Do I need to have my own dairy animals to make cheese?
No, absolutely not. Most people don't have their own cows or goats. Although I raise my own dairy goats and use their raw milk for making cheese, most of my students buy pasteurized cow milk at the store and make wonderful cheese with it. Of course, if you can purchase milk from a local farmer, it's even better!
Do I have to buy expensive equipment to make cheese at home?
This could not be further from the truth. In fact, many people already have the utensils they need in their kitchen: stainless steel pots, stirring utensils, a knife, a colander... Instead of buying expensive molds and cheese presses, you can easily make your own. And as for the stuff you have to buy, I make it super easy in my online courses since all the things are hyperlinked and only one click away to purchase.
Is making cheese a really complicated, scientific process?
Nah! People have made cheese for thousands of years – first sloshing around in containers made from animals' intestines, then with soured milk pressed between cloth under heavy rocks. With good instructions, making cheese is as easy as reading and following a recipe. If I can make cheese, YOU can make cheese.
Will I poison my family and friends with the fermented things I make in my kitchen?
Salmonella, e-coli, food poisoning... Many folks are really scared about food safety – as they should be. It's smart to be safe when it comes to food. But just as people are intimidated by canning food, if you follow good instructions (like in my courses) and practice sound sanitation, making and preserving your own food is safe.
Do I need a cheese cave to age my cheese?
Most of us don't live in France with our own cave. That's fine! You can easily replicate ideal cheese aging conditions with a wine cooler set to the highest temperature with a bowl of water in it. I have aged thousands of pounds of cheese in the crawl space underneath my house.
What are the benefits of making my own cheese at home?
After making hundreds of wheels of cheese, I still marvel at the alchemy of milk transforming into curds. I let out a squeal of delight every single time this happens. Making cheese is a magical act of transforming a perishable liquid into a delicious, aged gourmet product.
Cheese making is a fun, rewarding and empowering skill and a way to take charge of your food supply. Do you want to feed your family cheese made with milk that has been pumped full of antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides? We don't. This is why we should support organic farmers by either buying their milk in the store, or directly from their farm. Organic milk makes healthy, tasty cheese!
Have you looked at the price tag of some organic cheeses out there? They are high, and they should be because a lot of resources, knowledge, and skill go into this cheese. Making your own cheese saves you lots of money! You can make a wheel of Gouda for the fraction of the cost you would buy it at the store.
I believe that making my own cheese gives me a better-tasting product. It's fresher, creamier and better than store-bought. Also, I can make some really unique cheese like Gouda flavored with sage, nettles or caraway seeds – combinations you can't find at the store.
Lastly, one benefit of making your own cheese at home is to impress your family and friends! People will think you're the Big Cheese when you whip out a chunk of cheese that you made all by yourself. Now there's a reason to learn how to make cheese!