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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: Why do only some cheeses have DOP/PDO/AOP status?


Photo: Stilton PDO by Mark Ferri   Why do only some cheeses have DOP/PDO/AOP status? If you’re like me, acronyms tend to spill off the tongue in a haphazard fashion; When it comes to reading cheese labels, you might get a mouthful of these abbreviations. These European-based acronyms are “geographical indications” (and yes, that has […]

Ask the Monger: Is there a difference between “raw” and “pasteurized”?


 Is there a difference between “raw”and “pasteurized”? There sure is!  The differences are both technical and aesthetic. Let’s start with the technical difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk cheeses. In the United States, as in most countries, the term “pasteurized” is appropriate when the milk used to make cheese has been heat-treated according to […]

Ask the Monger: Why Is Artisan Cheese So Expensive?


Why is artisan cheese so expensive? One of the most common statements I hear from students at the end of an in-depth cheesemaking course is “I’ll never look at the cost of artisan cheese the same.” When made using traditional methods, with high quality milk and in small batches (the very definition of artisan cheesemaking), […]

Ask the Monger: What’s That Creamy White Stuff In Burrata?


What’s that creamy white stuff inside burrata? A glistening-white, tender orb of burrata is the ultimate delicacy, with a gently-formed exterior of fresh mozzarella sequestering stracciatella: a decadent core of oozing, soft mozzarella bits mixed with cream. The name  “burrata” comes from the Italian word for “buttery,” a nod to not only the texture of […]

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.