Cheese can be made from cow, goat, or sheep milk. About one and one half to
two quarts of milk is required to make eight ounces of a soft-ripened rich
cheese such as a Camembert, about one quarter of the daily milk production
of a dairy cow.
With the rise of farmyard and organic cheeses, people can now buy different
kinds of cheeses made from different sources of milk, so that blue cheeses
are available from goat's milk, or semi-soft cheeses, similar to a Monterey
Jack, are available from sheep's milk.
Cheese is best stored at the very bottom of the refrigerator (the vegetable
crisper is just ducky), and should always be served at room temperature.
Family farmers who make artisan goat cheeses, or chevres, have Laura Chenel
to thank for creating the domestic market for their wares. After living
abroad and studying cheesemaking with the master of French chevres, the
Californian used her little family farm with its flock of goats to create
the first domestic chevre, which she offered in 1979 to Alice Waters, the
proprietor of the pioneering California cuisine restaurant Chez Panisse.
Other family farmers followed suite, creating the wide variety of chevres
available today; and as Chenel's business grew, she took over the former
bottling facility of another California family farm, Stornetta's historic
Gold Medal Dairy, to create a complete cheesemaking facility.