Nectarine and Raspberry Goat Curd tart by Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers’ summer fruit dessert recipes

From nectarine tart to mango sorbet, summer puddings are all about making the most of seasonal fruit

Thomasina Miers’ nectarine and raspberry goats’ curd tart.
Thomasina Miers’ nectarine and raspberry goats’ curd tart: the fruit is the perfect foil for the tangy curd. Photograph: Rita Platts for the Guardian. All food styling: Frankie Unsworth. Stylist’s assistant: Tamara Vos. Prop stylist: Louie Waller

When the sun’s out, I find it hard to shake the feeling of perpetual summer. I’ll be in a state of shock come October, obviously, but for now I’ll happily bask in all the sun’s glory – and all the amazing fruit it brings with it. Tangy cherries collapse in a pan and stain a fool with their crimson juices; apricots bake in a clafoutis and get an emerald sparkle from basil-scented sugar; raspberries and nectarines provide a fine match for a goats’ curd tart with the merest hint of sweetness to bring it to the right side of pudding. Then it’s over to Mexico (of course) with pineapple, coconut, mango and lime featuring in a bright, citrussy sorbet and a tea loaf that is indecently soft and squidgy. Well, we might as well enjoy the sunshine while we can.

Nectarine and raspberry goats’ curd tart

I eat so much goats’ curd that I found myself wondering how it might work in a pudding (I get mine from our local farmers’ market; the most widely available brand nationwide is probably Ribblesdale from North Yorkshire, which is sold in some supermarkets, but any specialist cheese shop will order some for you. Otherwise, look online). This tart was my first experiment, a cross between a cheesecake and a peach melba, and I hope you love it as much as I did. Serves eight to 10.

4 nectarines, quartered and stoned
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
30ml rum, brandy or bourbon
300g goats’ curd
150g cream cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod (or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
125g raspberries

For the pastry
225g plain flour
35g icing sugar
1 pinch salt
120g chilled unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra for greasing
1 egg, separated, white lightly beaten with a fork

To make the pastry, blitz the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a food processor for 20-30 seconds, then add the egg yolk and blitz again until incorporated. Add just enough egg white to bind the mixture together (you’ll use the rest later), then roll the dough into a ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least half an hour, preferably an hour.

Lightly butter a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin, then coarsely grate the pastry directly into the tin. Use your fingers to press it evenly over the base and up the sides. Sprinkle with a little flour, then use a small glass to roll it flat. Prick the base all over with a fork, then freeze for 20 minutes (this will help stop the pastry shrinking in the oven).

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cover the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, brush the base with the remaining egg white and bake for five to 10 minutes more, until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, toss the nectarines, two tablespoons of sugar and the booze in a bowl, then lay the nectarines cut side up on a lined baking tray. Roast for 10-12 minutes, until just soft (less if they’re very ripe), then leave to cool.

In another bowl, whisk the curd, cream cheese, egg, icing sugar, lemon zest and vanilla seeds until smooth. Spoon into the cooled tart case, smooth the top, then place the nectarine pieces in concentric circles over the top and scatter the raspberries in between. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until beginning to turn golden and just firm. Leave to cool before serving.

A big and belated thank you to Thomasina.


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Chat with Michael, Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese, Ireland

Tell us a bit about you

Michael and familyHello, my name is Michael Finegan and I am a goat farmer and cheesemaker from Slane, Co.Meath, Ireland.  I am married to Jenny (who is from Cheshire, whom I met in New Zealand) and we have two daughters, Julia 6 and Ruth 3.  I am from a farming background myself.  We had 50 milk cows when I was younger and a lot of beef cattle, sheep and crops.  After agricultural college, I spent 4 years in New Zealand managing dairy farms.  I met my wife on a farm where we were milking 3,500 cows.  We then went on to manage a 400 cow farm together before we came home.

When I came home to farm, we had to make a lot of changes; my father was getting old and wanted to retire.  The dairy cow herd was sold because the milking facilities were too old and that is when the idea of goats came up.

