Cheese Travels -Zingerman's Creamery by Cheesemonger Eric Lundy
One of the many great things about being the Cheesemonger at The Produce Station is that I have the pleasure of fostering relationships with artisan producers, cheese-makers, support staff and not often enough the animals themselves.
The other day I finally made it out to Zingerman’s Creamery. Zingerman’s began making cheese and gelato in 2001 to meet a growing demand for traditional, old fashioned hand-made cream cheese at their deli. Led by John Loomis, Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw, a world-class creamery was created. They’ve come a long way since those Real Cream Cheese beginnings! What brought me out was the recent launch of their first ever hard-cheese; Great Lakes Cheshire. I had the pleasure of meeting with Paul Bower the wholesale director and was given deliciously informed introduction to the Great Lakes Cheshire It is made based on a very old recipe that John Loomis learned from a Welsh cheese-maker 25 years ago. It was explained that this quick-ripening variant is perfect when made with the very rich milk from Andy Schneider's family dairy in Westphalia by a herd of Dutch-Belted cows. I can attest to that claim! The cheeses beautifully rustic, natural rind enrobes a pliant and slightly crumbly paste that has a well-rounded and very enjoyable flavor. Can’t wait to offer here at The Produce Station!
Zingerman’s cheeses are made from the best local milk; Calder Dairy in Carleton, MI and the aforementioned Schneider Family Organic Dairy in Westphalia, MI. Goat’s milk is sourced from various small farmers in the region. Using old-world techniques coupled with the most precious of resources, time. Zingerman’s cheeses are hand-ladled to preserve the delicate characteristics of the curd using uncommonly-long sets to draw out a full, complex flavor and a low-heat, long pasteurization to maintain flavor.
The pictures I took show the variety of incredible cheese that Paul was kind enough to sample, describe and even take back to share with the Produce Station team. Thanks Paul! I even took a snapshot of the pristine cheese-making facility.
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