After meeting Swiss cheesemaker Willi Schmid and tasting almost 30 of his cheeses in New York last winter, I knew I had to travel to Switzerland to learn more about this talented craftsman. I was thoroughly impressed with his innovative approach to cheesemaking and so curious as how one man can make so many superb cheeses. World famous Swiss affineur Rolf Beeler, the great Swiss cheese importer Caroline Hostettler, and the author of Swiss Cheese, Dominik Flammer all say Willi Schmid is the best. But, I needed to understand for myself, a knowledge-hungry cheese professional, what makes him so great and how does he do it? After spending two weeks with Willi Schmid at Städtlichäsi creamery in Lichtensteig, Switzerland, I came to understand what makes this cheesemaker and his cheese so special.
What with my two years of Jr. High French, I'm really not sure what this video is about.
As far as I can tell, the wicked cows defeat the peace-loving brachiosaurs in the battle of the sacred bell. Cows have a numerical advantage because they're really some sort of ambulatory hail or other weather phenomena, and don't rely on cumbersome egg-laying to reproduce.
Doofy cavemen then create Comté cheese, which blots out the sun, creating an ice-age plagued with pesky pterodactyls. The cheese then rolls down a hill and into a cave. The cave contains a number of ghosts, including Julius Caesar and the Beatles. Unafraid, the foolish cheese rolls straight through them and into the hands of a waiting affineur, who punishes its impertinence with a sharp rap with a hammer.
Once upon a time there was a young girl sitting in the lunch room of a chalet somewhere in the mountains of Berner Oberland. Like all the other boys and girls signed up for that ski camp she just had arrived on a bus and was waiting to learn whom she would be put in a group with and when they finally could grab their skis and hit the slopes.
Restless and bored at once the kids started to unpack the lunches they had brought from home. The sounds of aluminum foil being torn off, insulated bottles being opened and apples being bitten into took over the room.
Eating her thick and soothing butter, salami and pickles sandwich the girl all of a sudden noticed a boy sitting a few chairs down at the opposite side of the table. Or more so did she notice his lunch.
On July 11th the cement trucks rolled in and the foundations were poured. The interior was back-filled with gravel and trench drains and floor sinks were secured into their respective positions. Thick sheets of foam insulation were laid down over the gravel and along the edges of the wall curbs. This insulation provides a thermal barrier between the cheese making environment and ambient heat in the ground and between rooms with different temperature requirements. This will help keep our energy costs down when outside temperatures are too high. It also minimizes temperature fluctuation in the aging rooms, reducing run time for air conditioning which dries out air and can negatively impact aging cheeses.
July 25th. Tonight's dinner was late and so, appropriately, quick. Blanched corn -- the first sweet stuff of the summer -- tossed with cracked pepper, torn garden basil, lemon cucumbers, brandywines, and Ploughgate Farm's Queso Fresco. A perfectly tangy and tender take on a cheese that's so seldom made right. Marisa Mauro was taught the authentic recipe and has started selling limited quantities at her local farmers markets. I was lucky enough to plea some off her at July 24th's Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, and it didn't last 24 hours.
This is why I have a love/hate relationship with the annual VT Festival: all us cheese lovers are able to try the fleeting side projects and small-production items, fall for them, then miss them.
Huzzah! I have created cheese.
I'm a big fan of Etsy, an online marketplace that features vintage items, handmade goods, and crafting supplies. I guess you could say it's a bohemian take on Ebay. It was on Etsy that I discovered Claudia Lucero and her do-it-yourself cheesemaking shop, UrbanCheeseCraft. Options include mozzarella, paneer, ricotta, queso blanco, and of course, chèvre. I showed Will and he suggested that I try my hand at making chèvre. I cried "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED" in my head, and here I am. Oh dear.
A new cheese has come onto the southern scene lately that I think you need to know about. Sequatchie Cove is a farm located in Sequatchie Cove, Tennessee, which rests just above Chattanooga. Of the two cheeses they make currently, the one pictured here is Cumberland, a glorious example of a French-style Tomme.
While Cheddar is a style everyone can easily grasp, Tommes are a little more difficult to get a handle on. Generally, their texture is light to semi soft and most posses a weathered rustic rind that gives the cheese an earthy aroma and taste. Tommes are fantastic on a cheese plate, and equally good when used in the kitchen. Potatoes are a natural partner.
The countryside is taking on that internal look, drier, harder, plants ripening, getting stalky, animals fattening, birds growing, strengthening for the long flight to Africa for many. To us, it feels like we are still in the height of summer. To the natural world, the hatches are starting to get battened down for the rigours of winter. The young rabbits are getting fat on the rich vegetation, and the buzzards and fox cubs are getting fat on the young rabbits.