Chelsea Green Publishing

American Farmstead Cheese

Pages:300 pages
Book Art:Charts, graphs, and illustrations
Size: 7 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603587334
Pub. Date May 30, 2005

American Farmstead Cheese

The Complete Guide to Making and Selling Artisan Cheeses

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
May 30, 2005

$40.00

This comprehensive guide to farmstead cheese explains the diversity of cheeses in terms of historical animal husbandry, pastures, climate, preservation, and transport-all of which still contribute to the uniqueness of farm cheeses today.
Discover the composition of milk (and its seasonal variations), starter cultures, and the chemistry of cheese. The book includes:

  • A fully illustrated guide to basic cheesemaking
  • Discussions on the effects of calcium, pH, salt, and moisture on the process
  • Ways to ensure safety and quality through sampling and risk reduction
  • Methods for analyzing the resulting composition

You will meet artisan cheesemaker Peter Dixon, who will remind you of the creative spirit of nature as he shares his own process for cheesemaking. Alison Hooper, cofounder of Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, shares her experience-both the mistakes and the successes-to guide you in your own business adventure with cheese. David and Cindy Major, owners of Vermont Shepherd, a sheep dairy and cheese business, tell the story of their farm and business from rocky beginning to successful end.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

"For those who want to quit their boring jobs and do something that will make their lives meaningful, here's the book. Paul Kindstedt must be considered an American treasure. Of all the books in my possession, this one is now the most important."--Steven Jenkins, maitre-fromager, Fairway Markets

"This is a must have for anyone who is a cheesemaker, cheesemonger, or simply a cheese lover. Encompassing everything from the finer points of artisanal affinage to the historical significance of cheese in society, this book has it all. Mr. Kindstedt certainly knows his curd!"--Terrance Brennan, The Artisanal Group

Booklist-
Not so very long ago the term "American cheese" meant a bland product good for little except melting atop a hamburger patty. Thanks to the efforts of a host of cheese makers around the country, American cheese has begun developing a range of tastes and textures to rival the great cheeses of Europe. To guide those who wish to participate in this burgeoning industry, Kindstedt has developed a manual that covers in detail the scientific and technical bases for turning milk into cheese, describing each of the eight steps of the process. Even the nonprofessional can profit from Kindstedt's discussion of the chemical principles that underlie cheese making, the variations in the final product that are affected by temperature, acidity, salt, and coagulating media. Kinstedt pays particular heed to the importance of sanitation. Other contributors address the art that creates flavor from the science and commercial principles that sustain the cheesemaker. Libraries in dairying communities will find this comprehensive book especially useful, and its extensive bibliographic data will aid students.

Mark Knoblauch

"An In-depth, 'User Friendly' Guide to Cheesemaking," Review from Midwest Book Review-
Knowledgeably written by Paul Kindstedt (a professor of the department of Nutrition and Food Sciences of the University of Vermont) in conjunction with The Vermont Cheese Council (a nonprofit organization that supports Vermont cheesemakers), American Farmstead Cheese: The Complete Guide To Making and Selling Artisan Cheeses is an in-depth, "user friendly" guide to cheesemaking, from means of ensuring safety and quality in one's cheese and analyzing cheese composition, to marketing plans and business strategies of successful commercial cheesemakers. American Farmstead Cheese does cover some technical scientific concepts, particularly when discussing the science of cheese creation, but the language strives to be as accessible as possible to the lay reader and an index allows for quick and easy reference. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this in-depth resource, which is an absolute "must-have" for anyone involved in or contemplating the cheesemaking business, and a delightful addition to the libraries of cheese connoisseurs.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Kindstedt

Paul Kindstedt is a Professor of Food Science in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont. He has authored numerous research articles and invited conference proceedings on dairy chemistry and cheese science, as well as many book chapters. He is the author of Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its Place in Western Civilization, and the co-author of American Farmstead Cheese (2005) with the Vermont Cheese Council.  He has received national professional recognition for both his research and teaching and currently serves as the Co-Director of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont. He is married and blessed with three children who are the joy of his life.

