Artisanal Cheese

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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.


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