How is the cheese made ?
from Little Fromi cheese school

Step 1 - Milking and collection

The milking is done twice a day. Once the milk has been analysed to ensure it complies with consumption standards, it is collected every 12 to 24 hours by refrigerated trucks that bring it to the diary.

The cheese can be made from cow, goat, ewe or even buffallo's milk.

 

Credit: http://courcome-passe-present.blogspot.co.nz/2010/08/la-traite-des-vaches-et-des-chevres.html

Raw or pasteurised milk ?

Raw milk :its temperature remains close to the animal's body temperature ; it has never exceeded 40°C. Immediately chilled at 4°C, this milk is creamier and more flavoursome than other milks. The milk's natural flora is preserved and provides better nutritional value !

Thermised milk: the milk is heated for less than 15 seconds at a temperature between 55°C to 68°C. Thus the cheese produced vary less in terms of taste and quality but reveal less the product's typical character than raw milk cheeses.

Pasteurised milk: the milk is heated for 15 to 20 seconds at a temperature of 72°C which preserves a large part of the quality of the taste whilst getting rid of certain pathogenic germs.

Step 2 - Curdling

 The milk must be solidified. Essential stage of the cheese making, the curdling consists in leaving the milk to coagulate after adding the lactic ferments and the rennet (natural enzyme from the animal stomach). The milk then separates in two distinct parts : the curd and the serum.

 

Credit: http://www.foodfor7stagesoflife.com/2010/08/how-to-make-organic-and-fat-free-paneer-at-home.html

Step 3 - Moulding

This stage serves to give the cheese the shape wanted by using different moulds and placing the curd inside it. This stage is traditionally done by hands.

 

Credit: http://www.fermecapdelmail.com/album/fromagerie/

Step 4 - Draining

Draining is the most important stage because the quality of the cheese will depend on the quality of the draining. The draining serves to separate the curd from the whey (serum), which makes it delicate given the length of time it takes.

 

Credit: https://eggandtwinkie.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/strain-cheese.jpg

Step 5 - Salting

After many hours of draining, the cheese is unmoulded then left to dry in a lukewarm drying shed. Once dry, it is time for salting. Two techniques can be used :

- "dry salting" where the cheese is sprinkled with salt

- "immersion salting" 

Salting is an important stage in terms of defining the look and flavour of the cheese. It will also solidify the rind, help to preserve the cheese and fight against germs and bacteria.

 

 

 

Credit: http://www.fromage-aop-bleu-auvergne.com/fabrication-du-fromage/formation-du-fromage-et-salage

Step 6 - Ripening

Ripening is an essential phase that takes place in cellars. How long it takes to ripen a cheese depends on the families and the products. It can vary from just a few days to several months or even years. Experts constantly monitor the temperature and humidity in the cellars.

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