I have just realized the fact that I have never understood, at all, how to make cheese, and yes, I own many, many cheese books, and have made lots of “cheese.” Thanks to David Asher, now I know the truth, not only have I never really made CHEESE, I know for SURE, I have never eaten real, true cheese! and I bet you haven’t either. (Ok, I take that back, I did eat some amazing raw milk traditional cheeses last summer in Switzerland, but most of the cheese making we saw was “semi-conventional” or traditional with a conventional twist.)
As most of you know, my milkman is Dutch, raised in Holland on a small, family dairy farm.
His dad milked around 25 Friesians twice a day. My milkman, when he was a young milkman, would milk the cows at over 50 different dairy farms, when the farmers left on vacations, and also milked in Canada. Alas, the family dairy was doomed in Holland, as in America, when governments decided to subsidize the bigger producers, who became VERY BIG, and the family farms went under.
Cheese is big in Holland, my man loves cheese, but most of my cheese is crummy and I certainly have never aged any.
He wants me to be a cheese maker, and also not have to drag all the milking equipment and milk into the house from the barn, making a huge mess, and taking LOTS of time. He is building me a new milking stanchion area and cheese making room. Sweet. Time is of the essence as Eleanor will have to be milked twice a day when she calves in August, and that is a lot of milk.
For a couple of months I have been researching cheese making, reading many more books, but not being able to experiment because both cows are dry. On Amazon I came across a book which was not yet in print, and I preordered it, waiting eagerly for it’s release.
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking by David Asher
Using Traditional Non-Industial Methods and Raw Ingredients to Make the World’s Best Cheeses
Other cheese books had arrived, and I must say I have been “underwhelmed” as they all say to pasteurize, sterilize, buy this culture, add that chemical that you have to buy, and , and fret… raw milk is pretty much an enemy. Nothing new, nothing old, and nothing real. I’ve never been interested in that type of cooking either, but prefer to be free, and use ingredients that are real in the truest sense of the word.
Let’s face it: Cheese books are CONFUSING!!! as most of them contradict each other, and I have not had success by following their myriad advice.
A few days ago, it arrived. (You can order it on Amazon here.)
Honestly, I am sure that I cannot accurately convey the true genius of this book, David’s writing, exquisitely detailed, simplifically explained in the most basic of steps and techniques.
The exquisite pictures in the book are by Kelly Brown of Kelly Brown Photography
I’m overwhelmed, and in love, for real.
I am overjoyed, and thrilled when I learn something real, important, and valuable. I am a snob and those things do not happen very often at this stage in my life, as I’m just not impressed with the “new and improved.” I am uber-impressed with the real in all it’s forms however, and have a hard time containing my excitement. I know, I often need a leash and muzzle, which is why I don’t get out often. 😉
But in this book, David has revolutionized my thinking, empowered what I have longingly believed was possible, but did not know exactly how. I believe now, with this true cheese manual, I can do all things cheese.
and I intend to, thanks to my dear milkman.
So for all of you who value the real: get this book.
For all of you who value raw milk in all it’s forms: get this book.
For all of you who love to eat cheese: get this book.
For all of you who are blessed with dairy animals: get this book.
For all of you experienced cheese makers: get this book, you will definitely learn a LOT!
For everyone else, who loves beauty, truth, inspiration for making things yourself: get this book.
(and ESPECIALLY for you Stephanie, since you are in Canada and near him, go to one of his classes if you can. I will go with you next year!)
and for you David, all I can honestly say, is thank you, I love you, and I am grateful for all you are doing for the blessed lives of homestead dairy animals and the people who they own.
David Asher’s amazing website is The Blacksheep School of Cheesemaking
He has a beautiful Tumbler blog: The Blacksheep School of Cheesemaking Blog but as I am social media challenged, I have not figured out Tumbler.