Below are the licensed cheese makers in Maine as published by the Department of Agriculture
There are 71 Processed Dairy Facilities as of June 2013
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Following is a Cheddar Cheese recipe that will end at the curd stage. It is adapted from Kathy Biss’s book Practical Cheesemaking published by Crowood Press in 2002 by way of Cannington College in cheddar’s heartland: Somerset County, England.
Please be prepared to bring at least TWO batches of cheese curds to the Holiday Party: one flavored, and one plain. If you would like to bring additional flavors, please go right ahead.
Cheese curds are quite perishable in nature — they lose their “squeak” in just a few days time. Ideally this will be a Friday or Saturday batch before the Sunday party, but you will have to fit it into your schedule, obviously.
A portion of the curds will be used to prepare POUTINE for the party as well — after a tasting has been held and winners in the CLASSIC CURDS (plain) and the CRAZY CURDS (flavored) have been announced, so be prepared for things to get messy.
Curds that will be meant to be sold should be made from heat-treated or pasteurized milk. We will welcome, however, raw milk curds. Please label the milks (and treatment) so that we can compare the flavors of each!
Inoculate your raw or heat-treated milk at a temperature of 85degF with an MA culture (a mix of ssp. lactis and ssp. cremoris) at a rate of 5 DCU per 100 lbs. of milk.
Ripen for 1 hour (freeze dried culture) or 45 minutes (bulk wet culture).
Rennet with 9ml SINGLE STRENGTH per 100 gallons milk mixed in 5 to 6 times the water.
When the curd “splits cleanly” cut immediately into “wheat grain to small pea size” pieces.
Scald the curd by gently increasing the temp 2degF every 6 minutes reaching 102 – 104degF after 60 minutes.
Stir with the heat OFF after scalding another 45 to 60 minutes, allowing the temp to slowly drop. When the curds feel “shotty” — they bounce of the hand in the vat, and spring back when squeezed — let them settle for 10 minutes then carefully draw off the whey.
Cheddar by forming the curds into cakes, allow them to drain for 15 minutes, then cut the cakes and pile them to “press themselves” to release more whey while keeping warm. Repeat this cut and pile every 15 minutes in the vat (removing the drained whey if it doesn’t naturally leave the vat) until the HOT IRON TEST results in a 1.5 inch stretch.
To perform the Hot Iron Test, take a steel bar (steel skewer? clean fireplace poker?), heat it close to red in a flame, allow it to cool to black, then apply it to the back of a sample curd. When the curd has “cooked on” to the bar, pull it back to see how far the cheese strands will stretch. If they reach 1.5 inches or more, the curd is sufficiently acid to mill and salt.
(If you don’t have the Hot Iron technology, you may instead measure whey acidity to .75TA or pH 5.3 before milling.)
Mill curd cakes into rectangles *roughly* 1cm X 2cm X 4cm.
Salt at a rate of 2% (by weight of curds).
Allow the salt to be absorbed before flavoring your curds.
Our next meeting will be our Holiday Party held on a new day — SUNDAY — December 15th from Noon to 4pm at 3 Level Farm in South China (directions to come). Please consider attending for a merry potluck, including (hopefully!) a vast spread of Christmas Curds to taste…including some of yours!
DIRECTIONS to 3 Level Farm:
From the south, Portland way, take 95 or 295 north (295 blends with 95 just south of Augusta) to the third Augusta exit, Exit 113, and head toward Belfast. About 10 miles east Rt 32 heads north (a left turn). 7/10 miles up Rt 32, as you reach the crest of the climb from Rt 3, 3 Level Farm will be on your right. We have plenty of off street parking.
From the east, Belfast way, take Rt 3 west until Rt 32 north takes off on your right. 7/10 mile up the grade and you are there.
