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Feb 16, 2010

Say "CHEESE!"

 

On the farm we make cheese.  Such a simple statement for such a complex and sensitive  process. Nainy and the boys take the main responsibility for the care of the animals and the barn work in producing the milk, and...
Papa makes the cheese.
When Eden was a thriving farming village, in the 50's, 60's, and 70's,
the average farm had five to eight cows.  Selling the milk at six crowns per liter (a little under a dollar at today's exchange rate) was enough to support the entire family comfortably.  Those were 1950's-1970's dollars...they bought a great deal more than a dollar today.
Now the price for milk is 2.4 crowns per liter, (a paltry $0.42 in today's dollars) and to add to the difficulty, the cost for feed, vitamins and minerals for the cows, electricity, machinery, diesel, and of course labor, has skyrocketed.

However,  if you turn your milk into cheese, the whole picture changes.
Your ability to sell your product at a reasonable profit
becomes a reality.  But cheesemaking requires skill, technical know-how, signifcant amounts of time and a LOT of work. 
 









For the last four years Papa has worked hard to perfect the wholemilk cheeses that we call Edhe Vit (ee-duh--veet) - a white dessert cheese that is delicious with fruit, Edhe Blå (ee-duh--blo) - a creamy blue cheese, and Edhe Guld (ee-duh--goold) - a smooth gouda type with a full-bodied taste rarely found in a cheese that is served everyday. He also  makes the Gammalost which is a skimmilk cheese, the by-product of which is homemade butter, utilizing the cream that is separated out in the process. 

Both Edhe Vit and Edhe Blå are self-pressing cheeses.  Once out of the forms the curd is stable and ready to be "sealed" on the surface with a knife. They then need only to be stored, turned consistently, and in the case of the Edhe Blå - pierced to let in the oxygen that results in the veining.  If you look closely at the picture  of the two whole Edhe Blå cheeses directly under the heading of this post you can see the pierce marks.  After that, their care is minimal as long as the temperature in the storage room is maintained correctly.

But the Edhe Guld (our most popular variety) is a different story....
It must be pressed on the stainless steel pressing table, salted in brine, then turned,  stored and worst of all, washed with a saline/linens (bacterial)  solution DAILY until the rind forms.  It is a long, time-consuming and meticulous process. 
When our daughter Kezia was visiting she worked in the dairy with Manny on the Edhe Guld and other cheeses.


                                                          The Edhe Guld is stored on plastic racks in the cheese maturing room  after it is pressed.  Manny is wheeling out the multi-layered racks and he and Kezia position them in the washing area of the dairy.  All the washing cloths must be boiled ahead of time for sterility then they are used to wash each cheese individually on all surfaces before the cheeses  are stacked up again by the guy with the muscles and go back into the storage rooms to mature.


 
These two were a great team!  Kezia loved learning from Manny,
and only a few day later, when Manny was sick, Kezia was able to go out to the dairy and do the whole process by herself - smarty pants!

When the maturing is done and the cheeses are ready to eat, they are cut and wrapped. 

The Final Products! 
 From left to right:
Edhe Vit, Edhe Blå, Edhe Guld

 

We are still learning...we know there is some tweaking to do on some of the varieties...we need another storage room, and that costs money...but
our cheeses are delicious!

Even Master Cheese Makers from Sweden's finest are raving about them (not to mention our customers and merchandisers).
Papa has done a superb job, and at the end of the day it's thrilling for us to look at the beautiful results of our efforts and...

Say Cheese!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nainy! you have been hard at work with the blog!! THANK YOU!! I seriously look every other day for new blogs! The site is one of my tabs, and part of the daily routine of checking emails before login in at work! Beautiful pictures and very descriptive narration. Thank you! Love you, Louise

em-il-ie said...

This post is amazing. And the finished cheese look divine.

Becky said...

Wow that cheese looks wonderful. I love cheese like this!

Anonymous said...

Tack för en mycket intressant blogg! Genom vem säljs er ost? Var kan man köpa den?

MStevenson said...

Now if you could just ship it to us that would be great.