CONNECT WITH THIS AUTHOR

Vermont Institute for Artican Cheese

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Cheese and Culture

Cheese and Culture

By Paul Kindstedt

Behind every traditional type of cheese there is a fascinating story. By examining the role of the cheesemaker throughout world history and by understanding a few basic principles of cheese science and technology, we can see how different cheeses have been shaped by and tailored to their surrounding environment, as well as defined by their social and cultural context. Cheese and Culture endeavors to advance our appreciation of cheese origins by viewing human history through the eyes of a cheese scientist.

There is also a larger story to be told, a grand narrative that binds all cheeses together into a single history that started with the discovery of cheese making and that is still unfolding to this day. This book reconstructs that 9000-year story based on the often fragmentary information that we have available. Cheese and Culture embarks on a journey that begins in the Neolithic Age and winds its way through the ensuing centuries to the present. This tour through cheese history intersects with some of the pivotal periods in human prehistory and ancient, classical, medieval, renaissance, and modern history that have shaped western civilization, for these periods also shaped the lives of cheesemakers and the diverse cheeses that they developed. The book offers a useful lens through which to view our twenty-first century attitudes toward cheese that we have inherited from our past, and our attitudes about the food system more broadly.

This refreshingly original book will appeal to anyone who loves history, food, and especially good cheese.

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AUTHOR VIDEOS

A new book about cheese and culture

A new book about cheese and culture

EXCERPT

Excerpt from Chapter 10: The Art of Cheesemaking by Peter Dixon
For an artisanal business to succeed, the product must be unique and consistently well made, and there must be a market for it. Therefore, artisan cheesemakers adhere to the traditional methods of their craft to bring forth the nuances in flavor that are generated through the intimate connection with the seasons and the environment. The finest cheese may vary, but it should vary within a certain standard if it is to be commercially marketable. Some artisan cheesemakers benefit from following traditions that produce these results, but most of us are relatively new at the game. For the less experienced cheesemakers, then, traditional methods should be supported by scientific principles to the extent necessary to make consistently high-quality cheese. It is important to note that many of the traditional artisan cheesemakers have strong support from the scientific community in their distinctive agricultural regions. The melding of craft and science is used to strengthen the activity on which their livelihood is based.

A cheese such as Cheddar, which was once exclusively made by artisan cheesemakers in Great Britain, has largely turned into the product of an industrial process, though the craft of making Cheddar is still alive. Wheels of Cheddar sealed in cloth bandages, which represent the fruit of an artisan cheesemaker's labor, are still being made. In reading about the history of cheesemaking, we learns that 150 years ago the farm-made Cheddars were more variable in quality because cheesemakers differed in attitude and aptitude--that is, some were better at their craft than others. This could be attributed to many factors, most notably attention to cleanliness during milking and cheesemaking; construction of dairies, creameries, and cheese stores; and systems of cheesemaking. In the case of Cheddar, quality was improved by using methods based on scientific principles--such as the cheddaring process, hygiene, and temperature control during making and aging--that were developed by Joseph Harding in England from the 1850s onward.

Joseph Harding dedicated many years to improving the standard of quality for British cheese. He used scientific principles to develop methods for making cheese that did away with some of the guesswork and exorcised the mysticism of certain traditional methods that produced haphazard results. In this way he was able to demonstrate that some "traditional" practices led to poor quality and also showed how to make significant and consistent improvements by following new practices based on an understanding of dairy science. At first cheesemakers were skeptical of his methods, but the string of blue ribbons collected by his family for their Cheddar cheeses proved him the wiser, and several of his daughters went on to consult and work for other cheese businesses in Great Britain and the United States (Cheke, 1959).

