Day 15: An Introduction to Artisan Cheese
I would like to begin by saying that the audience for this event asked the dumbest questions. And they asked a lot of them. Whoever said there is no such thing as a stupid question was totally wrong. As Liz put it, “everyone’s love of cheese casts a wide net.” Needless to say I failed at Natalie’s mission to talk to someone I didn’t know. Maybe tomorrow.
The talk was given by Fran Trott, a cheese maker and employee at Morgan & York, on Packard. Morgan & York used to be Big Ten Party Store which had a neon sign that said CHEESE! CHEESE!! CHEESE!!! I loved that sign.
The first part of the talk was a general outline about how to make cheese. As the cheese expert explained, cheese is basically the controlled decay of milk. After the talk Katie said, “Learning about making the cheese made me not want to eat the cheese. But I was really hungry.”
We learned about making cheese, different kinds of rinds (natural and artificial), and the difference between cheese made from raw milk vs. pasteurized. In the United States cheese that is aged less than 60 days has to be pasteurized so that it can’t give people funky cheese sickness. Fran said that a lot of cheese makers think raw milk cheese tastes better. It’s what they make in Europe. “She probably makes her own bootleg raw milk cheese. I want to ask her about it but I don’t want to get her in trouble,” Katie said.
The second part of the talk was specifically about Gouda. Gouda is a Dutch cheese originally from the Netherlands, named for Gouda, the town where it was invented.
There was one super chatty weird old guy at the talk who I named Liz’s boyfriend. Liz’s boyfriend wouldn’t shut up and at one point I declared that he was my new enemy. He asked if Gouda making tours, “were probably Amsterdam’s biggest tourist attractions?” And then Katie and I laughed, a lot.
Then we had the tasting. These are the cheeses that we got to try:
- Three month aged cow gouda
- Five year aged cow gouda
- One year aged goat gouda
- Six month aged sheep gouda
We were split on who liked what. Liz, Ashley, and I liked them all. Katie and Anna did not like the five year aged or goat gouda. Anna said, “I tried it again because I thought I might like it better the second time around, I liked it worse.”
After the event Liz and I went to Knight’s for dinner, but mostly for dessert (and writing – Liz got pie on my notebook). I had cheesecake, obviously. I ended up with many drinks. But it was an accident and none of them had alcohol.
Tomorrow Katie is attending the Penny Stamps lecture at the Michigan Theater at 5pm. It’s on a dance troupe.
I am going to a play called “Talk Radio” at the U of M drama center on North Campus at 7pm.