Judy Schad is among a small handful of cheesemakers in the United States that was at the forefront of the farmstead cheese revolution, and she has vastly contributed to helping shape the future of the movement.
Judy has been making cheese since 1976, when she and her husband moved with their three young children from the suburbs to a hill farm in southern Indiana. They sought a sustainable lifestyle, a milk cow, and lots of gardens. When they ran the title on their new farm they discovered that it had belonged to Judy's husband's great, great grandfather in the 1870s. Over the years, the suburbs have followed them and they are now the last working dairy in the county.
Judy wanted to build a working model that others could follow, but since there were no guidelines for commercial goat dairying, they based their model, through trial and error, on an older, more traditional dairy, centered on herd health, longevity, productivity and on animals who are born, live, and die on the same farm. Judy's goats comprise of Alpine, Saanen and Nubian breeds.
Judy produces about a dozen different goat's milk cheeses across a wide spectrum of styles.
Julianna is a 1lb. aged, raw milk cheese named after a Hungarian intern, Julianna Sedli, who loved learning about cheesemaking.
During production the milk is coagulated and the curd is cut, cooked, washed (to reduce some of the acidity), and then carefully ladled into large molds. Cheeses are flipped (but are not pressed) over several hours. Afterwards, the young Juliannas are unmolded and placed in a brine solution for about eight hours, then removed to a drying area for two days before being placed in the aging room. There, they develop a surface of white, flossy Penicilium Candidum. Once the surface mold is developed the herbs are applied and Julianna is paper wrapped and stored in boxes to finish aging.
Julianna has a white interior paste that is semisoft and slightly shiny. The paste softens and becomes more translucent with age.
Flavors are buttery, smooth and nutty with a mushroomy-tasting natural rind of herbs, similar to Brin d'Amor. The overtones of the herbs are an integral part of this cheese, and definitely add another dimension and layer of flavor.