Named after cheesemaker Kurt Timmermeister’s first cow, Dinah (the cheese) is made in the style of a Camembert from pasteurized Jersey cow’s milk.
After a distinguished career as a chef, Kurt decided on a change of direction and bought a farm and tiny creamery in a stunning location on Vashon Island, a short ferry ride across the water from Seattle, Wash. Of his eleven dairy animals, Kurt milks approximately four cows, all of which are on the property. Cheesemaking got under way in earnest in June 2009 with the creation of Dinah.
For production, Kurt adds mesophilic starter cultures Geotricum candidum and Penicilium candidum to the milk, followed by a traditional animal rennet to coagulate it. Once formed, the curd is carefully hand-ladled into molds and allowed to drain under its own weight for 24 hours. During this time each cheese is flipped top to bottom to encourage even drainage before being removed and dry-salted. The cheeses are then transferred to an aging room where they remain for seven days at a temperature of 50–55°F before being wrapped in special, double-layered, and breathable cheese paper. They then mature for up to another 25 days at a colder temperature of 46–48°F. Kurt makes approximately 96 cheeses per batch, and cheese production takes place every two days.
Photo by Charity Burggraaf
Flavors of Dinah are extremely rich and buttery with earthy, mushroom notes and a clean, pleasant finish. The deep, golden yellow texture is velvety and yielding.