Cheese Making Step by Step. The traditional way

After my recent posts on how butter and ricotta are made using traditional methods, I will now show you how cheese is made at an Italian traditional village dairy.

I featured the dairy man (“il casaro”), signor Luigino when he did a cheese making demonstration on the square of my local town.

I was lucky enough to see how cheese is made at the “latteria”, the dairy of a small village in Friuli in the North East of Italy.

Cheese is produced daily so it is very fresh when it reaches the shops. This is the type of cheese that has a deep, clean, fresh, milky taste which melts in your mouth. It has nothing added but milk, rennet (required to make cheese) and salt to preserve it (essential for cheese making).

But let’s go ahead.

Fresh milk is put in a copper boiler and it is brought to a temperature of 32 – 34C.

milk in copper boiler

Rennet is added which is a complex of enzymes that comes from the stomach of calves.  The consistency of the milk changes and becomes creamier.

rennet is added

In order for the curd to become a paste, which later turns into cheese, you must enable it to drain the water it contains. That’s why it is ruptured, using sharp tools such as the thistle which allows the curd to lose the amount of serum required to produce cheese. Now grains as big as rice are formed.

rupture of curd

The dairyman constantly checks the consistency of the mass which is then heated at 44-46 C. After 25-30 minutes the milk will coagulate making it look like a gelatin (this is now the time you collect the whey to make ricotta).

coagulation

Now.. ready steady..the most exciting bit: the copper is tipped

tipping pot

The casaro uses a cloth.. to collect the mass that has formed

collecting mass of cheese

Much easier if this job is carried out by two people!

collecting cheese

And here we are, the mass has all been collected in a bundle

lifting cheese

Far too heavy to be lifted by hand so a pulley comes in handy

lifting cheese

The bundle is placed on a surface

ball of cheese

So lovely to touch.. soft and spongy!

pressing

Now let’s cut it into big chunks. Watch the skills of this young boy!

cutting cheese

The mass goes into the cheese molds

molds for cheese

cheese on mould

All nicely lined up

fresh cheese

Then they are pressed and drained of the liquid to give it its characteristic round shape which reproduces the mark of origin and date of production.

pressing cheese

After approximately 24 hours, the cheese is placed in brine (saturated solution of salt and water) for a period of about 48 hours.

cheese in salty water

After this period, the cheese is given a final dry salting and then placed in warehouses to mature. It should be at least 2 months old. The older the cheese the less water it contains so it becomes increasingly rich and saltier. My favourite is two months old!

fresh cheese on shelf

 

Infinite thanks to all the team at :

Latteria di Turrida

CASEIFICIO CARLINI GIOBATTA
Via Montello, 7
33039 Turrida di Sedegliano (UD) -Italy

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5 Responses to Cheese Making Step by Step. The traditional way

  1. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    How interesting on how cheese is made. I had watched your videos on how cheese and ricotta is made..I liked the videos and this post is so informative. Signor Luigino’s place is so very clean and such wonderful equipment. It really is not hard to create this cheese but it looks very heavy and the procedure looks very strenuous. But he is to be commended for his dedication and his love for the freshest ingredients, which gives you the best quality of the cheese. Very well-done dear friend. Have a good rest of the week and keep warm… Thanks for sharing…
    Dottie 🙂

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Che post interessante, è molto bello vedere come viene prodotto il formaggio, mi piacerebbe essere lì. grazie per la condivisione! Un abbraccio!

    • Alida

      I am pleased you enjoyed it Julie!

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