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Gianaclis Caldwell is the author of Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, among other books. She manages the goat herd and cheesemaking operations at Pholia Farm Creamery in Oregon.

Ask the Monger: Is Cheese High in Sodium?


 Why are cheeses so salty, and are there any low-sodium options? Sodium chloride, or table salt, is a key ingredient in cheesemaking. It helps draw moisture out of the curd while also binding with the water molecules that remain in the cheese, making that water unavailable for food spoilage microbes. Salt also enhances flavor, and […]

Ask the Monger: Where Does Blue Mold Come From?


  I heard that the blue mold in blue cheese comes from bread. Is that true? The short answer: It can, but it usually doesn’t. The large genus of molds called Penicillium comprises many species, including the blue-hued P. roqueforti that enjoys growing on myriad foods like cheese and bread. These harmless molds come in […]

Sheep Milk Yogurt - Old Chatham

Ask the Monger: Why is Yogurt Not Considered Cheese?


They use the same ingredients and go through much of the same process. So when do cheese and yogurt diverge?

Rush Creek Reserve

Ask the Monger: Why Do Some Cheeses Get Runnier With Age?


Why do some cheeses get firmer as they age, while other cheeses get runnier? We delve into the science behind your favorite wedges.

Ask the Monger: What Are the Health Benefits of Cheese?


Cheese is a delicious addition to any meal (or a snack), but did you know it’s also an excellent source of minerals, protein, and calories?

Cheese Curd Closeup - What's the Difference between Cheese Curds and Cheese

How to Make Squeaky Cheese Curds at Home


Getting fresh, still-squeaky cheese curds can be tough, which is why cheesemaker Gianaclis Caldwell has shared this easy recipe for homemade cheese curds.

Ask the Monger: How Can I Gift Cheese?


Cheese expert Gianaclis Caldwell explains how to properly send cheeses in the mail.

Ask the Monger: Why Are Washed-Rind Cheeses Orange?


Ever wondered where washed-rind cheeses get their color? We have your answer.

Ask the Monger: What is Listeria?


 What is listeria? Am I at risk?   Listeria comprise a large group, or genus, of bacteria found in the environment—particularly in soil, animal bedding, and other wet areas on farms. Although most members are harmless, one species in particular, Listeria monocytogenes, can be deadly. An infection with this culprit is called listeriosis. As with most […]

What Exactly is a “Sharp” Cheese?


People often talk about how “sharp” a cheese is. What is sharpness, exactly?   “Sharp” is a colloquialism. Typically we don’t use it when judging or grading cheese, and it has no legal definition. You’ll hear it most often in the context of cheddar, where it’s sometimes synonymous with “aged.” For example, young cheddars are called […]