"Artisan," "Artisanal" what?
You hear the words “artisan” and “artisanal” thrown around a lot these days. What do those words really mean?
According to The New Food Lover’s Companion, artisanal food is “primarily handmade and produced in small batches by traditional, predominantly non-mechanical methods.” They go on to say that “superior fresh, natural and local ingredients and attention to detail and excellence are all part of the artisan tradition.”
Artisan cheese makers support traditional jobs, healthy farming practices, and the noble art of making something carefully, beautifully, and skillfully.
At Edgewood Creamery we are thankful for our cheese makers Melissa Fletcher and Kelly Hayes, who delicately handcraft all of our artisan cheeses. They are hard at work after a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
What is cream-line milk?
All milk at Edgewood Creamery is cream-line milk.
Creamline Milk is one of the most natural forms of milk. It is pasteurized, just like most milk found on store shelves, but the biggest difference is that the milk is not homogenized.
Homogenization is, briefly, the process after pasteurization where the milk is mixed and the cream line (or fat content) is permanently mixed into the body of the milk. Homogenization uses very high pressure to break down the fat molecules in milk into very small particles so that they can dissolve into the rest of the milk. Some believe that many of the health benefits of milk are lost during this process. Most importantly, many believe that milk loses its flavor during this process.
Edgewood Creamery's milk is made through a traditional practice with a minimal amount of processing. Resulting in a healthier non-homogenized milk, retaining the proverbial “cream line”.
There is one notable con with non-homogenized creamline milk, which is the need to give it a slight shake before enjoying.
Whole milk found in a typical store is normally 3.25% fat with added vitamins. Most cow milk has a higher fat content than 3.25%. In fact, our cow's milk averages around 4% fat, though this varies throughout the year depending upon the quality of the grass the cows are eating. We do not add anything to our milk, so it is simply: MILK.
We pasteurize our milk using a vat pasteurizer. We can pasteurize up to 465 gallons of milk at a time. We pasteurize at a low temperature, 147 degrees for 33 minutes, which is barely above the legal limit.
We love fresh cheese curds!
1. No Cooking required (perfect just the way they are)
2. You can deep fry them (which is heavenly)
3. They squeak when you eat them (the fresher the better)
4. They are best the day they're made: No waiting!
5. Make salads more fun
6. Fun shapes (every cheese curd looks different, like snowflakes, but taste much better)
7. Place on top of pasta or pizza (The best part of your spaghetti)
8. Party Appetizers! (is it really a party if there isn't cheese?)
9. Poutine (a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy)
Cheese curds: the ultimate, amazingly, wonderful snack!
Here, Aubrey Fletcher, writes little cheese tid-bits or pieces about the farm. Enjoy!