We are starting a small cheesery in central Indiana.
Our operation has a major focus on tradition. We are doing things in a much older fashion than anyone else that I am aware of in this country. We are focused on crafting our cheeses and other products by hand, and part of this means that our methods and equipment are far from modern.
Our cheese is produced in a 40 gallon copper vat, heated over a wood fire.
The cheese is inoculated with a traditional whey culture.
mixing and cutting is, for the most part, done entirely by hand. A machine mixer is only used during the final cooking stage as this allows a single cheesemaker to do everything -he can give all of his attention to the fire and the heating rate of the cheese.
The curd is drawn out by hand
Even the building is traditional -built using hand tools in the style of the Bernese Alps.
I personally traveled to Switzerland and learned about cheesemaking first hand.
-we call our cheese 'Oberlander Käse' or just 'Oberlander' (named for the region from which the cheese comes) By law, we can't call it by it's local name, Berner Alkäse.-
Our cheese production will include a number of cheeses derived from the traditions of the Berner Oberland region of the Swiss Alps.
Oberlander, our principle cheese. A hard, full-fat, raw milk cheese with a complex, spicy flavor. Long aged (up to 3 years)
Mutschli, a softer cheese (The Swiss call it halb-hart or half hard, but in this country it would be considered a hard cheese) with a milder flavor than the Oberlander, aged up to 6 months.
Raclette, a sweeter cheese with a mild flavor, perfect for melting. The Swiss melt their Raclette over bread and potatoes, it can also be used in cooking or eaten plain.
Ziger a cheese made from the whey, similar to ricotta.
In addition to our hand crafted alpine style cheeses, we also plan to offer cheesemaking courses, which will cover the different cheeses ranging from the relatively easy to make Mutschli to the difficult Oberlander.