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Culture of microbes from the rind of Twig Farm's Goat Tomme

The rind of cheese is home to a fascinating—and beautiful—community of microbes.

 

Red Hawk, Cowgirl Creamery

Red Hawk, Cowgirl Creamery

Red Hawk, Cowgirl Creamery

Red Hawk, Cowgirl Creamery

Bacteria and fungi growing together make up a microbial ecosystem, and as the microbes grow they contribute to the flavor, smell, and texture of the ripening cheese.

 

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

Saint Maure, Cooperative Gros Châne

The colonies you see in these images are formed by individual microbes, which were isolated from cheese rinds and grown on petri dishes in the laboratory.

 

Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot

Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot

Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot

 

Stichelton, Stichelton Dairy

Stichelton, Stichelton Dairy

Stichelton, Stichelton Dairy

Corsu Vecchiu

Corsu Vecchiu

Corsu Vecchiu

My research is focused on understanding the various ways in which these microbes interact with each other.

 

Bayley Hazen Blue, Jasper Hill Farm

Bayley Hazen Blue, Jasper Hill Farm

Bayley Hazen Blue, Jasper Hill Farms

 

Mt. Tam, Cowgirl Creamery

Mt. Tam, Cowgirl Creamery

Mt. Tam, Cowgirl Creamery

 

Twig Farm Goat Tomme, Twig Farm

Goat Tomme, Twig Farm

Goat Tomme, Twig Farm

Goat Tomme, Twig Farm

Ultimately, I hope to discover what cheese microbes can teach us about the microbial ecosystems found throughout nature.

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