Goats 1We milk 250 goats here on the farm and we have a few cattle as well.  The rest of the farm is given over to corn.  I farm in partnership with my father, though he is semi retired now.  My wife, who is a staff nurse in the local hospital is a great help to me on the farm too.  The goats are the main enterprise.  I milk the goats twice a day through a 20 aside rapid exit milking parlour.  It takes about an hour and a half.  I built a purpose built goat Goats 2shed in 2008 for the business when I started.  Half my milk goes into cheese and the other half goes to Glenisk where they produce yogurt and cartons of fresh milk for the supermarkets.

My pastimes are riding horses in the winter months and playing a bit of tennis in the summer.

I got into cheesemaking because the milk price can be volatile. It occurred to me that if I had a product of my own it would insulate me a bit.   I might even make some more money!  If I wasn’t cheese making I would probably be milking an awful lot more goats.  But I’m too busy for that now.

BUildingThe farm I am on now is an out farm we have, (a block of land that is not the home farm where the house is). None of our family has ever lived here before me.  My grandfather bought it in the mid 1930’s.  It is the centre of an old estate. We have the very old stone house and yard buildings along with over 100 acres of farm land.  I have researched the property online and found out that noblemen were living here since 1511.  There is an awful lot of history attached to the farm.

What do you make and why?

Cheese picsI make a blue goats cheese, Boyne Valley Blue and a white goats cheese, Boyne Valley Bán (white).  I decided to make a blue goats cheese because there was no other one being made in Ireland, and I am quite fond of blue cheese myself.  I only started making the white cheese last year as experiment just to have a non blue cheese to sell.

The blue cheese comes in a 3 kg wheel. It is mild to medium strength and creamy in texture with a natural rind.  It has won numerous awards over the years.  Last year it won ‘Best Blue’ in the blue cheese category at the Artisan Cheese Awards and a bronze in the British Cheese Awards and in May 2018, it won a bronze at theWhite cheese Artisan Cheese Awards.  (Iona – big congrats!)

Our white cheese ‘Boyne Valley Bán’ is similar in style to a Tomme de Savoie.  It is lightly pressed to give a firmer texture but still a semi-hard cheese.  It is a mild to medium strength cheese. It won a bronze in the Artisan Cheese Awards last year and also a bronze in the British Cheese awards 2017.

Tell us about your dairy

My dairy is fairly new.  I upgraded and expanded it in the 2016 so that I can now make more cheese more efficiently.  I converted a 200 year old stone shed in our farm yard in to our dairy.  It is three rooms mainly: the cheese making room, the ripening room and the handling and packaging room.  I have two cheese vats but I Michaels dairyonly use one at the moment.  My cheese is ripened on wood boards, though I need to have a better shelving system in my ripening room to make better use of the space, something I am looking into this summer.Michael with cheese



How has the dairy industry changed since you started making cheese and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of being a cheese maker?

I don’t know if the dairy industry has changed dramatically since I started.  Advice I give to people who ring me about cheese making is mainly about the paperwork – there is an awful lot of it.

Where can we find your cheese?

My cheese is sold to Sheridans Cheesemongers who have cheese shops all around Ireland.  It is also sold to a wholesaler who supply restaurants and hotels nationwide in Ireland.

Favourite cheese making music?

I just have the radio on, usually Radio FM, which is similar to Radio 1 when I’m making cheese. So I could be listening to anything.  I must get myself a little speaker to connect to my phone so I can listen to stuff online.

Thank you, Michael, it has been really interesting talking to you, thank you for your time and long may you win awards for your fabulous cheeses.

Instagram: @Boynevalleycheese

Twitter: @Boynevalleyblue

Facebook: Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese

Coming up, Elizabeth, Whitby Cheese and Sophie, Sheffield Cheesemakers.

If you are or know anyone who is a small cheesemaker who would like to take part, get in touch!

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Chat with Claire Burt of Burt’s Cheese

Tell us a bit about you

I studied a food and nutrition degree at university and was really interested in nutrition when I was younger; I did a lot of sports and was keen on health and fitness.  During my university placement year, I spent a year at Solway Foods, who became part of Northern Foods, working in the NPD team, coming up with ideas for salads, sandwiches and sushi image001(1)for the multiples.

