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Monday, December 31, 2012

Cheese Making in the Berkshires

I love cheese, and love that the Berkshire region I live in has many local cheese makers. I first ran across the cheeses made at Cricket Creek Farm at a Berkshire Botanical Garden event last spring. A young woman was offering tastings of their cheeses, and grilled cheese sandwiches which I simply could not resist. Glad I didn't...resist, that is.

Cricket Creek Farm is located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, about 45 minutes north east of my bed and breakfast, the Inn at Green River. They have a great website. Look at that beautiful cow on the home page.



And I love their blog. I found a recent post about how they make one particular type of cheese (which they call Maggie's Round) fascinating. This was one of the cheeses I sampled, and it was great.


Photo Courtesy Cricket Creek Farm








The post has lots of great photos, and describes in the detail the process of making the cheese, brining it, and caring for it as it ages, a process which includes carefully wiping the mold off the cheese at certain points. Who knew the word for this process of caring for the cheese is affinage, and the person who does that work is the affineur? Or that some cheese makers send their cheeses to someone else for this aging process? If you love cheese, read the blog post, I promise you will find it interesting.

Cricket Creek offers cheese making classes and tours of the farm. In the winter, January through April, all day classes for adults are offered on Saturdays or Sundays. The aged raw milk cheeses are made during these longer classes. Or they offer a two hour class making ricotta. The schedule should be up on their web site soon, or contact me, and I can help you make arrangements for a class...and a stay at the inn of course!



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