Ararat Legend – dutch style washed curd cheese
It all starts with the milk from our grass-fed, pasture-raised Normande cows. We milk twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. After a leisurely walk up to the milking parlor, the girls get a little bit of a sweet feed treat. This helps them maintain the body condition while lactating. Too many times we see grass-fed milk cows become skinny to the point of being unhealthy. The health and well being of our cows is of paramount importance to us. So while we are a grass-fed operation, we do give those sweet feed treats during milking.
We then drain the milk tank into our cheese vat and begin to hand-make the cheese. Every step of the way we are dedicated to producing a superior product with characteristics unique to our small herd of French Normande cows.
We add cultures, rennet and sea salt. After processing and pressing, the cheese is dried and coated with wax and then placed in our cheese cave for aging. We use an anti-microbial coating to ensure only the cultures we want are present on the surface of the cheese. Later we apply a wax coating to keep the cheese from drying out during the long aging process.
After 3 to 6 months, the flavor is mild. After 6 to 9 months the flavor increases in boldness. Aged for 12 months or more, the flavor blooms into that crystallized butter we so adore.
Until the creamery is finished and inspected we are only offering samples of cheese for donations to the building of the creamery. We thank you for your patience. Compliance with USDA regulations is onerous but required .
Follow the Farm Life Blog for details on our progress.