What is artisan cheese?

We hear it all the time. Artisan beer, artisan salami, artisan bread and artisan cheese. But what does it really mean? Dictionaries define artisan as a noun to describe skilled craftspeople who use their hands to make things. Before the industrial revolution, almost everything was artisan. The industrial revolution not only changed the way we manufactured everyday objects like crockery, couches, towels, clothes, shoes and pots but also the way we manufactured food. The concern about losing the traditional skills used to bake bread, brew beer, preserve meat and make cheese gathered momentum in the self-sustaining fever of the 70’s. Since then more and more people have committed to learning

Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day

April 22nd is raw milk appreciation day. Like odd sock day, gratitude day, ugly truck day or speak like a pirate day, it promotes a special interest. But how can you not get excited about a day that celebrates thousands of years of cheesemaking tradition. Raw milk appreciation day was developed by the Old Ways Cheese Coalition, a not for profit advocacy group based in Boston USA promoting traditional cheese. It is a celebration of unique flavours, history, animal husbandry and cheesemaking. And like all good celebrations it involves eating. On Saturday, you can try raw milk cheese at shops, farms and creameries around the world. Organised tastings and classes are being held in New York, Lo

Join the Revolution

A revolution is brewing. You can see signs of it in dairy’s, at farmers markets, in restaurants, delis and cheese counters across Australia. It started so innocently. We became used to seeing gouda, jarlsberg and brie sitting next to the coon. Then the French arrived. Fancy cheeses with history, tradition and foreign tastes. Some daringly unpasteurised. It changed our palates. We started to enjoy Munster that smelled like sweaty socks and the salty creamy spice of Roquefort made from ewe’s milk. Now we better appreciate cheese. Small cheesemakers who have been making cheese for our Greek and Italian communities are joining forces with a new brand of cheesemaker. A cheesemaker that is inspire

Ricotta

The art of making whey ricotta was mastered by the Sicilians sometime between the birth o f Jesus and the Romans becoming Christian. They discovered that heating whey, a by-product of cheesemaking, with a bit of acid, such as lemon juice, vinegar or soured milk, encouraged the remaining protein to form cloud like curds. Curds that are delicate, sweet and hard to stop eating by the spoonful. Especially when fresh. Recently a friend asked me to make some ricotta and because sourcing a vat of whey is difficult, I decided to make the ancient whole milk version. One that has been made by Italians since the Bronze Age. I had never made whole milk ricotta before, but I like to think of myself as

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