Your Cart

Moos-Letter 2017 July

Untitled Document

The Fantastic Moos-Letter | July, 2017

Learn how to make Vacherin d'Abondance, meet happy cheese makers and have fun along the whey...
The Fabulous Moos-Letter
July, 2017
Recipe of the month
Vacherin d'Abondance
This cheese is traditionally made in the valley of Abondance, France. It's produced in small quantities after the cows come down off the high summer pastures and into the barns in the valley during the cold months.

It's history can be traced back to the 1400s. Today the only real Vacherin d'Abondance is made from a single producer in the valley. In 2005 production had ceased, until 2015 when a young man took it upon himself to bring this wonderful cheese back to life.

This special cheese is traditionally ready in the winter season and ripens to almost a spoonable consistency. It is contained only by a strip of bark from the local alpine forest.

We hope you enjoy our newest recipe and have as much fun making this wonderful cheese as we do.
View Jim's Complete Recipe
Beginner Resources
Cheese Making 1,2,3
A beginners guide from milk to cheese.
Start Here
Beginner FAQ's
From milk and cream to rennet and aging.
Browse FAQ's
How-To Guides
Learn to make a brine, cheese cave & more.
Learn More
Cheese Workshops
Beginner and advanced workshops.
Sign Up Now
Questions and Answers
(Q) I'm wanting to make your Sage Derby cheese… are there any botulism concerns with using fresh herbs/spinach inside the cheese?

(A) You definitely want to choose very fresh healthy ingredients and wash well, then blanch before using.
(Q) I just made my first cheese - farmhouse cheddar. Everything worked great, and my mold overflowed with curds. However, I tried in vain for several hours to make ricotta from the good amount of whey that I produced.

I carefully heated the whey and watched the temperature religiously right up into the 195-200°F range and held it there, but I never saw more than very tiny little curds precipitate. In desperation, I added a tablespoon of lemon juice, to no avail.

(A) Ricotta is comprised of different proteins from the cheese curds. They are released from the whey due to heating.

Those little bits moving out around the rim ARE your ricotta trying to form. Adding the lemon juice defeated them and the hard little bits you collected were the result. In general, ricotta needs a sweet whey and adding the lemon juice probably made things too acidic.

Patience is important here because it will take about 20 minutes, when at temperature, for them to unite and float to the surface where you can scoop the mass off. Adding more acid and stirring a bit too much will defeat the process.
(Q) If I put lipase powder in a farmhouse cheese, would it make it sharper so I would not have to age it so long?

(A) The sharpness from a cheddar is mostly from protein breakdown (protease), whereas, lipase is an enzyme that focuses on changing the lipids or fat in cheese.

So, no, lipase in cheddar will not give you an early aging cheese. This is not to say that there is no natural lipase working in cheddar, but the dominance is the protease activity.
(Q) I'm just starting to make aged cheeses and I'm wondering what you think of acidity testing vs pH testing?

(A) PH and acid titration measure distinctly different elements in the milk whey or cheese. You will find both measures mixed among cheese making books.

We measure the titration of the milk while it ripens until adding the rennet. This is because there is very little acid produced and the titratable acidity will show a greater change. If you were to try to measure this with a pH meter, you might only find a half-point change.

Once the process is underway and a greater amount of acid is being produced, the pH meter seems to be the most convenient tool.

However, in the final stages when the cheese is in the more solid curd stage, it is difficult to read the pH because the meters work best in a liquid. We then collect a bit of the whey running from the cheese and measure that.

One note: The best cheese makers can tell just by tasting and observing the texture. Remember, the tools we use are not that old compared to the history of cheese.
Do you have a cheese making question?
Send it to
In The Spotlight
Sue Cummings in Kalispell, Montana
Sue's family goes way back in the history of Montana - they were homesteaders in one of the most inaccessible areas of our country.

Sue herself is a bit of a pioneer. When she decided to learn cheese making, there were no resources whatsoever in Montana. Undaunted, she traveled to Vermont to learn what she could at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese (which, unfortunately has since closed).

Now, she raises Nubians and she has become a very accomplished cheese maker. She has even created her own cheese which she calls "Florentine," and last winter, she graciously shared her recipe with us (click here).
For More About Sue - Click Here
Cheese Making News
Loving Robiola
I am a cheese making hobbyist and a devotee of your website. I recently made Robiola, pictured here, from the recipe on your website. This is a great cheese - quick and easy to make, and when we ate it after 10 days of aging, we were sold!

This recipe deserves a shout out for anyone who wants an impressive cheese in a hurry. It makes two disks of cheese.
We took one out at 10 days and loved it. I tried to age the second disk for another 10 days, but it was not as tasty as the younger version. Plus, mold growth was a problem after 15 days.

My advice: eat it at 10-15 days for a delicious, easy to make, and fast cheese. We ate it sliced, cubed in salads, and shredded over tostadas.
Paulette Walker, West Chester, Ohio
Making Cheese Platters in Pakistan
This is a month of Ramazan for muslims and we all fast.* One day more to go then we will celebrate Eid festival for 3 days (6/27-29). For this Eid, I introduced a cheese platter, which was a big hit and we all are over-busy with orders. It's going to be a tsunami for the next few months. People are using it as gifts and an addition for their dining tables.
* We call it "Roza." It starts before dawn, around 3:30 am and ends at sunset, around 7 pm. Between 7 pm til 3 am we can eat whatever we like. But, once it starts before dawn, we are not allowed to eat or drink, not even a sip. It seems tough, but once started, we enjoy the atmosphere of rituals. The night before, everyone is out shopping for clothes and shoes. During the day, there are family reunions and parties.
Imran Saleh, Lahore, Pakistan (We have done several blog articles about Imran- click here)
We'd love to hear from you!
Please send news & photos to
Visit Our Blog
Happy National Cheese Day!
Making Mexican Crema
Little Tidbits - 013
Goat's Milk Colby by Julie Ott
The Cornucopia Institute
Grace Hill Farm in Cummington, MA
How to Make Chaource
Cheese Classifieds
Place Free Ads Here! Send copy to Your ad will be promptly placed in the classified section of our website. If received by the 15th it will also appear in the following month's Moos-Letter (like the ads below). To see full classifieds - click here
Check out our fabulous blog with 606 wonderful articles. Includes recipes, tutorials, interviews and all kinds of useful cheese making information - click here
Beginner & Advanced Cheese Making Workshops: To reserve your spot today - click here
For Sale
Selling all the equipment you need to start a small dairy. All equipment is in excellent condition. 3/4 HP vacuum pump and a 4.3 gallon bucket milker. 30 gallon Nieros cooling tank. Call 518-672-5623. We are located in upstate New York.
One year old brown Dexter heifer, NY Adirondack born & bred, registered parents, grass fed. Dehorned and gentle, from a milking mother. Could be bred in January 2018, and milking by September! Good home only. $500 plus transport costs. E-mail inquiries to Marcy:
Small herd of purebred Jerseys. 9 mature cows, 7 bred heifers, 5 fall calves, and 4 winter calves. These are well bred, beautiful animals. A good home is a must. This is a pastured herd, used to loose housing. Milk is currently sold as raw milk and on farm processing. I am downsizing. 518-353-1514 or
Cheese Events
The Good Milk List