Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cheesemaking - a calling??

I am attending a cheesemaking course in Fermoy at the moment - delivered by Teagasc in Moorepark. Eddie O'Neill (I worked with him at the first Grow-Bake-Cook award where he was one of the judges) is the lecturer and there is not much this man doesn't know about cheese, milk and the dairy business. The course goes over 3 days and it is very intense.

Today we learned all about milk types and composition, bacteria and microbiology and how to design your premises. In between we went to the kitchenette and learned how to make a Gouda type cheese. And that was just the first day. Intense indeed.

What makes the course so interesting is the discussions in between - 12 people are taking part in the course from all walks of life including 2 dairy farmers. And listening to them, I salute all farmers especially dairy farmers. It is one of the most regulated industries and it is crippling the farmer a lot. And then listening to the legal requirements of cheesemaking and selling, I take a bow to people who face this 'monster' of regulations and still go ahead to produce amazing cheeses - just for the love of it. I salute you all.

Anyway, I am still in love with cheese and can't wait to try my own hands on it but I have decided that my cheese emporium has to wait - I will simply just create cheese for my own pleasure (and that of friends of course - seeing great Christmas gifts coming up).

I will talk more about the course in the next few days - just wanted to show my appreciation for all those great cheesemakers out there.

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