A few of our wonderful Albertan Cheese Makers
Carolyn & Harvey Van Driesten, Noble Meadows Cheese makers photo credit – Karen Anderson
Ben Oudshoorn with Fairwinds Farm’s Hard Goat’s Cheeses photo – Karen Anderson
Paulo Campanella and Frank Fiorini, White Gold Cheese Factory photo credit – Karen Anderson
Sweetmeadow Cheese maker Sandy Easterbrooks w her Jersey cows & East Friesen sheep – photo credit Karen Anderson
John Schalkwijk and his Award winning Sylvan Star Cheeses
Ella Kinloch started Make Cheese – She’s a teacher turned cheese making teacher
Are Albertans are turning into cheese heads?
Cheese head is an affectionate moniker for people who love cheese. We’ve got a growing cadre of artisanal cheese makers in the province. I’ve profiled the 15 Alberta Cheese Makers I could find, I’ve posted on issues in cheese making, I’ve profiled the Make Cheese company that sells cheese making kits and most recently I’ve posted on White Gold’s encouraging story of growth.
Other Albertans might have a beef about being called a cheese head but I guess I’d qualify. I credit several influential visits to Wisconsin, the world headquarters of cheese heads, including one of my best friends Barb Murphy Moore, for forming the cheese head curd in my brain but I never thought my fondness for the stuff would ever lead me to making cheese myself.
Last summer a visit from one of my chef friends changed all that.
This post will demystify basic fresh cheese making and provide a few recipes that I hope will encourage you to give D-I-Y cheese making a try. Many of us, live pretty far from stores that carry fresh local cheeses, but as you’ll see, if you can access fresh milk, you can make fresh cheese.
Paulo Campanella and Frank Fiorini, White Gold Cheese Factory
photo credit – Karen Anderson
Here’s the link to my latest piece for City Palate magazine where I wrote about White Gold Cheese Factory owners Frank Fiorini and Paulo Campanella. I love those two generous-hearted Italian guys and admire their dedication. Making a successful venture out of a cheese making factory in Alberta’s tightly controlled Alberta Milk dairy quota system is commendable. I hope you enjoy reading the details of how they did this and here’s a bonus video so you too can visit with Frank and Paulo in their factory.
White Gold are one of 15 Alberta cheese making companies I’ve highlighted previously. They all have such fascinating stories that they all deserve a full piece. I may have to attempt that but later this week, I’ll be posting my column for CBC radio one’s Alberta at Noon where I focus instead on D-I-Y cheese making. That’s right, after hanging out with all these cheese makers, I decided to give it a try myself.
I hope after you read this week’s CBC column you will want to give cheese making a try too. Here’s a little preview eye candy to encourage you to consider doing so.
Cheese…I definitely savour it all. I must have been a mouse in a former life.
Cindy Lazarenko’s Goat Cheese Ricotta
photo – Karen Anderson
Ben Oudshoorn with Fairwinds Farm’s Hard Goat’s Cheeses
photo – Karen Anderson
Why is cheese so expensive in Calgary?.
I hope you will enjoy reading the article I have highlighted here. It talks a bit about what it takes to make, import and/or sell cheese in Canada. After you read this article you may join the many of us who would like to see Canada update its international and domestic quota system to reflect our nation’s much evolved global/local food palate and appreciation for cheese.
If my friend Crystal McKenzie’s writing has piqued your interest about cheese in Alberta here’s a link to my detailed profiles of Alberta’s artisan cheese makers which I had the pleasure to write earlier this year.
cob oven pizza with Sylvan Star Gouda
photo courtesy of Dirt Craft Natural Builders