The cheeses we make at our cheese farm are hand-made, using pure unpasteurized milk from our own Swedish mountain cow (fjällko), in the tradition of Dutch Farmer Cheese. A mountain cow doesn’t milk much, but the milk she gives is very rich and fat. By using raw milk for our cheese, we preserve the delicate flavors of the fjällkomilk, so we can produce a very interesting tasting cheese.
Cheese making begins in the stable with the cows. During milking, we work absolutely precise and hygienic, so the milk is clean from wrong bacteria. Poor milk yields bad cheese.
With the tractor we get the milk tank from the milking room and drive backwards to our small dairy. There we link through a hatch from the dairy, a hose to the milk tank. Through this hose the milk flows, without pumping, directly into the cheese tub.
The process of making cheese begins when the milk from the morning is combined with that from the previous evening and heated up to 15°C. Then we add a starter culture. The starter converts the milk sugars into lactic acid to produce controlled ripening. A few minutes later we add the rennet to the milk. Rennet contains an enzyme, which causes the clumping of certain milk proteins and separates the milk into curds and whey. Curd is the raw material for cheese.
After 45 minutes the curd is firm enough, so we can cut it cleanly into small pieces. While cutting, a yellow liquid is released, this is called whey. We drain off one-third of the whey and while stirring continuously, add hot water to raise the temperature of the curd to about 32°C. The added water does not only raise the temperature, but also ‘wash’ the curd. Which means it reduce the concentration of lactose and lactic acid in the whey, which has the effect of drawing lactose and lactic acid out of the curd pieces. This process avoids souring the cheese too much.
Once again we drain off whey, half of the total liters of milk, and while stirring, we add hot water to bring the temperature to about 36°C. After 20 minutes stirring, we allow the curd to settle for 20 minutes.
When the curd has settled long enough, we pour off the remaining whey. Quickly we place the warm curd in the cheese moulds lined with mould net, and on top of the curd we place a round disk-shaped ’follower’. Then we put the curd into the press. After one hour we remove the curd from the mould net, turn it and put it back into the press. At the end of the afternoon we take the curd out of the press. We take away the cheesecloth, turn the curd again and let them in the forms until the next morning.
The day after cheese making, we place the cheeses into a brine solution. This period of brining serves to reduce the action of starter cultures and also the growth of undesirable bacteria within the cheese and helps the cheese to form a harder rind. After 1,5 days we take the cheeses out of the brine solution and store them in the aging room on wooden shelves for aging. At a temperature of 15°C and a humidity of 85%, we let the cheeses age for 7 to 9 months. We turn over the cheeses regularly, so they can ‘breath’. During the aging the fat and protein of the cheeses changes slowly in flavors and fragrances. Especially those naturally organic substances in raw milk, enzymes, remain active during aging.
We have chosen to keep our cheeses completely natural; therefore we use no additional protective coating on the rind of the cheese.
Our quality cheese is the result of thorough work. Only we are responsible for all the ins and outs on the cheese farm. This is a good basis for the preparation of raw milk products.