Artisan goats cheese making in the mountains of Friuli

Goats milk is a wonderful product: easy to digest, with plenty of calcium, less allergenic proteins compared to cows milk and it is also lower in lactose. So if you find cows milk hard to digest you should give goats milk a go.

Recently I went on a trip with my best buddy Luigino, the dairy man whom I have featured several times on this blog. He is the one who always takes me around to visit places around the region of Friuli to discover various artisans and small producers. He took me to his dairy before to learn how to make cheese in a small Italian dairy.

The story I am going to tell you today is about a young lady called Alessia.

Luigino met Alessia several years ago. She was one of his students of his dairy classes and who later went on to create her own artisan goats and dairy farm. By artisan I mean that everything is done by hand, the traditional way.

Alessia set up her own goats farm in her beloved mountains of Friuli where she grew up as a child. She bought 35 hectares of land and left some of it for pasture, some asΒ  meadow to make hay and some woods.

Goats feeding on fresh grass

Alessia is a busy lady indeed.

Her day starts at 6am when she milks the goats. She keeps about 100 goats. They all seem to know exactly what to do: as soon as the gate opens they all promptly walk towards the miking station ready to be milked.. there is a catch though: they perfectly know that they will get fed there as well.

Goats in the stable

milking-goats_

Alessia loves her goats. It was always her dream to have her own dairy so even if this job can be exhausting sometimes (as she never stops!) she loves every minute of it.

Alessia milking the goats

After milking the goats leave the stable and go up the moutains in the meadows to feed off fresh grass until the evening when they go back to the stable.

goats-up-the-mountain

The milk is left to rest then it is put in a metal container suitable for cheese making and brought to a temperature of 36C or 97F.

Goats milk

Then rennet is added. You will notice that the milk changes consistency and becomes thicker. The curd has formed and it is cut with a sharp metal object.

cutting curd

The milk coagulates and the curd separates from the water it contains.

coagulated milk

The curd or “cheese” is then collected using a colander.

collecting-cheese-

collecting-cheese-

And left to drain of the excess water

freshly-made-cheese

The excess water is squeezed out

pressing-cheese

After salting it the cheese is left to mature for a minimum of 3 months (depending on the type of cheese you want).

Goats cheese

Goats cheese

Alessia also makes fresh cheese with herbs like thyme, rosemary, lavender and chilly pepper. An interesting one is soft cheese left to mature with vegetable charcoal. In this way the cheese can mature without the need for preservatives as the charcoal prevents the mold from spoiling it.

Goats cheese with herbs and chilly

Alessia also produces yogurt, ricotta (the smoked ricotta is fantastic!) and gorgonzola cheese too.

freshly-made-cheese-in-the-shop

 

Check out this little video about the farm which I made!

Many thanks to:

Azienda Agricola ZORE
LocalitΓ  Zore – Platischis 37
33040 TAIPANA (UDINE) – Italy

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11 Responses to Artisan goats cheese making in the mountains of Friuli

  1. elisabetta

    What a superb post Alida, and the excellent video was such a surprise. Look forward to seeing more! Brava Alessia, keep up the good work!

    • Alida

      I absolutely enjoyed this visit. So far I only had goats cheese from shops. Alessia’s ricotta was a melt in your mouth experience! So so good..!

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Such an awesome experience! I have never been to a farm…it must be exciting and fun.

    • Alida

      I love farms. It is good to know where our food comes from.

  3. Chiara

    adoro i formaggi, se passo da quelle parti vado a trovarli, grazie !

  4. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I adore goats cheese and I miss it so much at the moment, as I can’t have it with being pregnant. It’s one of the first things I will eat once baby is born.

    • Alida

      I feel for you I remember feeling just the same!

  5. Summer

    Looks like such a fun and interesting experience. Thanks for taking us along β™₯

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

    • Alida

      I am pleased you enjoyed it Summer.

  6. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    LOVE goats cheese. A great post Alida. Really good to see how they make it. The picture of the goat looking at the camera is really cute too!

    • Alida

      Goats are so curious and funny. It is an animal I have always particularly loved.

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