Sliced, grated, shredded, grilled, or on a bun- cheese is a great addition to any meal or snack. This blog post will be cheesy, filled with everything you could ever want to know about our cheeses!
Cheese has been around a long time. No one can pinpoint the origin of cheese, but many sources stated that the history of cheese goes all the way back to our ancient ancestors. They wanted to transport milk in bladders over a journey, and sometimes the milk would culture into cheese. In Roman times, foreign cheeses were eaten only by the elite. There are many legends that surround the origin of the cheese curd. Even though most of these are speculation, there is one thing that most can agree on: they are tasty!
We love cheese just as much as our customers! So we have vastly expanded the variety of our cheeses. We now offer five flavors of cheese curds and several flavors of aged cheddar cheese! So, how does our production team create these goodies?
The squeaky cheese process takes 7-8 hours. We begin by filling our 488-gallon cheese vat full of our pasteurized milk. We then add culture and let the cheese sit for 4-5 hours. During this time, our cheesemakers use large metal forks to stir the cheese to prevent massive clumps. After the cheese is cultured, we drain the whey from the vat pumping it off into a tank then trucking it back to the farm to be fed to our cows as a high packed protein supplement.
Our production team then cuts the cheese into slabs that are 4” x 12”, and stack them 3-4 slabs high in piles for an hour. Each slab is flipped every 15 minutes. This is called the cheddaring process. We check the pH level of the cheese slabs as we turn them making sure the levels are where we want them to be for the perfect cheddar cheese. Once the cheese slabs are ready, we place the whole slab through our milling machine, to be cut. The curds are then tossed with a food-grade pitch fork essentially and shovel keeping them broken into the small curd-like pieces so they don’t re-mold together.
After that, it’s time to package our fresh squeaky curds, a process which usually takes 2 hours. We typically call all-hands-on-deck when bagging cheese curds so we can get them packaged quickly and get onto the next task. The five to six people bag the curds creating an assembly line that packages, weighs, and seals the packages of cheese curds. The faster we can get these in packages the faster customers can enjoy. This production line allows a bag of cheese curds to go through in less than 2 minutes. With five delicious flavors, we feel like every tiny curd is worth the work.
Our cheese curds are popular! Our five delicious squeaky cheese flavors are White Cheddar, Tomato Basil, Onion and Chives, Dill, and Chipotle. Which one has your mouth watering?
Our aged cheddars are one of our newest additions to our product offerings. The process starts out the same as cheese curds. Once the curds have been sent through the milling machine, they are placed into the molds to be pressed by a spring-loaded machine, allowing excess whey to be extracted from the curds overnight. We arrive back in the make room early the next morning to take the cheese out of the mold, remove the cheesecloth or cheese “sock” and cut and packaged into half moons.
Our aged cheddar cheese is individually packaged, vacuum sealed, and hand labeled. After 30 days of aging, our cheddar cheese is ready to eat! Our production team continues to experiment with new flavors, but with a long aging time, it is harder to create new flavors than cheese curds. Our aged cheddar cheese flavors are Farmhouse, Jalapeno, Caraway, Garden, and very soon we will be rolling out a Peppercorn. Aged cheese requires patience while they harden and cure, but the flavor that you get after those 30-days are worth the wait!
With quite the variety of flavors between our fresh cheese curds and aged cheddar cheese, our cheese products are difficult to resist!
- Posted by Elizabeth Uthoff
- On June 20, 2019
- 0 Comments