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Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: Introduction

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: Introduction

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The key to becoming a successful artisan cheesemaker is to develop the intuition essential for problem solving, and creating unique styles of cheeses.

There are an increasing number of books on the market about making cheese, but none approach the intricacies of cheesemaking science alongside considerations for preparing each type of cheese variety in as much detail as Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking. This comprehensive and user-friendly guide thoroughly explains the art and science that allow milk to be transformed into epicurean masterpieces. Caldwell offers a deep look at the history, science, culture, and art of making artisan cheese on a small scale, and includes detailed information on equipment and setting up a home-scale operation.
The key to becoming a successful artisan cheesemaker is to develop the intuition essential for problem solving, and creating unique styles of cheeses.

There are an increasing number of books on the market about making cheese, but none approach the intricacies of cheesemaking science alongside considerations for preparing each type of cheese variety in as much detail as Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking. This comprehensive and user-friendly guide thoroughly explains the art and science that allow milk to be transformed into epicurean masterpieces. Caldwell offers a deep look at the history, science, culture, and art of making artisan cheese on a small scale, and includes detailed information on equipment and setting up a home-scale operation.

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Published by: Chelsea Green Publishing on Sep 11, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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07/15/2013

 
Mseig isCheeseMig 
The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers
giCis Cdwe
Foreword by Ricki Carroll
 
 When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a botanist. I would carry little eld guides around our -acre for-est and farm, gather specimens, and attempt to study them under an ancient × power microscope that wehad. Later, at dierent times in my childhood, I wantedto be a nurse, cook, mother, and—always—an artist. We had a Guernsey cow named Buttercup when I was very young, and later I had two much-adored Jersey cows of my own, Daodil and Butterscotch. We madeour own butter, buttermilk, and yogurt. My motherattempted cheesemaking using the only instructionsavailable at the time, a USDA pamphlet that she gotfrom the local Extension o ce. I still have this littlebooklet, and while its instructions aren’t bad, the real-ity of the lack of available cultures and quality rennetdestined my mom’s rst hard cheese to the chicken yard. When my husband, Vern (who used to come to watch me show my cows in -H while we were bothstill teens), was close to retiring from his career (really the
  family’s
career) in the United States Marine Corps, we got our rst dairy goats, Nigerian Dwarfs. I hadno idea that I would eventually love them even morethan dairy cows! I began making cheese using a less-than-satisfactory book and quickly switched to RickiCarroll’s pioneering work,
 Home Cheesemaking 
. Whatmagic those rst batches were! I’ll never forget how itfelt to see, for the rst time, milk being transformedinto solid, tasty, amazing cheese. I loved to make it, my family loved to eat it—we were all hooked. Within a year of getting the goats, in , I enteredthe American Dairy Goat Association’s annual cheesecompetition in the Amateur division, the incubationground for many soon-to-be-professional cheesemak-ers, and I won Best in Show. I entered again the next year, this time with a hard cheese, and won Best in Show again. As our friend Ken Miller, co-owner of PastoralArtisan Cheese shops in Chicago, Illinois, said, there isnothing like “a win beneath your wings” to make youIf you are reading this book, there’s a good chance that you really love cheese—so much so that you want tomake your own. Maybe you have already created yourrst satisfying batches or perhaps you are one of thegrowing number of licensed artisan producers in theUnited States or elsewhere. Wherever you are on your journey as a cheesemaker, this book is meant to be yourguide, resource, and even inspiration.If you never want to understand the science behindthe process that converts a uid, rather bland, perish-able liquid into a solid, avor-intense, long-lasting food, then this book is probably not for you (at leastnot yet). But if you’re the type of person for whom deepunderstanding of a subject brings enhanced enjoymentof the process, then
 Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking 
isthe book for you.If you are new to making cheese, this book aimsto demystify what can sometimes feel like a lot of scientic language, while still retaining the depth of information every serious cheesemaker—including thehobbyists—should know. If you are already a edgling or even an accomplished cheesemaker, then let thisbook be your complete resource, troubleshooter, andguide to taking your cra to the next level. Whoever you are, my goal with this book is to help you becomean intuitive, enthusiastic, educated, and consummatemaker of truly great cheeses.Dierent things lead people to cheesemaking. For meit was a desire to return to my self-su ciency roots, alove for dairy animals, and the desire to provide healthy,aordable milk and cheese for my family. I never thoughtmaking cheese would turn into a profession, much lesslead to a book (or two). Cheesemaking has broughtme incredible satisfaction; I went from an art career,making work that I believed in, but with which it wasdi cult for people to identify, to making cheeses thata vast number can enjoy, appreciate, and even admire.
INTRODUCTION
 
