During 2013 we will not be producing or selling goat cheese.
Spring through fall we turn our goats’ sweet grade A milk into fresh, soft ripened and aged hard cheeses. Using simple farmstead cheesemaking techniques of hand cutting, stirring and scooping curds, I work in 10 to 100 gallon batches, in a 1945 Cherry-Burell pasteurizer Joe rebuilt into a cheese vat. Using artistic license and attention to quality, we create cheese our customers love.
To make fresh chevre,
cultured low temperature vat-pasteurized fresh milk is set overnight,
forming a lactic fermented curd that’s hand-ladled into various
shaped molds or cheesecloth bags to drain. This cheese has a clean
tart flavor and with a little salt is packed for sale or turned
into uniquely flavored spreads. Our ripened chevre drains longer
and dries slightly before the yeast and mold grow, forming rinds.
Ripening—or curing—replaces the fresh taste with an
almost sweet mellow goatiness and different rinds impart an array
of subtle flavor.
Like chevre, raw milk
feta and aged hard cheese utilize similar techniques, but they’re
accelerated and the cut curd is warmed to release liquid whey. Feta
is barrel brined for at least 60 days before sale. Rinds on hard
cheese form naturally due to surface drying, protecting the inside
of the cheese as a crust on bread. Washing cheese wheels with salted
water and whey or dry brushing control unwanted molds as they sit
curing on wooden planks in the cool humid environment of our partially
buried concrete cave.
The craft of affinage—cheese
aging—is complex. When I make a particular cheese, I adapt
to seasonal influences by adjusting the cheese recipe, the drying
time and length of aging in the cave.
I have been making cheese for over 10 years, studying in France and attending numerous cheesemaking and cheese-food safety courses at the University of Vermont and University of Maine. With help from the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension we have implemented a Food Safety Plan-HACCP. Besides ourselves, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture and Public Health routinely test our milk and cheese, assuring a quality safe cheese.