Happy Independence Day to all of you! We know it’s a couple days late, but we hope you had a blessed 4th weekend with your friends and family. Being farmers and having the cows keeps us from celebrating too much, but here at East Hill Creamery, our favorite Burley family 4th of July tradition or memory is going to the “Ring of Fire” on Silver Lake (photo to the right of Silver Lake) where there are torches lit up on the lake cabins. Share with us your favorite 4th of July tradition, memory, or 4th of July recipe (even better if it has cheese). We really want to hear from you and get to know you---we want to recognize you when you come visit the Creamery!
We have more of our East Hill Creamery folks for you to meet, but this week, we are going to do something different with the blog and just tell you a few fun facts about cheese. We hope you enjoy it! Also, tell us what YOU want to read about on the blog—people? The cows? Nutrition? Recipes? The industry? Let us know! And for now, enjoy our blog this week—you need some fun reading on this Monday after your long holiday weekend.
Do you know why cheese comes in wheels? Or, do you only eat cheese in shreds or Kraft slices, because if so, we may have a problem….. Just kidding, but really, you need a real cheese experience if you did not realize that cheese actually does come in wheels! Luckily, we will soon be able to help you with that “real cheese” experience. 🙂 Ok, so why does cheese come in those wheels (because East Hill cheese will be in wheels…) Well, firm cheeses (like the kind made by East Hill) takes a lot of pressure over many hours for the curds to combine and hold their shape, so wheel shaped cheese molds proved to be far sturdier than rectangle molds that broke easily and were difficult to repair. Also, the round shape serves as body armor for the cheese until its cut. The wheel and rind allow the cheese to keep curing while also protecting it from insects, outside bacteria, and the elements. Some certain cylindrical cheeses can even be stored at room-temperature before you cut into them.
Now for a couple fun cheese facts from here in America (since we just celebrated Independence Day of course). Did you know that America leads the world in Cheese production!? Go USA! They actually lead the pack by quite a bit, producing over 4,275,000 tons of cheese every year on average. Germany is the 2nd largest cheese producer in the world, with over 1,927,000 tons of cheese produced every year (http://spotonlists.com/food/top-10-highest-cheese-producing-countries-in-the-world/). Also, did you know that the Pilgrims ate cheese? The English Puritan women from East Anglia brought their cheese making know-how to New England, so we can thank them for introducing cheese to America (http://www.cheeserank.com/culture/pilgrim-cheese-thanksgiving/).
Alright, we have one more cheese fun fact for you today. Here in New York, we have some bad winters, as do states in the Midwest, and Wisconsin has everyone beat on creative winter weather management strategies. Did you know that cheese can also serve as a de-icer?! Polk County in Wisconsin fights icy roads with liquid cheese brine. The rural county uses cheese brine in “pre-wetting for snow and ice control” and it has a definite effect when it’s mixed with regular road salt (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/01/21/264562529/cheese-to-the-rescue-surprising-spray-melts-road-ice).
Who knew? Cheese is a multi-purpose food!
We hope you enjoyed our “cheesy” fun facts for this blog. Stay tuned next week as we get back on schedule with introducing you to the people of East Hill Creamery. And don’t forget: tell us your favorite 4th of July stories/recipes/traditions and give us some ideas of what you want to see on the blog!