LOVE this! Good background on the beginnings to what is now the explosion of artisan cheese in the US. Much told here is what Wedge in the Round is all about!
“Crafting high-quality artisanal cheese is not complicated, but it’s also not easy. Basically, heat a lot of milk, add bacterial cultures and enzymes to thicken it into a curd, drain it, salt it, and let it ferment and age. Of course, to make cheese like this, you must first buy fresh milk or own a farm and stock it with cows or sheep or goats plus equipment, and spend endless strenuous hours carrying around heavy pails and obsessively cleaning equipment to make sure it’s sanitary. Do this day after day, until you have enough cheese to distribute, market and sell in a crowded marketplace. Then repeat the whole process.
Does this sound like a job you would enjoy? For a growing subculture of Americans, it does: The number of independent cheese-makers in the United States has doubled since 2000. Some of these people are rebelling against what they see as an overly corporatized, factory-scale system of food production in America. Others are trying to preserve local landscapes, jobs and a traditional way of life.”