This is the appropriate way for artisan cheesemakers to use science. It is now common practice to integrate scientific principles with traditional cheesemaking practices to better understand how cheese of the highest quality standard is made. This, in turn, enables dairying regions to maintain and develop viable economic enterprises that are centered on artisanal cheesemaking. The key is to produce cheese with a high level of quality, on which a reputation can be built, thereby ensuring marketability over the long term. As a cheesemaker myself--I make 20,000 pounds/9,000 kg of cheese a year for sale throughout New England--I need an approach that will reduce variability and build a reputation for quality. Therefore, I rely on science to enhance the art of cheesemaking. I use standardized rennet and pure starter cultures made in laboratories, and I test acidity regularly during the cheesemaking process. The rest of what I do is based on my knowledge of the craft, which has been built up over only 20 years.

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Including more than 35 step-by-step recipes from the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking

Most DIY cheesemaking books are hard to follow, complicated, and confusing, and call for the use of packaged freeze-dried cultures, chemical additives, and expensive cheesemaking equipment. For though bread baking has its sourdough, brewing its lambic ales, and pickling its wild fermentation, standard Western cheesemaking practice today is decidedly unnatural. In The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, David Asher practices and preaches a traditional, but increasingly countercultural, way of making cheese—one that is natural and intuitive, grounded in ecological principles and biological science.

This book encourages home and small-scale commercial cheesemakers to take a different approach by showing them:

  • How to source good milk, including raw milk;
  • How to keep their own bacterial starter cultures and fungal ripening cultures;
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Introductory chapters explore and explain the basic elements of cheese: milk, cultures, rennet, salt, tools, and the cheese cave. The fourteen chapters that follow each examine a particular class of cheese, from kefir and paneer to washed-rind and alpine styles, offering specific recipes and handling advice. The techniques presented are direct and thorough, fully illustrated with hand-drawn diagrams and triptych photos that show the transformation of cheeses in a comparative and dynamic fashion.

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is the first cheesemaking book to take a political stance against Big Dairy and to criticize both standard industrial and artisanal cheesemaking practices. It promotes the use of ethical animal rennet and protests the use of laboratory-grown freeze-dried cultures. It also explores how GMO technology is creeping into our cheese and the steps we can take to stop it.

This book sounds a clarion call to cheesemakers to adopt more natural, sustainable practices. It may well change the way we look at cheese, and how we make it ourselves.

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Build Your Own Earth Oven is fully illustrated with step-by-step directions, including how to tend the fire, and how to make perfect sourdough hearth loaves in the artisan tradition. The average do-it-yourselfer with a few tools and a scrap pile can build an oven for free, or close to it. Otherwise, $30 should cover all your materials--less than the price of a fancy "baking stone." Good building soil is often right in your back yard, under your feet. Build the simplest oven in a day! With a bit more time and imagination, you can make a permanent foundation and a fire-breathing dragon-oven or any other shape you can dream up.

Earth ovens are familiar to many that have seen a southwestern "horno" or a European "bee-hive" oven. The idea, pioneered by Egyptian bakers in the second millennium BCE, is simplicity itself: fill the oven with wood, light a fire, and let it burn down to ashes. The dense, 3- to 12-inch-thick earthen walls hold and store the heat of the fire, the baker sweeps the floor clean, and the hot oven walls radiate steady, intense heat for hours.

Home bakers who can't afford a fancy, steam-injected bread oven will be delighted to find that a simple earth oven can produce loaves to equal the fanciest "artisan" bakery. It also makes delicious roast meats, cakes, pies, pizzas, and other creations. Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes or less. Vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil roast up in minutes for a simple, elegant, and delicious meal. Efficient cooks will find the residual heat useful for slow-baked dishes, and even for drying surplus produce, or incubating homemade yogurt.

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Celebrating biodiversity through the Mother Garden’s collection of rare, open-pollinated varieties and wild edibles from OAEC’s ecological preserve

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