Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Living in Wisconsin, one has to appreciate the richness and the depth of the artisan cheese movement that is growing here every year. At Foster Cheese Haus, we are trying to stock one of the best collections of exclusively Wisconsin made cheeses in the state.
There is a huge range in styles available within the state, and an increasing variety of raw milk and organic cheeses available.
Raw milk cheese, they way cheese has been made, and should be made is in my opinion a much better product as opposed to pasteurized milk cheese. The current USDA regulations in regards to raw milk being used for cheese state that cheese must be aged 60 days after being made before it can be consumed, as it is believed that any pathogens would not be able to survive low-PH, low-moisture environments that cheese features. I am OK with that, I like aged cheeses. Often a process called thermization is used, which is not quite pasteurization, but significantly cuts down the bacteria count and still maintains the milk enzymes that many believe supply the subtle flavoring in cheese. let's face it, some foods can hurt you! Raw milk cheese is low on my list of foods I am concerned about. One should be more concerned with post-manufacture environmental contamination than the product itself.
So, tell an artisan cheese maker that their raw milk product is not safe and they will laugh at you in the least, or at worst throw cheese at you.