Raw Milk Cheeses
May 6-10, 2019
Faculty: David Asher
“Natural Cheesemaking: Raw Milk Cheeses” offers a detailed, hands-on study of milk and how to safely create value-added, delicious, artisan cheese products in the home kitchen.
From culture propagation to rennet coagulation and on to affinage, this comprehensive and hands on course covers nearly all aspects and styles of farmhouse cheesemaking. Five days of learning allows students to prepare many styles of cheese and observe the stages of their evolution, providing insight into how many cheeses can evolve from the very same milk, with the same culture, and the same rennet.
The course will focus on natural methods and a full circle approach to home and micro-scale cheesemaking. Class begins with a session on dairy fermentation, covering kefir, creme fraiche, cultured butter, yogurt, clabber, and quark. Next, we will explore fresh lactic cheeses such as cream cheese, chèvre, and geotrichum-candidum ripened lactic cheeses, including Crottin, Valencay and Saint Marcellin. We’ll deepen our study by looking at rennet cheeses: One morning, we’ll prepare a basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese. By the afternoon, the curd’s acidity will have developed, enabling us to stretch the cheese into mozzarella, burratta, and other pasta filata cheeses. We will then investigate blue cheeses and explore the different rind ecologies, including the white fungus of Camembert and the orange rinds of Limburger. Last, we make an Alpine Cheese and a Cheddar; with their leftover whey we prepare a batch of fresh, warm Ricotta. “Natural Cheesemaking: Raw Milk Cheeses” offers a well-rounded understanding of the opportunities available to safely and deliciously create value-added dairy products ecologically and without reliance on manufactured cultures.
Level: 200 / Beginner to Intermediate
Tuition & Fees: $1300 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and three meals daily from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or housing accommodations.
Housing Availability & Fees: Housing availability is limited for this course and room requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. On-campus housing is $60 per night for a room with a private bath, and $50 per night for a room with a shared bath. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic/vintage/farmhouse style accommodations that are clean and safe but not luxurious. If you prefer to stay off-campus please see our accommodations page for local recommendations.
David Asher is an organic farmer, farmstead cheese maker, and cheese educator based on the gulf islands of British Columbia, Canada. A guerrilla cheesemaker, David does not make cheese according to standard industrial philosophies—he explores traditionally cultured, non-corporate methods of cheesemaking. David offers cheese outreach to communities near and far with the Black Sheep
School of Cheesemaking. Through workshops in partnership with food-sovereignty-minded organizations, he shares his distinct cheesemaking style. His courses teach a cheesemaking method that is natural, DIY, and well suited to the home kitchen or artisanal production. He is the author of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking (Chelsea Green Publications).