Here's How To...

Make Cheese

A soft cheese especially popular in Brazil, Catupiry cream cheese is a favorite ingredient on pizza and in many dishes. To make Catupiry at home, simply melt 2 packages (9 oz.) of cream cheese and one pound of Munster cheese together until they are completely blended.  Remove from heat, place in a container and cool.  Next, refrigerate for a few hours until chilled. For use in any recipe calling for Catupiry.

cheesemaking vat

The Basics of Making Cheese
The process of cheesemaking is an ancient craft that dates back thousands of years. Cheesemaking capitalises on the curdling of milk. The process of cheesemaking is explained by John H. Smith in his book, "Cheesemaking in Scotland - A History."

Recipes and Supplies
You will be amazed at how easy it is to make your own cheese. You already have most of  the equipment in your  kitchen. A simple cream yogurt cheese spread can be ready for  breakfast overnight. Mozzarella cheese is ready the same day its made and even the aged cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda and Colby are ready to eat in just a few weeks. For cheesemaking supplies, click here

Starter Cultures
Starter cultures are an important element of cheesemaking, innoculating milk with friendly bacteria that causes it to coagulate and develop flavor. 

For a discussion and instructions for growing a bacterial starter culture by Danish cheesemaker Peter Moller, click here.

Milk for Cheesemaking
Choose milk carefully. Milk with an off taste will make an off-tasting cheese. Choose fresh and local as much as possible, and avoid ultrapasteurized, which can affect the milk's ability to form curds. With raw milk, buy only
very fresh milk (within 48 hours of milking) from a trusted source that uses good handling techniques.

Hill farmer with cheeses
Hill farmer with his cheeses at a Malga (summer Alpine farm) in Val di Rabbi. Stelvio National Park, Italian Alps, Italy

Test raw milk with a pH meter to make sure it's within the 6.8-6.7 range before making cheese.

Don't boil milk, as it will make cheese that tastes "cooked" and the curds won't be as moist or tender.

Make Fromage Blanc at Home

from Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith

"The milk for cheesemaking needs to be fresh - no older than 48 hours. Ask at your grocery store when milk is delivered and try to buy it the same day. You will need two pots for this recipe: an 8-qt/7.5-L pot for the milk and a 2-qt/2-L pot for the buttermilk. Including crème fraîche adds aricher flavor and smoother consistency."

Buy Direct from a Cheesemaker
The best way to experience a cheese done right is to buy it direct from a professional cheesemaker. To visit the Booths of our cheese vendors, click here

More Cheese Resources 
Cowgirl Creamery Cooks
Cowgirl Creamery Cooks
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cheese Making
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cheese Making
Home Dairy with Ashley English
Home Dairy with Ashley English
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

American Farmstead Cheese: The Complete Guide To Making and Selling Artisan Cheeses

Making Great Cheese At Home: 30 Simple Recipes From Cheddar  to Chevre
Wisconsin Cheese
Wisconsin Cheese

Cheesemaking Made Easy

And That's How You Make Cheese!
Practical Cheesemaking
Practical Cheesemaking

Making Cheese, Butter & Yogurt
Making Cheese, Butter & Yogurt 
Making Artisan Cheese: Fifty Fine Cheeses That You Can Make in Your Own Kitchen
Making Artisan Cheese: Fifty Fine Cheeses That You Can Make in Your Own Kitchen
The Complete Guide to Making Cheese, Butter, and Yogurt at Home
Complete Guide to Making Cheese, Butter & Yogurt at Home
200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes
200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes

Lost Arts: A Celebration of Culinary Traditions
Artisan Cheese Making at Home
Artisan Cheese Making at Home
Cheesemaking Made Easy
Storey Books, 2002

The notable primer on making cheese at home, Cheesemaking Made Easy, has been revised and updated as Home Cheese Making with more recipes, profiles of cheesemakers, and sources for supplies and equipment.

Home cheesemaking can be a fun hobby or educational activity, or it can be a lucrative sideline for farmers market sales or even a steady business. While this book is intended for beginners, it includes recipes and instructions for taking the art to a commercial level.

Cheese recipes found in this book include:

Fromage Blanc
Monterey Jack
Petit Brie
Queso Fresco
Saint Maure
Stirred-Curd Cheddar
Whey Ricotta

Instructions on how to make a cheese press are included along with advise on cutting, molding, pressing, aging and storing cheeses. There's even a section on how to market your cheese, for those so inclined, and some inspirational stories about successful home cheesemakers who became  professionals.

Storing Cheese
A soft cheese can last up to three weeks in cold storage. Harder cheeses can last two or three months.

The most common and possibly worst way to store cheese is in a clear plastic wrap. The plastic traps moisture, which condenses into pockets of water, providing the ideal environment for mold to grow. Instead, wrap cheese in wax paper, which repels the evaporating water from the cheese.

To keep the wax paper from unfolding in the refrigerator and letting the cheese dry out, wrap the package in aluminum foil.

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