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Cheesemaking Newsletter-2011-July

July, 2011     New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

August 21st is the BIG DAY!

The Queen's wedding is coming up fast and we (the royal staff) are frantically busy with preparations.  We will be taking pictures of the wedding, of course, so you will be able to see them on our Facebook page and at our blog

We are already working on a fabulous blow-out wedding issue of the August Moosletter (don't tell Ricki-it's a surprise!).  There will be lots of pictures of the King and Queen AND extra Facebook Specials AND a GIVEAWAY!  Who loves ya?

Helping with a Balloon Launch

Ricki and Jamie seem to always be there for a friend and this friend needed help with his hot air balloon.  By the way, he made that balloon himself and this was a launch of homemade balloons!  How cool is that?

Cleaning Up After Our Tornado

In June, a tornado swept through an area near us in Western Massachusetts.  It destroyed huge sections of the city of Springfield and a large part of the nearby town of Monson.  So, Ricki and Jamie headed there to help with the clean-up.  Thanks to their efforts and those of hundreds of other volunteers, most of the people whose lives were upended are now on the road to recovery.

Contributing to Heifer International

N.E.S.C. is proudly supporting Heifer International by participating in the Ashfield Library's Read to Feed Program as a financial sponsor.  This program was organized by our neighbor and friend, Ginny Gray, the Western Mass Volunteer Coordinator for Heifer.

Heifer International has been providing livestock to needy families all over the world since 1944.  They have based their project on well-documented evidence that the gift of even one goat (or one of over 25 different animals) can transform a family's life.  It adds nutrition to their diet and it gives them the opportunity to sell their milk, yogurt or cheese as well as the offspring of their animals. (Learn more at

Ginny's goal in the Read to Feed Program is to educate young people about the concept of helping others and to encourage them to read books.  They also get prizes, such as stickers, buttons and ice cream, and they are able to vote for which animal they will "buy" from Heifer to be donated at the end of the summer. 

This year, we are proud to report that the money for the animal they choose has been donated by our very own Cheese Queen!

At left:  Lucia Argueta in Honduras had received a pregnant goat from Heifer and here she is shown holding a newly born kid.

Honoring Ig Vella, Cheese Making Legend

Ricki would like to take this opportunity to say farewell to her friend, cheese maker- Ig Vella of Sonoma, California (Vella Cheese) who died in June at the age of 83. 

He was the first recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the American Cheese Society  in 2006, and he was considered by many to be the godfather of the artisinal cheese movement in this country. 

He will always be remembered for his community service work in Sonoma. In fact, he remains the only resident to have ever had a bridge named after him - the Ig Vella Bridge. 

Ricki is grateful that she was able to enjoy his company at many of the American Cheese Society conferences through the years.  He will definitely be missed. 

30 Minute Burrata!

If you're familiar with burrata, you are drooling at the very sound of the word.  The name means "buttered" in Italian because it melts in your mouth.  It is mozzarella with a filling of soft, creamier mozzarella inside.  (This is not a dream and we are not making it up!)  

Suzanne has advanced in her cheese making skills to the point where she has cast aside her recipes and she is doing whatever she wants (not unlike everything else she does at her website-Chickens in the Road!)  We couldn't be prouder of her.  (Oh, and did we mention that she has a giveaway at her site every month of cheese making supplies donated by you-know-who?)

To see Suzanne's pictures and recipe - click here

Cream Cheese

As you know, Jim does a new step-by-step recipe every month, and he submits it via e-mail (although we would much prefer that he tear himself away from his home office and visit us at the shop, in person.)

This month, he wrote a note with his recipe and we decided to share it with you:

As I usually do, I passed the cheese around to my foody friends and while they usually think its great, this time they all took the time to rave about it and come by and tell me so.

Now that tells me that the creamchz available commercially is REALLY BAD or that this recipe produces an outstanding cream cheese.  Even my cats love this one.

Have to say, though, I thought doing cream cheese would be a slam dunk project until I began researching and experimenting with it.

I used the worst milk/cream combo I could find and it was a superb cheese. When I used raw milk and cream it was positively hedonistic.

Oooh!  Hedonistic!  That sounds good to us ...

To see Jim's recipe - click here.


We love hearing from our retailers!

There's nothing like a good display rack to sell our products!

We received this note and picture from Paul and Carolyn Baker, owners of The Shady Lady in Pensacola, Florida:

Purchased new rack from closing Hallmark store (so sad) works well for cheese.  First thing you see at the front door.  Wish your web site had a retailer list.

Well, we heard you and we do have a list now!  Sarah, our Cheese Princess just added it to our website.  It's called LOCAL STORES and it's at the bottom of the left hand nav bar  -  Click here.

Monica's 30 Minute Mozzarella Dulce de Leche

Just wanted to pass along an easy recipe your customers might enjoy. After making your 30 minute mozzarella, I was at a loss as to what to do with the delicious leftover whey. Since it can't be used to make ricotta, I went on a web search looking for an answer. Here's what I came up with;

30 Minute Mozzarella Dulce de Leche

Bring leftover whey from 30 minute mozzarella recipe to a low boil and reduce to about one quart. It takes a couple hours.
Stir in 2 cups sugar - one part sugar to two parts whey-
Add a vanilla bean, or 1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cool a bit, and blend in a blender until smooth, or use a stick-blender right in the pot.
Continue boiling until thick, browned, and creamy, sort of like caramel.  Less cooking for thinner sauce, more cooking for spreading on croissants or dipping strawberries, bananas, pineapple, apples, etc.

