Monday, August 22, 2011

Crowley Cheese - Healdville, VT (Near Chester)

The sign out front says they have the best cheese.  I'm not qualified to judge that, it's delicious, I love it, but I don't know if it's the best.  What I do know is that they're the friendliest.  We popped in for a quick look and stayed for hours.  Kenny, Kim and Greg were extremely funny and informative as we watched the major portions of the cheesemaking process (we got there just as the curds and whey were ready to be transferred for draining and rinsing.)  Cheryl showed us around the old cheesemaking equipment and the other parts of the factory.  The owner, Jill, came down to answer our questions and talk about blogs, cheese and business.  Everyone was super friendly and knowledgeable.  I plan to stop in every time I drive by.

Kim, scraping the curds down into the whey.

 The curds and whey, transferred onto cheesecloth for draining, rinsing, salting and chiving (adding chives (made up word of the day!))

Sample casserole for checking the pH (acidity).

 Kenny, checking the pH.

Kenny, Kim and Greg, breaking up the curds after draining.

 Hand cut chives and salt, waiting to be added.  The salt goes first, followed by more stirring and curd breaking, then the chives go in followed by, you guessed it, more stirring.

 Chives going in!

Filling the buckets with curd.  These are two part buckets thet will settle together.  They are held up by pins that will be pulled out after they're full.

Full buckets, cheesecloth now folded over the top.

Pins removed and stacked in two's to let a little pre-drain occur.  The top gets swapped to the bottom once, and then....

Lined up by Kenny in preparation for squishy-squishy with the hydraulic compressor thingy

Compressed for a couple hours until most of the water is gone.  Then pulled out and left to age until it's ready to be eaten:

Waiting for me to buy it!


Still in use equipment (except the center picture.)  I was impressed by the ancient block and tackle in the left picture.

This was a great visit!  Thanks to everyone for making it so much fun.  Make sure to call ahead to see when they're making the cheese so you can see the action!

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