In little more than a century, industrial practices have altered every aspect of the cheesemaking process, from the bodies of the animals that provide the milk to the microbial strains that ferment it. Reinventing the Wheel explores what has been lost as raw-milk, single-farm cheeses have given way to the juggernaut of factory production. In the process, distinctiveness and healthy rural landscapes have been exchanged for higher yields and monoculture. However, Bronwen and Francis Percival find reason for optimism. Around the world—not just in France, but also in the United States, England, and Australia—enterprising cheesemakers are exploring the techniques of their great-grandparents. At the same time, using sophisticated molecular methods, scientists are upending conventional wisdom about the role of microbes in every part of the world. Their research reveals the resilience and complexity of the indigenous microbial communities that contribute to the flavor and safety of cheese. One experiment at a time, these dynamic scientists, cheesemakers, and dairy farmers are reinventing the wheel. Instructors: Bronwen Percival is the cheese buyer at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. She initiated the biennial Science of Artisan Cheese Conference and is cofounder of the website microbialfoods.org. In addition to serving on the editorial board of the Oxford Companion to Cheese, she recently edited an English translation of the leading French textbook on raw-milk microbiology for cheesemakers. Francis Percival writes on food and wine for The World of Fine Wine and was named Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year in 2013 and Pio Cesare Wine and Food Writer of the Year 2015. His work has also appeared in Culture, Decanter, Saveur, and the Financial Times. Together with Bronwen, he cofounded the London Gastronomy Seminars.
This five-day training is a practical and comprehensive technical guide to cheese technology and the principles governing the quality of cheese. During this intensive, participants will learn the fundamentals of cheese making, quality control practices, and useful considerations in starting a small-scale cheese making business. The first section focuses on the chemistry of milk and the different aspects defining the quality of cheese making milk. The second part describes the principles of cheese making and the different families of cheese and also includes comprehensive hands-on demonstrations in making three different cheese styles: a fresh acid-coagulated soft cheese, a bloomy rind variety, and a semi-hard cheese. The last section of the training focuses on how to monitor and control the fundamental factors driving the quality of the product..
Montserrat Almena-Aliste, Ph.D.
This five-day course is a practical and comprehensive technical guide to cheese technology and the principles governing the quality of cheese. During this intensive course, participants will learn the fundamentals of cheesemaking, quality control practices, and useful considerations in starting a small-scale cheesemaking business. The first section focuses on the chemistry of milk and the different aspects defining the quality of cheesemaking milk. The second part describes the principles of cheesemaking and the different families of cheese and also includes comprehensive hands-on demonstrations in making three different cheese styles: a fresh acid-coagulated soft cheese, a bloomy rind variety, and a semi-hard cheese. The last section of the program focuses on how to monitor and control the fundamental factors driving the quality of the product. This course is taught by Dr. Montserrat Almena-Aliste and cheesemaker Chris Gray. All cheesemaking exercises will be completed at the Vermont Tech – Norwich Farms .
Please note there is the option to take this course for academic credit with an additional fee of $100.
Lodging is available on campus for an additional fee at a very competitive rate. Please inquire call Rachel at (802) 728-1677.
Montserrat Almena-Aliste, Ph.D
Artisan cheesemaking is a great fit for sustainable farming. As a value-added component of a sustainable farming plan, cheesemaking can be another step in the holistic cycle of land to food. Today, the United States has nearly 1,000 artisan cheesemakers, with more starting up each year. However, the path to success in is not always easy, in part due to the multiple factors involved in making good quality cheeses as well as the current competitive market.
This 6 day intensive workshop includes hands-on cheesemaking as well as information and discussion about cheese aging, facilities, equipment, regulations, sanitation and food safety, business planning, and creamery design.
This session will be held in Westminster, VT. For availability, contact Rachel at Tel. 802.387.4041 or firstname.lastname@example.org Registration information and policies can be found here.
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