Artisanal vs. Mass Produced

Artisanal vs. Mass Produced

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

Artisanal vs. Mass Produced

Location: Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Station, California

Featuring: Maureen, Jonathon, Peg, and Sue of Cowgirl Creamery

Artisan cheeses require the skilled use and manipulation of hand tools, which imparts unique qualities, more complex taste and variety. Making them also requires knowledge and skill in aging and ripening, qualities absent in mass-produced cheeses which utilize automated systems and tools to produce nearly uniform products.

Strauss organic milk + cream = Cowgirl Creamery’s “triple crème” cheese

1. Starter culture added
2. Microbial rennet added
3. Curd cut and separated from whey
4. Curd poured into cheese forms

1. Set morning cheese in brine (whey and salt) for five hours
2. Place on racks and store in warm drying room with good ventilation
3. Turned in first aging room (humid and warm)
4. Over next nine to eleven days rind forms (and fuzz) while cheese is continually turned
5. When fuzz develops the cheese is washed in a salt water brine bath to halt the growth of geothricum and penicillium while encouraging “brevi bacterium linens” (makes cheese stinky)
6. Place cheese in colder high humidity cave
7. Bacteria Linens, molds, and yeasts battle it out on rind
8. After 18-21 days cheese gets final wash
9. Best eaten at 30 days (60 for strong of heart)