by Matt Logan
Matt Logan is the assistant cheesemaker at Hawthorne Valley Farms creamery in Ghent, New York. The farm has practiced biodynamic farming for more than 35 years and includes a bakery and fermented food production, in addition to cheesemaking. Creamery products include aged cheddar and alpine cheeses (including a bandaged cheddar), soft cheeses, quark, and yogurt. More information on the farm (and its Waldorf School) may be found at www.hawthornevalleyfarm.org. Matt Logan received his Master Cheesemaker certification at the Vermont Institute of Artisan Cheese, University of Vermont. Matt has written several articles for Cheese Enthusiast, including his series on making cheese as an intern at Gubbeen House, County Cork, Ireland. Cheese Enthusiast was able to visit Matt and Hawthorne Valley Farms and provide some very basic labor assistance as Matt made Cheddar from the morning milk.
In the Caves at Jasper Hill, Vermont
By Merryl Winstein
Mateo Keilor pulled back massive stainless steel doors. Glimmering within, I could barely discern rows of mysterious whitish forms. They were huge cheddar cheeses, thousands upon thousands of them, stacked floor to high, arched ceiling. The chill, humid air smacked heavily of dank mold, as thick as butter, loaded with ammonia.“These are all of the Cabot Clothbound Cheddars,” Mateo told us. “They are all aged here, at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. He and his brother Andrew, in collaboration with partners (mostly family and friends), began in 2007 to build a complex of seven huge cheese aging caverns. Outdoors I only saw a bushy, grass covered hill like any in the surrounding Vermont countryside. But underneath 10 feet of quiet earth, the cellars are bustling. Now, at only 35% capacity, the operation already shows some profit.
Do Try This At Home
By Susan Marquis
A Cheese Inspired by Spain’s Torta del Casar
Torta del Casar is one of two “torta” cheeses made by shepherds in the Extremadura region of Spain, the other being Torta del Serena. In 1993, Torta del Casar became one of the 24 “DOP” or “protected designation of origin” Spanish cheeses. Extremadura, or “extreme land,” is in southwestern Spain, with Andalucia to the south and Portugal to the west. As described by Spanish cheesemaker and historian Enric Canut, Extremadura is a land of both goats and sheep, with a range of terrains and altitudes including mountains, plains, and pasture land. With rainy and mild winters, the climate is something between the moderate Mediterranean of the coasts and the harsh extremes of the Spanish interior. Fresh and soft cheeses are produced in Extremadura, as well as aged cheese preserved in olive oil.