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March, 2010 New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. www.cheesemaking.com











It's March again here in New England (BRR!)

and we all have cabin fever! When we do venture out of the house, we take our craziness with us, as you can see from this picture of me at the Smith College greenhouse!

Recently, I realized that if I have to be cooped up inside with anyone, my staff is the most fun. They manage to keep me laughing in the middle of the worst snow storms, and that's amazing! I thought this would be a good time to introduce you to the folks who make it happen:


KATHY (at left) is our Office Manager. She does, well, just about everything! She and her husband, John, live in a log cabin. They met at a square dance (you've got to love a man who dances!) Kathy has worked here for almost 14 years.




APRIL
(shown at left) has been coming to work with her mother since she was a 12 year old. Now, she is the mother of three and she works here part-time. She handles most of the computer work, including changes and additions to our website.







Her grandmother and Kathy's mother, IDA, (shown at right) assembles kits and puts everyone to shame with her work ethic. We couldn't even get her to stop working long enough to look at the camera!


ANGIE primarily organizes our inventory, packs orders and answers the phone. She also lives in a log cabin (whey out in the woods). When she isn't working, she takes care of her two children and her two horses.


JEFF works in the summers as a landscaper, but the rest of the year we have him here part-time packing orders. He is, by far, the fastest packer and if there were an Olympics in it, we would sponsor him!

Now that you know what everyone does, you know who to blame if you have a problem! (Just kidding-I told you we go a little crazy here in the winter!)













From Jim Wallace, Our Technical Adviser

Asiago

A Roman flyer, after having admired the Altopiano from the sky landed his two-engine plane at the Asiago airport and exclaimed: "You have the most beautiful green meadows in the world, now I understand why your cheese is so good."
(Nereo Stella)

Asiago cheese is a D.O.P (protected designation of origin). It comes from the Asiago Plateau located in the Province of Vicenza between the Po River and the Southern mountain of the Valsugana valley. The area is a thousand meters above sea level and surrounded by mountains.

Asiago cheese is produced in two forms:

--- Fresh Asiago ("dolce" or "fresco"), also known as Pressato is an off-white color and is milder in flavor than the aged Asiago. It has an aroma slightly reminiscent of yogurt and butter. Its supple texture and pale color reflect its shorter aging period. The flavor is sweet, with a bright, youthful quality.

--- Mature Asiago, which is called Asiago d´Allevo. This has a more yellowish color and is somewhat grainy in texture with a more complex flavor/aroma. This is a cheese to be aged from 8 months to 2 years.


Our recipe is for the fresh Asiago Pressato, an earlier ripening cheese made from full fat milk. The cheese is destined to become a fresh table cheese with a moist, sweet, buttery flavor and will be ready in 30-40 days.

Continued in the Recipe section of our website

















Provolone Success Story!

Submitted by Carlo Milano

Thanks for all this (blog and newsletter) - your book got me going a good thirteen years ago. I avoided "soft-ripened" cheeses, but have had recent phenomenal success with both a Camembert and a blue cheese (Stilton style), but I have yet to venture into the red mold world.

I just made my first Provolone on New Year's Day, and it came out fabulously - you make it very much like a mozzarella, but the curds are cut and 'cheddared' and when you put it in a brine, you can add a drop or two of 'liquid smoke". Instead of small spheres, you have to deal with a large mass of stretchy cheese : I was intimidated at first, but as soon as I was able to stretch a pound of curd to 12x12, I was convinced it would work out right. I'd strongly recommend not using citric acid and letting the thermophilic culture do its thing. Slow Food.

Two weeks of aging later, my wife and I are extremely pleased with my results. We were going to wait for three weeks, but it looked *so* good! (Some lipase will go into my next batch.)

Carlo's recipe on our blog

OMA'S PASKA (LATVIAN EASTER CHEESE)

Note: We received this cheese from Brent Alderman Sterste, whose Grandmother and Great Aunt used to make the cheese. (There are many different recipes for this cheese, including the one in our book, Home Cheesemaking, p. 205.)

My father's family is Latvian and we make a sweet Easter cheese called Paska -- my aunt presses hers in a sterilized flower pot with canned goods on top!

Ingredients:

4 lbs. farmers cheese (biezpiens), store-bought or home-made
1 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 egg yolks, hard-boiled
4 egg yolks, raw (optional, but traditional)
2 1/2 C sugar
1-2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Dried fruit, (optional) e.g. currants, pineapple, glace fruits

Oma's recipe on our blog

Unidentified Artifact

Lisa Kay Adam would be interested in hearing from anyone who might have more information about the strainer in the picture she sent. Contact her at: ladam@mosthistory.org

Good afternoon,

Would anyone at your company be able to help identify an item from our museum, which may be related to cheese?

I have attached an image of an item that our records say is a cheese rack. It was found in or with a 1930s stove that was donated to the museum many years ago. Its diameter is approximately 14 inches, and, in its current state, it is slightly concave.

We would like to know, first, if it is indeed something related to cheese, and second, in what way it would have been used.

Thank you for any information you might be able to give us.













We're blogging and we're loving it!


We finally have a place to tell you about Ricki's singing workshops and Jim's beer and wine making, as well as recipes we find and more. You may have already noticed that some of the articles in our new Moosletter are being continued on our blog. You will also find:

More on Making Burratta

Cheese and Beer

Ricotta Salata

Horseradish Cheddar and Jalapeno Cheddar

Prim-ost Anyone?

Interview #1 with a New Cheesemaker

Interview #2 with a New Cheesemaker

Our Moving Project

More About Whey Cheeses

Note:  Dan Earle, our first interview on the blog, is looking for a source of good milk in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  If you know of one, please let us know at info@cheesemaking.com so we can add it to our Good Milk list as well as help Dan make cheese.

We have just begun our blog, and we welcome any and all contributions. So, if you want to tell us about your experiences making cheese (or eating cheese) or any other cheesy thing, send it along to info@cheesemaking.com.  Pictures are always welcome to help us to tell your story.














March 20

Annual Oregon Cheese Festival

This festival will be farmer's market style with cheese makers at their booths, giving samples and talking about their work. It will be open Saturday, March 20th from 10am to 5 pm at Rogue Creamery, 311 North Front St, Central Point, OR. For more information-(866) 396-4704 or www.roguecreamery.com.

March 27-28

Semi Soft and Early Ripening Cheeses

This workshop will be held at Jim's house in Shelburne Falls, MA.  It has been designed for those who want to jump into cheesemaking but would like to see the results of their efforts in 30 - 60 days.

The two day workshop will cover the complete process for 3 very unique cheeses that span the range of cultures and process temperatures. It will begin with an analysis of milk and continue through the final aging requirements.

March 26-29

California's Artisan Cheese Festival-4th Annual

The Sheraton Sonoma County in Petaluma

Educational seminars, fine dining and a Sunday Marketplace.
info@artisancheesefestival.com

March 31-April 2

Making Cheese From Northern Italy and The Alps

Three Day Workshop in Columbia, MO

Organized by Neville McNaughton


April 10

2nd Annual Raw Milk Symposium

Madison, Wisconsin

Invited Speakers - Sally Fallon Morell, Michael Schmidt, Mark McAfee, Ted Beals, M.D., David Gumpert, Tim Wightman, Dr. Ton Barrs, Sylvia Onusic, Fund attorney and more.  For more info contact:


















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