After my placement year, I went back to my degree with new ideas of what I might do; it is a strange thing, no-one ever gives you career advice about entering the food industry, that is exactly what I did:  on graduation, I started my career in the food industry and a few years later, got my job at Dairygold Food Ingredients in Crewe in a B2B role that involved learning a lot about cheese and how cheese worked for our customers, in their products.

I attended a cheese making courses at Reaseheath, enjoyed being very hands on and fell in love with cheese making.  There is something about the smell of a dairy.

In 2009, I started a family, my life obviously changed, and eventually I went back to Dairygold part time but it did not work with having a young family, the commute etc and it was around this time when I started to make cheese at home: a simple, soft blue.

One of the guys I used to work with, Bruce McDonald who was Dairygold’s cheese grader encouraged me to enter into Nantwich (2010) where I picked up a gold.

When I was thinking of leaving Dairygold, cheese making looked like the next thing to do.  Sometimes things just gather momentum, sometimes you may not have a big plan, but it all grew organically and came together in a small way: I took on very small premises, kitted it out with a small vat, draining table, fridges, left Dairygold and started to make cheese commercially.

If I were not making cheese, because my background is in the food industry, I spent 6 years at Dairygold and loved it, I would still work in the food industry, but perhaps doing something for a smaller independent type of business.

What do you make and why?

IMG_0861I make a soft blue cheese, and have developed a range from the soft blue, including a washed cheese and a wrapped version.  I make a blue because it is a cheese I like.

One of the advantages of making a soft cheese is that you can turn around your product quickly – you can see what works, what does not, in a matter of weeks, you can tweak a recipe and see what is happening.  But if you are making a hard cheese, that could be more difficult as it can take months to perfect.  A downside is that a soft cheese carries with it a shorter shelf life, but on the upside, it means selling it faster so your cash is coming in sooner.

Tell us about your dairy

IMG_1353The dairy is now on a farm just outside Knutsford, in a small unit, 3m x 12m long, which works well for us, though it is small.  As you enter, we have a change area, wrapping area, production area, then maturing rooms and the chillers are outside now and this works well now. If I had a wish list, spare space would be nice; but because we are limited on space, it forces you to use the space in clever ways.  A nice big dishwasher that could wash everything would be amazing, there is always a lot of washing up.

My main vat holds 400 litres and we also have a little home made test vat, alongside a draining table, moulds everywhere and maturing rooms.  I am always thinking what could we do to improve things.

How has the dairy industry changed since you started making cheese and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of being a cheesemaker

When I started up, I realised quite quickly that it is not just about cheese making, it is also about running a business.  My advice would be think it through properly, be careful; do your homework, don’t get too caught up in the romance.  I did cheese making and HACCP courses and also working at Dairygold, I think I gained a lot of info that seeps into your consciousness, I was kind of aware of this.  If you don’t have any background in food production, getting up to speed can be hard.

IMG_4140My advice to anyone thinking of becoming a cheesemaker, you can be a great cheese maker but you need to think about all the business stuff: where are you going to sell it, what price, what is your margin is going to be, how you are going to get it to the customer, what happens if I don’t sell my cheese, what about shelf life and put a value on your time. Something is to ask yourself, if I had to pay someone to do this, would I do it?

As far as industry change is concerned, there seems to be more small producers, more new cheese makers coming on, more start ups which is great for the industry.

Where can we find your cheese?

We have a list of stockists on our website plus we also to sell to the usual wholesale culprits plus the Chester Cheese Shop, the Cheese Hamlet, small independent delis and Booths supermarket.

Favourite cheese making music?

I like having radio 2 on, but Tom, our cheese maker likes radio 6 and sometimes there is a bit of a battle.  Tom joined me when I moved on to the farm in 2013 when I realised I needed resource.  He’s a real asset to the business and he’s been instrumental in growing the business and product range. Our latest edition Thom (named after him!) is made with double cream and washed in Gwatkins Cider from Hereford Tom’s home town.

