Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Dec 19th and I am back from Cheese School

Wow - what a week! I am so exhausted from the cheese class. It went all day and was a lot of work. The first day was all about what makes milk become cheese and lots on chemistry of milk and cheese. Then we went into coagulants and starters and a lot of math and details you don't think about when you eat cheese. 
Day 2 - we went to Rinconada Dairy in Santa Margarita. This is a cheese maker who makes it from her own sheep. We saw her milking operation, her cheese making shop, her aging rooms and had a nice reception at her house. I loved her dogs! They are McNabb Collies... thinking they may be my next dog.. :)

Here are some pictures from that tour:

Oona - the McNabb collie

Milking Barn
Cheese Making Room - Vat

Christine - Owner

Aging Room


The other big event was the day we actually made cheese... My group was the one who made Gouda and it was a real learning experience. My teacher that day was Dr. Nana ... and he is just an expert on this stuff. 

All the teachers and helpers were fantastic and you can tell they love this job.
Cal Poly Dairy
Cows we got the milk from..
View from Dairy

                    Calf Huts ---->
Dr. Phil Tong
Dr. Nana Farkye

 Cheddar cheese group... had a lot of work! --->

 Making our gouda, you stir and wait and then press and wait and turn and wait... you get the idea.

 Dr. Phil holding our gouda... it was the prettiest cheese in the class.
Stacey and I with our cheese!

 Some of the really nice people I met at class.. we went to the Farmer's Market on thursday and out to dinner.

Everyone is asking me now what are you going to do? I really don't know yet.. but I still have time. I feel like I know the right way to make cheese and the rules and regulations surrounding the process. It is expensive and time - consuming to say the least.. but there is money in it if you can find the right product and the right niche.

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