Mastering Artisan Cheesemakingxiv 
have included in this book, with the exception o severalo those provided by the proled cheesemakers. It wasso nice to have their help and contributions! (Unlessotherwise noted, every photograph o cheeses and processes was taken here at our creamery.) I hope I haveaccomplished what I set out to do—to digest, interpret,and translate cheesemaking science and apply it so thatall cheesemakers, great and small, will have access tothe beautiul knowledge that surrounds our shared passion and making the best cheese possible.
 Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking 
begins with a sec-tion called “Te Art and Science o Making Cheese.”In this section I will gradually introduce you to eachacet o cheesemaking and explain the beautiulinterplay o science and art that goes into creating truly great cheeses. Te rst chapter, “Ingredients orAll Cheeses,” will thoroughly introduce everything that goes into cheese as well as its properties and how they interact with each other. Next, in “Concepts andProcesses or Successul Cheesemaking,” you will learnhow you as a cheesemaker can control and inuencethese interactions through understanding each step o the cheesemaking process.Next is “Te Fundamentals o Acid Developmentand Monitoring during Cheesemaking,” in which wecover the details o understanding and measuring aciddevelopment during cheesemaking. Some readers—thebeginner cheesemakers—might not eel quite ready orthis topic, so those people could skip it or now. Buteventually, the consummate cheesemaker will have tomaster this subject, so why not start pondering it at the very least? Next comes a chapter about the art o aging cheeses called “Aging Cheese Graceully—Te Art o Anage,” which includes several options or setting upa successul small aging unit, the many options or rindtreatments, and a troubleshooting guide.In “Spicing It Up: Adding Flavors to Cheese,” Ihelp you learn how to choose, prepare, and saely addherbs, spices, alcohols, and even cold smoke to cheeseusing any cheese recipe. Te last chapter in part I is“Designing, Equipping, and Maintaining Your HomeCheesemaking Space.” Tis chapter will give youmany options or choosing small-scale equipment andeel that you have ound your path. At this time, in theearly 2000s, we were just starting to see articles andeatures about small armstead cheesemakers. It wasstill a relatively unknown career path. I’ll never orget when my brother-in-law scoed at the idea o making goat cheese or a living. It’s amazing to what degree andhow quickly things have changed. Now most people, when told o our proession, quickly assume a dreamy look and comment, “You’re living the dream!”A couple o years into my learning, I was ortunateenough to take a cheesemaking workshop rom theamazing Peter Dixon, rom Dairy Foods Consulting in Vermont. Te class was at Black Sheep Creamery in Washington State. Not only was the class great, butbeing able to work in a unctioning creamery was aneducation in and o itsel. Later that same year, I ew to New York to take a workshop on the biology andchemistry o cheesemaking taught by Patrick Anglade,another well-known and respected cheese instructorrom France. Tat class was mind-boggling and wellover my head at the time. Fortunately, not long aferthat, Paul Kindstedt wrote
 American Farmstead Cheese
 (Chelsea Green, 2005). Between the notes rom the previous class and Paul’s book, the og began to lifrom the science o cheesemaking.My rst book,
Te Farmstead Creamery Advisor,
was published in 2010 and was ocused on the more number-crunching and inrastructural aspects o starting acheesemaking business. I loved the process o writing and began toying with the idea o writing the kind o cheesemaking book, with recipes, that I would wantto read but had yet to nd—one that would containa broad depth o inormation but be easy to read andunderstand. While I have certainly learned many les-sons about cheesemaking the hard way, that doesn’tmean you should, too! I am hoping this book will ll inthe blanks missing in most cheesemakers’ educations.I began the ormidable task o studying the aca-demic cheese technology books; rereading the many notes and handouts rom cheesemaking seminars andclasses that I have attended over the years; consulting  with cheesemakers ar more versed in specic specialty cheeses such as blues; and making every recipe that I

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