I've attached a picture of the finished product, it turned out a bit thicker than I had hoped, more like soft caramel than coffee or ice cream syrup, but I got distracted at the end and cooked it a bit too long.

It has a slight tartness which I attribute to the citric acid, but everyone who has tried it thinks it's amazing. I'm making dry milk powder mozzarella today, and I'm going to see if the whey from that can be used for the same purpose, I'll keep you posted.
Monica Morris

Susan's Radish Dip with Lactic Cheese

Hi cheese makers! First of all, very big congratulations on the upcoming nuptuals. I hope that everything goes as befitting of royalty.

I (re)married myself 3 years ago and moved to an 80-acre farm in Minnesota with my husband and two other families (his brother and sister and their spouses). My husband is a landscaper, but aside from the tree nursery, there's no real farming going on. Just lots of prairie restoration and a hog barn turned into a woodworking shop and some chickens.

I've always been a suburban or urban person, most recently living in Long Beach, California, and for years in Chicago, so even gardening was new to me. But I love growing food and have come a long way. Reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle really set me on a new path, one that included cheesemaking. Though I have mostly made mozzarella and lactic cheese, my last order was for calcium chloride, as I intend to graduate up to cheese curds.

We have an amazing local cheesemaker here and I can get "the hard stuff," gouda and really great gruyere and cheddar, from her. (Let her maintain the cheese cave!)

I have a blog, and in the summer it is dominated by gardening news and recipes. I just made this "rosey dilled radish dip" that is so delicious with lactic cheese, I wanted to share. The original recipe calls for cream cheese-- feh! I can't imagine it's as good as it is made with lactic cheese.  I've used up the last of my radishes in this last batch, so will have to wait until fall to make it again.

Rosey-Dilled Radish Dip

8 oz. lactic or cream cheese, at room temperature (so you can mix it)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs fresh chopped dill
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped radishes

Combine all the ingredients well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to incorporate the flavors before serving. Serve with crackers, chips or vegetable strips.
Susan Sink

Angelique's Farmhouse Cheddar Bow Tie Pasta

We posted a blog article in January featuring Angelique Haschalk's Farmhouse Cheddar.  Now, she's ready to eat it, so she sent us her recipe for Bow Tie Pasta, which she features at her own Home Cooking blog:

Farmhouse Cheddar Bow Tie Pasta

This time of year I usually have lots of fresh tomatoes and basil.  I also made my farmhouse cheddar in January so now it is sharp, delicious and ready to eat! 

1/2 box of bow tie pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
8 fresh basil leaves
1 cup grated farmhouse cheddar cheese
2 roughly chopped fresh tomatoes (skin on)
2 tbsp salted butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp minced garlic

Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.
Melt butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan, add garlic and cook for two minutes while stirring.
Chiffonade cut the basil.  Here's how:
Reduce heat to simmer and add the pasta and the other remaining ingredients. 
Mix well and remove from heat after just barely melting the cheese (about two minutes). 

Can serve warm or chilled.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Etorki?

I am very interested in learning to make Etorki cheese, and am wondering if you've covered this one already.
Vicki Brooks
We haven't covered it yet,  because we seldom have access to sheep's milk here.  Anyone else?

Send your news & responses to Jeri at

(Note: Questions about making cheese go to

Sarah finds these products while she's answering the phone, processing orders, managing our Facebook page and responding to e-mails from our customers!  If she wasn't the Cheese Queen's daughter, we would be impressed, but because she's royalty, we take her for granted and keep our expectations high.  That's just the way it is for a cheese princess in this kingdom ...

Ripening Mats

As you most likely know, when you are draining or aging your cheeses, you want a layer of air to circulate below them.  The most convenient tool for this is a good mat.  It must be durable and easy to clean (non-porous).

Sarah has found us these polypropylene mats with 2 kinds of mesh- fine and medium.  They each come in two different sizes - small (6.5" x 6.5") and large (6.5" x 39.75").

For more info -

Ripening Mat Fine Mesh - click here

Ripening Mat Medium Mesh - click here


This is a steal!  According to Wikipedia, 10 pounds of honey yields 1 pound of beeswax.  But, try to buy 10 pounds of honey for $12!

We don't know why it's such a good deal, but we do know that many of you have requested it through the years.  It's 100% natural and there is no coloring added.  It even smells good but you don't have to thank us- just thank the bees!)

For more info - click here

Cheesemaking 101

Workshops with Ricki Carroll

A full day of hands-on cheese making with Ricki in her beautiful house in the foothills of the Berkshires. You will learn to make Farmhouse Cheddar, Queso Blanco, Whole Milk and Whey Ricotta,  30 Minute Mozzarella, Fromage Blanc, Creme Fraiche and Mascarpone.


For more info - click here

Cheesemaking 201

Advanced Workshops with Jim Wallace

Jim Wallace has been our technical resource for a number of years now, teaching and answering our technical questions. He is an expert photographer, a great teacher and he has a wealth of knowledge. You will be delighted with his classes. They are more technical in scope than Ricki's introductory class, but are fine for the cheese maker who wants to learn more details of the process.

For more info - click here

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

Shelburne, Vermont

July 24

The Big Cheese Festival

Caerphilly, Wales

July 29 - 31

American Cheese Society Conference & Competition

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

August 3 - 6

Bra Cheese Festival

Bra, Italy

September 17 - 18

The Great British Cheese Festival

Cardiff, Wales

September 24 - 25

ADGA Convention

Grand Rapids, Michigan

October 15-22

Third Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival

Madison, Wisconsin

November 4 - 5

9th Annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference

Sonoma, California

February 25 - 29, 2012