From the north, Bangor way, you will probably take 95 south. Get off at the second Waterville exit, Rt 137, and follow it east through town until at a traffic light it takes a sharp right and shortly there after crosses the Kennebec River. Take it to the second traffic light after crossing the river which is Rt 32. Turn right and follow Rt. 32 south just about 10 miles. The farm will be on your left.
If you need to call for any reason, 445-FARM (3276).
I look forward to heralding and toasting good tidings with you all as we begin a journey into a new year…
President, Maine Cheese Guild
The Maine Cheese Guild stands by it’s Quality Statement, issued in May 2009, with regard to the Local Food Ordinance proposals we have seen, and to the legislative bills introduced for the 2011 session (LD330 and LD366).
Our testimony against LD330, given to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry at the March hearing on this bill follows:
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On Friday afternoon – September 13th the group of 350 riders doing the Bike Maine 400 mile Bike Around Maine event will be arriving at Camp Jordan in Ellsworth. I am the Food Director (Patti Hamilton – Barred Owl Creamery) and we are looking for any and lots of cheesemakers interested in both sampling & selling their cheese to the bikers as they finish their ride for the day.
They will arrive in camp hungry & it is important that we have good healthy, local food available for them to eat. It is a great opportunity to market your cheese – half of the riders will be from Maine and half from out of state. The ride ends on Saturday at noon – so hopefully there will be people buying more than they want to eat right then (to take home with them). We (at Bike Maine) are working hard to make this event a local food event as much as possible – to showcase Maine farms and food.
If you are interested at all please email me @ email@example.com
A great opportunity – lets take advantage of it.
At the 2013 American Cheese Society competition, the largest North American cheese competition with a record 1794 entries this year, Maine cheese makers won five ribbons announced at their gala Awards Ceremony August 2 at the Monona Terrace Conference Center in Madison, WI.
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Housed at the State of Maine Cheese Company, Rockport, Maine
Book Title Author year
American Cheese Varieties Harry Eilson and Dr George W Reinbold 1965*
American Cheeses Clark Wolf 2008
Blue Veined Cheeses Dr. Howard Morris 1981* 2 copies
Cheese Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology, Vol 1 General Aspects P F Fox, Ed. 1987
Cheese Making Made Easy, 1st ed. Ricki & Robert Carroll 1982
Cottage Cheese and other Cultured Milk Products Drs. Douglas B Emmons, Stewart L. Tucher 1967*
Goat Husbandry, 4th ed. David MacKenzie 1980
Home Cheesemaking, 3rd ed. Ricki Carroll 2002
Italian Cheese Varieties Dr. George W Reinbolo 1963* 2 copies
Lactic Starter Culture Technology Dr. William E Sandine 1979 *
More Please, Macaroni & Cheese (recipe book) Deanna Keahey, Steve Kilner 2004
Ripened Semi-soft Cheeses Dr Morman F Olson 1969* 2 copies
The Atlas of Amerian Artisan Cheese (store copy) Jeffrey Roberts 2007
The Cheese Book Vivienne Marqus and Patricia Haskel 1984
The Cheese Primer Steven Jenkins 1996
The Dairy Book of Family Cookery (recipe book) Hoard’s Dairyman 1983
The International Wine and Food Society Guide to Cheese and Cheese Cookery (identification and photos) TA Layton 1967
The World Encyclopedia of Cheese Juliet Harbutt
The Yogurt Book Connie Berman & Susan Katz 1977
* 9 book set
Last year Eric represented us at the Taste of Maine reception in DC. The Maine Chamber is replicating that model at the annual Maine Chamber Annual Dinner meeting on November 15th. Eric mentioned this in his post from last month’s meeting.
Here are the highlights of the event:
Don’t Miss the Chamber’s Annual Dinner with featured Guest U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr.
Join us on November 15th for the Maine State Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Annual Awards Dinner – “Mr. King Goes
to Washington: An Independent’s Perspective on his First Year.”
They will be showcasing Maine foods at the reception and have invited us to participate. I will be there with my cheese and will represent the Guild. If anyone wants to donate cheese to the table and/or join me at the event, please let me know. The ideal time to bring cheese to include for the event is the annual meeitng on Monday, the 11th.
