Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fabrication des Fromages de Chevre


Begins with a beautiful drive over two mountains in the dark. Each day the sun rose just as I was entering Lairiere. The farm was just on the other side of the village.

As I arrived Wilko and Clamont would be milking the goats. The milk is then transferred directly to a big vat on the other side of the wall in the fromagerie for heating.

Once the milk has hit the proper temperature, its time to test the PH level. This will determine the amount of renet necessary. Renet is then added to each of four large plastic tubs and the milk is poured in. These tubs remain exactly like this with as little movement as possible over night.

While we fill the tubs for tomorrow's cheese Clamont takes the goats out for the day. They get dropped off at a different location each morning and are left free to roam until the evening.

In order to find them again, because they journey far and wide, little gps trackers have been placed on their collars.

While the goats are being placed to roam, its time for me to mold the chevre from yesterday's vats. Scooping the curd into little plastic molds to dry overnight.

Each day one or two of the plastic vats are reserved and placed in cheese cloth to dry for a few hours to make either a ricotta style cheese, a Buche (the rolled logs) or Pave (a triangle shaped molded cheese)

Of course, before today's cheeses can be molded, yesterdays must be removed from the molds and salted.

...And the cheese from the day before that needs to be turned and placed in a cooler with humidity and temperature control.

And on one special day we decided to try and make Mozzarella de Chevre. The flavor was spot on but keeping the temperature constant for stretching proved difficult without the proper equipment so the consistency was off.

Perfecting the Mozzarella is going to be my special project back in SF, more on that to come...