Thank you, Claire for your time and your chat, lovely to catch up.

Name: Claire Burt, Burt’s Cheeses



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Chat with Fenella, Torteval Cheese, Guernsey

Tell us a bit about you

Fenella, Torteval Cheese

I was a nurse for 25 yrs then decided to change direction into cheese making.  The same patience is necessary and attention to hygiene plus the ability not to panic when things go wrong!

I had a Thomas Hardy sort of romance about wanting to be a cheesemaker- remember Tess stirring the curd?  It is romantic.  I’m not disappointed, but there is a lot of anxiety too. Providing food for people has a lot of responsibility attached.

I went on a couple of courses at Reeseheath – a total of 5 days, then converted my single garage into a cheese room.  I started to build up confidence and began making cheese.

I loved both the idea, and loved the thought of my own business, plus life on an island with the best milk in the world!

What do you make and why?

Fort grey FenellaInitially, I started making goats’ cheese, but the supply of goat milk dried up,  so I went on to cows’ milk and Fort Grey was born (see pics): a soft blue with a shortish shelf life as I have no space to store and mature a harder cheese.   This is our best selling cheese.   I named Fort Grey after a Napoleonic defence down the lane.

I make a blue cheese because the Guernsey Dairy don’t make a blue!

My other cheese is a white cheese with a blue coat ( because nothing will prevent the blue travelling onto the rind ) and it is named after the Hanois lighthouse down the road.

I am working on another, new cheese, am working my way through the npd, so watch this space!

Tell us about your dairy

Fenella’s dairy

I launched about 10 years’ ago and am still very small; I make about 150 cheeses per week ranging from 150g to 800g each cheese.

From the word go, I loved being in my little room listening to radio 4 and working with the golden Guernsey milk. Hard work, but so rewarding.

The milk arrives in boxes which I open up and empty into the vat.  My va

Milk comes in boxes Fenella
The milk arrives in boxes

t is a very simple hot water jacketed vat with an on/off button.  It is described as 250 litres but actually, once you’re hand stirring, 200 litres is the maximum otherwise it comes over the edge!

The business is tiny!  Just me and a few hour’s help from Sue, my friend and neighbour.   The cheese room is a converted single garage so you can imagine the size.

My dairy is too small! I would love to have a proper ripening room.  I have commercial

Pottng up fenella

Curd settling in their pots

fridges which are fine but require a lot of time to clean and are quick to rust.


I would also re-do the floor so it slopes towards the drain rather than away from it! I would love another room for labelling and packaging- oh dear, I’m sounding spoilt! (Iona – noooo!)

However, the room is attached to the house so I have no travelling to work.

How has the dairy industry changed since you started making cheese and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of being a cheesemaker?

The Guernsey Dairy industry hasn’t changed much as far as I’m concerned. It is protected here in Guernsey.  HRT milk is allowed into the island but not any other fresh milk.  Protecting our precious industry is imperative.  The milkmen have reduced in number and perhaps the farmers too.

My advice to newbies – do go and see other cheese makers out of your area. They are mostly very generous and kind with their advice. Buy second-hand equipment if you can as it is very expensive. Start small!  Be prepared for long hours and for the cheese to completely take over your life. Don’t lose confidence in the early days. It’s scary but nothing is insurmountable.  Be on very good terms with your environmental health department.  If they know you really care about quality they will support you through all the problems you may have.

Where can we find your cheese?

I sell only on Guernsey and it can be found in local shops and restaurants – there is a list on our website: Torteval Cheese.  I come from East Sussex so take it to friends and family when I travel back, otherwise you have to visit our stunning island to buy it.

Favourite cheese making music?

The music I listen to varies – Dolly Parton was in, though I have listened to her too much now, so I am having an Emmylou Harris phase.  If it was disco or rap the cheese would def. go wrong!

