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Home cheese maker mixes art, science and goats’ milk | Burlington Free Press

Ellie Mesler spends much of her life trying to kill bacteria. She also devotes a good deal of time and energy to nurturing bacteria to make cheese.

Mesler, 60, is a pharmacist at Fletcher Allen Health Care. She is cheese maker at home, where she makes goat cheese from the milk of animals in her backyard barn.

“If you want to make cheese that’s worth eating, you make a chevre,” Mesler said. “Because when you’re done, it’s the best cheese you’ve ever tasted.”

Preparing the starter for the cheese takes about an hour, Mesler said. Chevre, a soft goat cheese, requires minimal aging. Mesler eats her chevre, plain or flavored with herbs, four days after she adds culture, rennet and salt to fresh goats’ milk she pasteurizes and cooks on her kitchen stove. The cheese, stored in a cool place, is ready to eat 12 to 16 hours after it’s prepared. But a few days aging — and turning and salting in 12-hour intervals — adds form and flavor to the cheese, she said. Herbs of choice are sprinkled on top of the rounds as desired.

The full story of Ellie’s home-brew cheese at Home cheese maker mixes art, science and goats’ milk | Burlington Free Press | burlingtonfreepress.com.

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