or placed in a brine bath. Cheddar is an exception as it is salted BEFORE it is hooped. Raw milk cheeses must be aged a minimum of 60 days (in the U.S.). During this time, artisan cheeses are HAND turned almost daily. Washed rind cheeses are HAND brushed with brine that includes anything from friendly bacteria to alcohol, resulting in a sticky-rind, flavorful and aromatic cheese that is often labeled as the "stinky cheese" category. During the process of stirring, cooking and pressing, whey is separated from the curds. Whey is often captured and used as fertilizer for pastures or as feed for pigs and chickens. These animals roam pastures along with cows, and the whey helps provide them with nutrients to fertilize the pastures, adding to soil fertility, which enhances grass growth. Did you know.. Cheese probably was discovered by mistake as early as 8,000 BC. Milk was likely transported in a dried calf's stomach and would have separated into curds and whey by movement and the naturally present rennet. Aged cheeses, such as Fortsonia and Georgia Gold Clothbound Cheddar, contain little to NO lactose. The older the cheese, the lower the lactose. It takes about 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese Consuming cheese (especially Cheddar, blue and Swiss styles) immediatelyafter meals has been shown to help prevent tooth decay. More cheese is produced annually worldwide than coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans and tobacco combined. Stinky, washed rind cheeses, owe their odor to a bacteria called. brevibacterium linens. These bacteria are also found on human skin and contributes to body odor.

From Seed to Cheese

shared by bogdanrauta on Feb 04
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Custom designed for a client, for a cheese making farm. Created for printing


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