Name: Fenella Maddison,  Torteval Cheese, Guernsey


Twitter: Fort Grey

Facebook: Torteval Facebook

Coming up next time is Claire Burt at Burt’s Cheeses

Are you a small cheese maker or do you know anyone who is who would like to talk to Ribblesdale Cheese – if so, please reply below!


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Chat with Mario, Olianas Cheese

Tell us a bit about you

Mario papa

Mario’s father

I was born in Vienna, my mother is Austrian and my father is Italian and I lived in Sardinia from the age of 6 months until I came to the UK in 2001.  I have always been involved with food since I can remember; my father is a fisherman and we used to cure meat too.  My brother is a chef and spends his time between restaurants in Switzerland and Sardinia and he also makes cheese.  Actually, cheese making became a bit of a competition between me and my brother – who could make the best cheese and my wife, Sonia and I have memories of driving around Sardinia looking for ewe’s milk for us both to make cheese with!

Mario and wife Sonia

Mario and Sonia

When I first came to the UK, I could not find Pecorino Fresco, a young, mild ewe’s milk cheese from Sardinia, so about six years ago, I decided to develop and make my own.  On my visits back home to Sardinia, I would work with my brother, seeing who could make the best cheese.

If I was not making cheese, maybe I would run a restaurant or maybe still run a dining club with my wife Sonia, but cheese making has taken over my life!

What do you make?

Pecorino 1

Leeds Blue

The first cheese I perfected was my Yorkshire Pecorino Fresco because you can’t get fresh, 15 – 30 days old Pecorino in the UK.  I make it using ewe’s milk I collect from a farm near Harrogate.  I am very proud that my Yorkshire Pecorino won a Supergold, top 66 cheese in the world at the 2017 World Cheese Awards.

I make Leeds Blue which is my recipe, adapted fro

Yorkshire ricotta

Mario was the first to make Yorkshire Ricotta

Yorm a Gorgonzola make, with sheep’s milk.  The very first show I entered this into was Nantwich 2015 and it won a Gold and also a Silver & Gold at the 2017 World Cheese Awards.

Pecorino 2I also make a Yorkshire Fiore Pecorino which is a 2 months mature, a semi hard Pecorino, Yorkshire Mozzarella  and Yorkshire Ricotta all made from ewe’s milk.


Tell us about your dairy

My dairy is at home, in an extension.   I currently batch pasteurise in a 150 litre vat and at the end of April – this is very exciting – I will have a 350 litre vat, giving me a 500 litre capacity per week.  I just can’t make it fast enough.  If I could change anything, I would love to have a bigger space and larger equipment and we are on the lookout for a suitable small industrial unit in Leeds.  It is taking time to find the right space in the right location, but it will come. Until that happens, my next step is to buy a container unit, kit it out and make a dairy in that.

How has the dairy industry changed since you started making cheese and what advice would you give to anyone thinking of being a cheesemaker

Mario dairy

Mario’s dairy – I love it!

I was amongst the first urban cheese makers, but more people are coming into cheese making.  There seems to be more regulation, lots of paperwork, it takes more than one day a week to do my paperwork.

My advice to any newcomer, setting up a cheese making business is to get your EHO on board straight away, inform your local authority and get them involved in what is required of you.  Also, make sure that you source your milk from a good quality farmer; my milk comes straight from the farm and is excellent quality.

Where can we find your cheese?

Our first buyer was George & Joseph in Leeds who have been hugely supportive and really believed in me, as has Andy at the Settle Courtyard Dairy, who sells it into several Michelin restaurants, including Tommy Banks.  It can also be found in Fodder, in Harrogate, where it is their best selling blue cheese.

Favourite cheese making music?

I like to listen to reggae, it reminds me of sunshine, and when I was young, I used to listen to lots of reggae and even my children like it.  I also like listening to Eddie Grant and Michael Jackson in my dairy.


Twitter: @MarioOlianas



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We Are Back!

Yes, it has been a long time…..what can I say….I got hooked on Twitter, it is quick and concise.

