Today we are telling you a bit more about the type of cheese we will be making. Our artisan cheese will be similar to a Gruyere (pictured above center and below right) and a Beaufort (pictured at bottom of blog) but will be an original mixture of the two styles of cheese. Since we are a grass-fed dairy,we thought this would be a good fit.
Our Alpine style cheese will mimic the cheese made in the Alpine regions of France. There is little expertise here in the US on this style of cheese because there are so few who make it, and those who do, have either studied or worked in France for some time. There is a lot of infrastructure built to export this cheese from France because people around the world have developed a taste for it.
We actually traveled to the beautiful Alpine regions of Beaufort and Poligny, France to learn more about this type of cheese. We were pretty thrilled to find that the French eat cheese three times a day - maybe we can persuade more Americans to do the same! 😀
We learned that our Alpine style of cheese is not going to be easy to make, which is why so few in the US are making this variety. For Gruyere cheese, ripening alone takes at least 6 months in underground caves. The cheeses are washed and rubbed with brine and flipped 3 times a week. Beaufort cheese is also matured to perfection in the silence and darkness of special caves where the cheese acquires it's unique taste, texture and color. There are numerous aging cellars in the Alpine regions of France. Depending on the type of cheese, it can be ripened for a minimum of 30 days and up to 18 or 24 months. We have so many details to share about the type of cheese that we will be making and how the process works. We will also be sharing information about what beverages (wines, beers, ciders, etc.) and foods complement our style of cheese (pairings) and recipes that include our cheese. Because of our unique grass-fed dairy, we will try to bring the culture and cuisine of the French Alps to upstate New York, with our own personal touch.
We hope to bring out the flavors of the grasses, herbs, flowers, and forbes that our grazing cows eat in our cheese. As always, please post questions or comments for us to respond, and if there is something specific you would like us to blog about, let us know. Stay tuned for our blog next week that will feature more about our sustainable forestry and the making of the cheese shelves.