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How We Make Smith’s Cheese
Here at Smith’s, old fashioned family traditions and hard work are combined to produce our Farmstead Cheeses. Our Gouda rivals any made in the Netherlands. It has the same mild taste, creamy texture and small, bubbly eyes. An excellent dessert cheese, it is also great for cooking and melts beautifully. Anyone who recognizes the appeal of farm fresh milk will enjoy the rich and creamy flavor of our Gouda and cheddar cheeses. Unlike factory produced cheese, our Gouda and cheddar share much of the same characteristic quality, distinction, and appeal as other hand-crafted culinary products or beverages.
           Cows Milked by Machine Separating Curds          
Naturally, the first step in cheese production is getting the milk. Our cheeses are made from the freshest milk possible. The milk used at Smith’s Country Cheese comes directly from our own dairy herd of Holsteins. Our cows are milked, by machine, 3 times a day. Each cow produces an average of 75 lbs of milk per day, with top producers giving up to 165 lbs. We are able to milk 60 cows in an hour. Some of this milk is then brought directly up to our cheese making facility where it is pumped into the cheese vat. It requires 100 pounds of milk to make 10 pounds of Gouda. The milk is pumped into the cheese vat just minutes after the last cow in our dairy herd is milked. The result is true farmstead cheese!
           Curds being shaped into a wheel Separating Curds          
Once the milk has been pumped into the vat, it is slowly heated to 99° F. After the addition of culture (good bacteria which give cheese flavor and texture) and rennet (used to make the protein particles clump together and to separate the milk into solids and liquids), the heated milk slowly begins to turn to curds (solids) and whey (liquids.) The whey is drained away, and the curds are cut into blocks. Each block is then placed into a round form and net, then covered and stacked in a press. After 45 minutes, the softly formed curds are shaped into a wheel. They are then removed from the press, inspected, and placed in a brine tank (a salt water bath) in cold storage to soak overnight. In the morning, the cheese is removed, dried, and covered with a protective coating to discourage the growth of mold. The cheese is placed on shelves and turned every other day until the coating is dry. Each cheese is dipped into wax and once again placed on a shelf in cold storage until it is 60 days old. Because we use raw milk, a 60 day self-pasteurizing, aging period provides ample time for ripening and flavor enhancement. When the cheese has matured to 60 days, it is packaged, labeled and ready for sale!
Download the New Smith’s Country Cheese Video!
If you have a broadband Internet connection, enjoy watching our new 08:26 video,
showing the entire cheese-making process and interesting cheese facts.
Click here to download our video
in .wmv format. (12.27MB)
Click here to download our video
in .mp4 format. (17.27MB)
Smith’s Country Cheese 20 Otter River Road, Winchendon, MA 01475 1 800 700-9974
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