WordPress has changed a lot and it feels a bit unfamiliar, but am planning to re-learn it fast because one of the things I will be doing is asking some cheese maker friends a bit about themselves and their business in the form of a 5 question interview.

First volunteer is Mario who runs a lovely urban cheese making business from an EHO accredited extension at his home in Leeds.  Mario’s business is called Olianas; he works with a source of ewe’s milk from a farm near Harrogate and makes a very fine line of award-winning Pecorinos and a Yorkshire Ricotta.

If you would like to follow us on Twitter, we are @RibblesdaleC

If you are an artisan cheesemaker or a budding cheese maker and would like to take part in our five question interview, leave a reply!


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Raw vs Pasteurised cheese by Marcella Wright

Stilton (PDO) made with Pasteurized Milk

Here is an interesting discussion from American Marcella the Cheesemonger Raw, taken from her blog which can be seen here.

Pasteurized has been a topic of vigorous discussion in the US Cheese Community for decades. 2014 brought passionate discussions following new regulation interpretations by the US FDA. Many popular European raw milk cheeses were delayed or held indefinitely by US Customs, creating havoc at cheese counters… and annoying cheese lovers nationwide.

The controversy surrounding raw milk vs. pasteurized milk and other food safety issues, including the use of wooden planks in aging, reached a feverish pitch last summer. The result: a few French and Italian Cheese Producers simply stopped exporting their iconic cheeses to the US. Here at home, some small-batch Producers chose to stop production of theirAmerican Originals fearing the FDA would ban sales which in turn might bankrupt them.

Parmigiano-Reggiano (Raw); French Goat Brie (Pasteurized); Stilton (Pasteurized); Sleeping Beauty (Raw)

At one point during 2014, the list of cheeses unavailable or delayed by US Customs included Comte, St. Nectaire, Bleu d’Auvergne, Morbier, Raclette, Forme d’Ambert, Tomme de Savoie and Mimolette (due to “Mite infestation”).

For the 2014 season, Andy Hatch, Owner of Uplands Cheeseand maker of Pleasant Ridge Reserve, chose to not make his lush, seasonal Rush Creek.  In an August 2014 press release Andy stated, “It’s disappointing news, I know, and we hope that it’s not permanent. Food safety officials have been unpredictable, at best, in their recent treatment of soft, raw-milk cheeses, and until our industry is given clear and consistent guidance, we are forced to stop making these cheeses.” (Please read Cheese Underground’s posting for more information on Any’s decision.)

Andy’s decision followed another controversial FDA questioning the use of wood planks for aging cheese (Questioning it food safe). Using wooden planks for aging is almost as old as cheese, but the FDA, in its quest to save us from ourselves, attempted to change the rules. Public and cheese community outcry caused the FDA to back-off… at least temporarily.

To produce and sell raw milk cheese in the US, the FDA requires raw milk cheese be aged a minimum of sixty days. Otherwise, cheese must be made from pasteurized milk.

In asking questions of Cheese Professionals for the 2015 series of interviews I posed the following:

“Raw vs. Pasteurized? Does it matter? What difference does it make in the final product?”

Here are a few of their thoughts on the subject (Bios of each Professional are available by clicking on their names):

Chelsea Faris ACS CCP

Chelsea Faris ACS CCP™:If your dedication is to quality and the perfect flavor profile, it shouldn’t matter one way or another. Dedication to understanding the terroir, your animals and the recipe is what’s most important in making a glorious cheese. It’s about being original. Do what makes your cheese taste the best.” 

Kehau Monteiro ACS CCP™: “I enjoy both but I do find that unpasteurized

Kehau Monteiro ACS CCP

cheeses do have a tang that pasteurized cheeses do not have and they tend to be more flavorful. I love the idea that unpasteurized cheese is sort of the mother’s milk of cheeses. There’s so many health benefits to unpasteurized cheese.”

