The Art of Cheesemaking
Our dedicated and passionate cheese makers at Heidi Farm maintain a vested eye over the creation of their cheeses – each carefully hand crafted to guarantee a quality product. Extreme care and attention is maintained throughout the entire cheese making process, from the initial collection of milk right through to maturation. Although each variety of cheese is made in a specialised way, there are basic steps which are fundamental to the production of cheese.
Fresh, quality milk generated from the best dairy farmers in our region is first tested for its butterfat and protein content. Before the cheese making commences, the milk must be standardised (adjusting the milk’s fat and protein content by adding or removing cream) and pasteurised (through a process of heating the milk and then rapidly cooling it, in order to remove harmful bacteria).
A starter culture, containing selected micro-organisms, is then added which converts the milk sugar (lactose) to lactic acid, enabling the coagulation of the curd. Rennet, containing an enzyme called rennin, is then added to clot or set the milk into a junket like mass. It is then cut to release the liquid whey.
Following this, the temperature of the curds and whey is raised to allow further shrinkage of the curd and expulsion of the whey. The whey is then drained and the curd is manipulated to develop the characteristics of the particular cheese variety. The curd is shaped or placed into moulds or hoops (which determine the shape of the final product) and then pressed or drained to release even more moisture.
The next step in the process is to salt the curd, which causes it to dry and develop flavour and texture while also preserving the surface from unwanted bacteria.
The cheese is then matured to develop the unique flavour of the particular cheese variety. Maturation takes place in a carefully controlled environment with regulated temperature and humidity conditions.
In addition to this production process, Heidi Farm cheeses are crafted with the skill, passion and intuition of our dutiful cheese makers so that each cheese is brought to its full flavour potential and provides a rewarding cheese experience.