From Serious Eats, here's some good info on what's going on in Northern Italy after the earthquakes, and how people can help out the cheese producers as they pick up the pieces:
Cheesemakers can continue to age undamaged wheels to full maturity (12 to 24 months), at which point they can be certified by law as Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Unfortunately, if the interior of a wheel was cracked by the fall or the rind was broken, the cheese can't be aged any more. While the cheese itself is still perfectly edible, it can't earn its certification and must be sold as unbranded hard-grating cheese.
The economic impact of the disaster has been devastating for cheesemakers all over the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy created this informative video to give viewers an idea of the kind of impact the nation's dairy farms have the environment.
According to the video, the dairy industry contributes less than 2% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. Watch the video for more surprising facts
China is expanding its domestic milk production, while simultaneously buying more milk from the US. If you're wondering how this makes sense, it all has to do with China's growing demand for milk products. In essence, the people want more milk than China can currently supply on its own"
China's appetite for dairy products is growing quickly, according to the analysis prepared by Ed Jesse and colleagues Bill Dobson and Fengxia Dong for the Babock Institute. Dairy foods aren't part of the traditional diet, but consumption has risen as incomes have gone up and more families have acquired refrigerators. The economists expect per capita consumption of dairy products in China to grow 3.4 percent to 5.7 percent annually.
U.S. dairy exports reflect this. The value of U.S. dairy product sales to China increased more than eleven-fold from 2000 to 2010, according to the report. In 2010, China replaced Japan as the third-largest market for U.S. dairy exports.
Recent studies show that a "secret ingredient" (a vitamin) found in milk might help keep us slim. That sounds ok to us!
NR is a relatively new type of vitamin discovered in milk just five years ago by a biochemist at Dartmouth Medical School. According to Telegraph India, researchers found that NR plays an important role in keeping mice slim and fit -- even when fed a high-fat diet. Mice fed NR supplements burned more fat and showed greater endurance in their muscles than their NR-deprived friends.
Forget chocolate milk, Prairieland Dairy is really breaking the mold this summer with cotton candy and root beer flavored milks. If you're intrigued, wait until August, when you'll be able to get your hands on a carton
“When you get flavored milk, you want to make sure it doesn’t sit on a shelf and then separate, so there’s lots of binding activity that occurs,” Landes said. “If someone takes white milk and stirs in chocolate syrup to make chocolate milk, and lets it sit in your refrigerator, it separates. The trick is to put binders in it in a natural way that will suspend that flavoring.”
In addition to the unique flavors coming later this year, Prairieland Dairy, which is northeast of Firth, will soon be rolling out a new permanent flavor to accompany its regular and chocolate varieties.
Launching in June will be the company’s strawberry flavored milk
Helena Bowen loves goats, and that love inspired her to make a documentary all about these social dairy animals. Bowen will be traveling throughout the US collecting footage, and the project will culminate at the American Dairy Goat Association National Show in Colorado in July:
“The main goal is to promote goats. Obviously goats are super misrepresented in pop culture. They are thought of as stupid and lazy. Tons of people have them in America. They are loving and gentle, and an important part of the industry. I want to especially emphasize that goat's milk is being used for people who are lactose intolerant. I want to promote the goat for what it is,” Bowen said.
The Pyrenees are home to some of France's tastiest cheeses. Follow this blogger's adventures on the cheese trail:
For the past eight months, for a variety of environmental reasons, I have abstained from eating any cheese—but last week I went tumbling off the wagon. I couldn’t help myself any longer. For the Pyrenees, I’ve discovered, is a cheese-producing district about as moldy and musky as they get outside of Roquefort. Cows and sheep seem to outnumber people, grazing on the hillsides in vast herds and clogging the roads as villagers drive them into the high country for the summer—an annual occasion for festivities and celebrations in many villages.
It turns out the recent concerns about raw milk cheese are not so recent. Read about the history of Stilton cheese concerning unpasteurized milk:
1989 was a bleak year for Stilton. The illustrious English blue-veined cheese was accused as the culprit of a food poisoning scare that sickened several people whose Christmas tables it had graced. Fears that pathogens lurking in the raw-milk cheese were to blame triggered a knee-jerk decision that from then on, all Stilton would be made with pasteurized milk. The creamy blue was never proven to be cause of the outbreak, but it was too late. Production guidelines were rewritten, new equipment bought and methods changed. The centuries-old cheese as it has always been made ceased to exist.
Know all you need (or want) to know about bloomy-rind cheeses with this guide from Wendy M. Levy.
Pretty much everyone knows about brie: spongy, ivory-colored cheese that starts to ooze if left out on the counter for too long, covered with this bright-white, cottony sort of stuff that is maybe edible (or at least you hope it’s edible, since you’re the one who usually eats it). People like it for parties.
But do you really know brie?