Sue Sturman, Director, Academie Opus Caseus

Sue Sturman: Director, Academie Opus Caseus: “Cheese made from pasteurized milk can be outstanding, there’s no doubt about it. The raw milk thing is a far more complex issue….we Americans tend to be such reductionists, wanting to distill complexities down to simplicities, and it just doesn’t work that way. Nuance!!!  Raw milk is a philosophy, it’s about biodiversity, about attention to detail, about hand-crafting, about variability and adapting to what the milk presents.  Raw milk products really are different, but the difference is not only or always evident in the sensory analysis.​”

Iris Busjahn ACS CCP

Iris Busjahn ACS CCP™: “There are virtues of both that are fantastic.  It all boils down to if the product is made well, the cheese will sing.”  

Bill Stephenson: Director of Cheese Training, DPI: “It totally matters. I have participated in consumer research on this question and can honestly say that as far as preference goes, it depends on the cheese. I have had examples of cheese where I preferred the pasteurized milk version and examples where I have preferred the raw milk version. But there’s no doubt that it matters, particularly insofar as there is definitely a difference.

Bill Stephenson, Director of Cheese Training, DPI

“Obviously, the heart of the difference has to do with the native microflora of the raw milk which are eliminated by pasteurization. Since by its very nature cheese is a product of microbial fermentation and ripening, it should come as no surprise that cheese made with different microbiological inputs result in different cheese outputs.

“Pasteurization produces a cheeses with a texture that is less firm than its raw milk counterpart and lacking in the amount and diversity of proteases that would be present in a raw milk cheese due to denaturation of proteins during pasteurization along with a lesser concentration and diversity of microflora. Cheeses made from pasteurized milk are also less flavorful than their raw milk counterparts, again due to the differing concentration and diversity of microflora.

“None of that necessarily points to whether or not cheeses made from raw milk are “better,” but they are undeniably different. And if seasonal variability and terroir are of interest, raw milk cheeses have it and pasteurized milk cheeses lack it.

“If safety is a concern, consider that a regulated system that promotes milk pasteurization tacitly (and ironically) allows for poor raw milk quality since pasteurization will be expected to clean up the mess, whereas a regulated system that promotes raw milk production must necessarily have high standards for milk cleanliness. We’ve seen some pretty terrible examples of widespread food borne illness from pasteurizers that were not well looked after during operation that subsequently let through dirty milk into the general public.

“Furthermore, because pasteurized milk lacks the native microflora of raw milk it is a more vulnerable target for unwanted microbiological growth (pathogenic or non-pathogenic) while the native microflora in raw milk functions as a protective barrier to unwanted microbial growth. Lastly, it’s important to bear in mind that cheeses made from pasteurized milk are responsible for the majority of all food borne illnesses associated with cheese, so outlawing raw milk cheese out of a concern for safety may be something of a red herring.

Lisa Futterman ACS CCP

“So yes, raw milk cheeses are fundamentally different from pasteurized milk cheeses and it will be a shame if the FDA moves toward eliminating our choice for raw milk cheeses either by outlawing them altogether or creating an overly punitive regulatory framework that serves to disincentivize the producers. When the animals, the milk, the cheese making and handling are all well looked after, there should be no reason why we can’t continue to produce raw milk cheeses safely in this country.”

Lisa Futterman ACS CCP:  “I am very influenced by my intensive trip to the Jura*. Raw milk cheese tastes better, more complex, and are much more terroir driven.”

Jeanne Carpenter, ACS CCP

Jeanne Carpenter ACS CCP™: “There are lots of outstanding cheeses being made in both categories. I’m not a raw cheese snob. Show me a cheese with excellent flavor and a good story, and I will sell it. Period. ”

*In 2013, Lisa won the Comte Scholarship to visit France’s Jura Region and spend a week touring and learning about the production of Comte.

Interviews will continue throughout 2015… sometimes, they will be “stand-alone” and sometimes they will be presented as round-table discussions with several Cheese Professionals answering the same question. Those participating include Cheesemakers, ACS CCPs™,Cheesemongers and Cheese Professionals and Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.

List of all Interviews from 2013: Cheesemakers, Cheesemongers.

List of 2015 Cheese Professionals.

List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.

Please “Like” MarcellaTheCheesemonger Page on FaceBook.


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