Note: This is the first in a new monthly series in which we interview Art of Cheese students to see what they’re up to after taking cheesemaking classes.
Meet Kelly, a Boulder, Colorado, home cheesemaker. Kelly took her very first cheesemaking class at the Art of Cheese just a few months ago. She has what some people would call a “cheesy” lifestyle! Kelly works as a cheesemonger at a high-end cheese counter in Boulder, volunteers at a local goat dairy, and makes cheese at home about once a week.
With only a couple of months of cheesemaking experience, Kelly might be considered a beginner. But as a cheesemonger, she has learned a lot about cheese. “I can name every single cheese we sell without seeing the label– just by looking at it,” she said. “I wasn’t sure if I would like being a cheesemonger, but I love it.” Kelly says she feels fortunate to work at such a large cheese counter. “I get to taste some of the best cheeses in the world!” The more Kelly learned about the cheeses at work, the more she started to think she should learn to make it herself.
Kelly has made mozzarella, Guido, cheese curds, a lactic cheese, and is aging a cheddar now. Next, she’ll be making her first cheese using farm fresh goat milk. “The cheese curds were crazy squeaky,” she said, but she is most proud of her Guido, as it had to be pressed and aged. Take a look at this awesome press she put together!
Kelly started volunteering at a local goat dairy to help her connect to her food and nature and to get a taste of rural life. She helps feed and water the goats and does other barn chores. She’s even trimmed hooves! She hopes to learn to milk in the Spring.
Kelly says cheesemaking as a hobby takes creativity, problem solving, a little knowledge of chemistry and food science, and physics (to make a press). “It connects you to the land if you look at your milk. Terroir is really interesting to me, the milk is the most important. The milk is why you get so many unique flavors.”
submitted by Becca Heins