Tag Archives: artisan cheese

Wisconsin raw milk dairy policy drives artisan cheesemaker to move elsewhere

The following excerpt is from Kimberly Hartke’s blog, where it’s titled “My Farewell Speech to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection:

Farmer Scott Trautman with cheesemaker Bill Anderson. Photo via Kimberly Hartke's blog.

“My name is Bill Anderson.  I am 25 years old.  I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and have lived here for my entire life.  Though I grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee, I just completed the entire Wisconsin cheese maker licensing program, and passed the final exam yesterday.  I should also mention that my mother grew up on a diversified family-run dairy farm in central Wisconsin. Continue reading

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Artisan cheddar — “cult wine” of cheese

A Vermont cheddar by justly-famed makers of raw cheeses.

A Vermont cheddar by justly-famed makers of raw cheeses.

Once again another cheese report from the San Francisco Chronicle’s SF Gate website in which it’s slyly implied that the cheese under discussion is in fact raw, but they don’t come right out and say it and neither do they say it’s pasteurized. One wonders what’s behind an editorial pattern like that. Anyway, here’s a bit of what they have to say about this Vermont cloth-wrapped artisan cheddar:

“When Cabot clothbound cheddar won best of show at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition two years ago, the news electrified the audience. Vermont’s largest dairy had partnered with one of its smallest in a pioneering cheesemaking venture, and the judges had given their effort a big thumbs-up. It was as if Gallo had asked Screaming Eagle to help it make a cult Cabernet.

With about 1,400 farmer members, Cabot Creamery produces millions of pounds of waxed supermarket cheddar every year. But five years ago, the giant co-op approached the two young brothers who run the tiny Jasper Hill Farm about collaborating. The Kehlers and their wives milk about 40 Ayrshire cows and make minuscule amounts of raw-milk cheese – notably, Bayley Hazen Blue and Constant Bliss – by hand. Cabot wanted to make a traditional clothbound cheddar but didn’t have the proper environment to mature it. Continue reading

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Turning raw milk into “Gouda gold”

Here’s an excerpt from a story on the San Francisco Chronicle’s “SF Gate” website about a Dutch farmer who processes his own raw milk into Gouda cheese.

Cows as far as the eye can see; clearly this is not a small scale operation.

Cows as far as the eye can see; clearly this is not a small scale operation.

And judging from what they say in the story it sounds like what is produced is raw milk cheese; however you’d think if that was truly the case, they’d put a little more emphasis on that aspect of the product, rather than leaving it ambiguous as to whether the milk is at some point pasteurized. But judging from the procedures detailed on the farm’s website, it does sounds like the milk is not pasteurized.

Pressed Gouda cheeses aging in refrigerated storage.

Pressed Gouda cheeses aging in refrigerated storage.

“Turning milk into cheese more than doubles the milk’s value, which is why so many dairy farmers have turned to cheesemaking in recent years. One dairyman who has successfully rerouted all his cow’s milk to cheese is Jules Wesselink of the Winchester Cheese Company, near San Diego. Continue reading

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Stichelton — British blue cheese made in the original way — with raw milk

New York Times photo by

Stichelton Cheese -- in the raw. New York Times photo by Jonathan Player

Here’s a wonderful story about the re-making of a classic British raw-milk cheese, which came to our attention through Scardello Artisan Cheese in Texas. The point of this is to show how raw milk cheese (and raw milk) is a “class act”. It’s the result of an unusual level of care, craftsmanship and artistry. It’s not a mere “factory food“.

It’s not that we  want to be snobs or elitists here. But why shouldn’t there be truly wonderful and excellent cheeses, like there are great wines, for instance. And just as great wines are not made from standard-issue commodity-grade pasteurized grape juice, neither is great cheese made by taking what in Ontario is officially referred to as “industrial milk” and pasteurizing it first. Don’t we want to be world class? Don’t we want to develop a culture of culinary tourism? We need to wake up to what’s going on the rest of world and move on from our collective trauma over what happened in the 1930s (pasteurization and all that).

Getting back to Stichelton cheese, here’s what Rich (of Scardello) has to say about this rare delicacy:

“We are thrilled to have Stichelton at Scardello (pronounced just like it looks – “stich-l-tn”). In 1989 Stilton makers decided to stop using raw milk to make one of the worlds best blues. Randoph Hodgson teamed up with cheesemaker Joe Schneider to bring raw milk Stilton back. They chose the name Stichelton which was the original name of the town of Stilton. Continue reading

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