Hope to see everyone on Monday!!
State of Maine Cheese
On November 11th we held our Annual Meeting at the State of Maine Cheese Co. facility on Route 1 in Rockport.
Caitlin Hunter (Appleton Creamery) and Heather Donahue (Balfour Farm) were both re-elected to a seat on the Guild Board. Caitlin stepped down from her duties of Secretary of the organization, and Heather was nominated and then voted to replace Caitlin as Secretary.
We reviewed the State of the Guild, including its finances, and we made plans for the upcoming year in many areas: new workshops planned for the Spring (advanced workshops, as well as others focused on beginners and those interested in getting licensed to sell cheese), web site improvements, changes to the delivery of our newsletter, possible legislative action, the formation of an Events Committee, fundraising ideas, and many other things. We ALSO got to taste a lot of cheeses that were brought in for feedback!
It was a long meeting, but VERY productive. Thanks to everyone who attended.
During a salmonella outbreak of 2008 and 2009 nine people died, 166 were hospitalized and more than 700 fell ill. Authorities ultimately traced the contamination of Salmonella Typhimurium back to peanut products manufactured in a Texas plant owned by the Peanut Corporation of America. According to the US CDC an estimated 48 million people each year are affected by food borne illnesses resulting in over 100,000 hospitalization and 3,000 deaths. In this one case, however, there were several factors that caught the general public’s attention:
- Illnesses were caused all over the US without apparent patterns at first;
- People died from exposure in nursing homes and other medical facilities;
- Many different products across different company’s products and brands were found to be contaminated, both commercial and institutional;
- Ultimately the media found that the peanut processing plant had been operating legally in Texas without EVER having been inspected by state or federal food safety organizations.
As a result of the tremendous publicity and outrage of this embarrassing outbreak a White House Food Safety Working Group was formed to investigate this specific failure in the US food safety network. The result was the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed by Congress and to be implemented by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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The Maine Cheese Guild presents
Open Creamery Day 2013
on Sunday, October 13th from 11am to 3pm (unless ***otherwise noted*** below).
As the hardwood foliage bursts in a blaze of colors on Columbus Day weekend, take in the spectacular sights and taste some award-winning cheese during the Maine Cheese Guild’s annual Open Creamery Day. Visit many of Maine’s cheese makers in their creameries, meet the animals, and learn the stories behind Maine’s more than 150 artisan cheeses. Along the way you can also visit a farmers’ market, stop at an orchard, explore one of Maine’s premier breweries or wineries, pick fruit at Maine’s legendary orchards, and drop-in on one of the many artisan bread makers our state has to offer. You’ll love the views, and the taste of Maine cheese, straight from the source, will be the best memory of all!
View Maine Open Creamery Day MAP in a larger form
2013 Participating Cheesemakers
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MOFGA will sponsor a “Listening Session” with FDA representatives at the Augusta Armory on
August 19th between 9:30am and 12:30pm
This is the only session scheduled in Maine and one of only three in New England. This is an important opportunity for growers to communicate directly with FDA on the proposed rules.
The FDA has extended the public comment period, so those who cannot make the listening session can submit comments by Nov. 13, 2013.
Dave Colson, MOFGA’s Ag Services Director has put together a summary of the talking points that MOFGA has generated after reviewing the proposed rules that might be helpful.
MESAS (Maine Sustainable Ag Society) is sponsoring an event on Sheep Dairy Herd Health that is free and open to the public (NO pre-registration required) on
Saturday, August 17th from 2:00pm to 4:30pm at
Northern Exposure Farm
18 Country Lane, Dedham, ME
There will be a tour of their livestock and milking facility, as well as a discussion of the farm’s approach to biosecurity, disease management, and identifying healthy foundation stock.
For questions, contact Dick Brzozowski: firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-781-6099