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Tools of the Trade: The Cheese Vat

The first U.S. cheese factory opened in New York in 1851. Cheese factories relieved farmers from the burden of small-scale cheesemaking, a complicated and labor-intensive process. Small farms began selling their milk to local cheese factories rather than making their own cheese, which proved far more lucrative for the farmer. In terms of ownership, factories […]

Tools of the Trade: The Cheese Box

The cheese box, a tool originally designed for transporting cheeses in branded containers, found additional uses in the aging room of some cheesemakers. Cheese wheels are often aged on a rack and to ensure even aging, the cheeses are turned everyday at the start of the aging process. Because large wheels of cheese can be […]

Tools of the Trade: The Cheese Hoop

Commercial farm cheesemaking was introduced to the Northeast in the 1840s and 1850s. The process of cheesemaking was altered slightly due to more efficient equipment, though many traditional tools continued to be used. As demand increased, farmers began to build separate “cheese houses” to store their more advanced equipment. Commercial cheesemaking often occurred in a […]

Tools of the Trade: The Curd Knife

Cheddar was (and still is) one of the most popular types of cheese in early cheesemaking. In the nineteenth century, it was especially common for the dairywoman to make cheddar for her family on the subsistence farm. To do so, she would heat milk on the stove to a temperature of 82 to 86°F. Rennet, […]

Tools of the Trade: The Cheese Press

In 19th century New England cheesemaking, women were in charge of cheese production. Early female settlers brought back their knowledge from the Old World and carried on the tradition of making cheese, mostly in small batches for their family. Cheesemaking on the farm was no child’s play; it was a precise, difficult process. The woman […]

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