Over time, I am trying to peel away the mystery and misconceptions of the cheese world by listening, learning and researching.
It wasn’t too long ago that I had no idea what Artisan, or Artisanal, cheese was. I thought it was a brand … don’t laugh. As the brand idea began to dissolve I surmised that Artisan described a cheese that was aged a very long time, like cognac, to give it that extra special flavor.
So now, as I begin to figure things out, and learn the vocabulary of the cheese world, I feel compelled to share. If you already know this stuff, bare with me. I’m catching up.
Artisan cheese is hand made versus manufactured or mass produced. It is cheese made in limited quantity with passion, skill and love by an accomplished cheesemaker. Like most things, when a person puts his best into his craft the result is superior. The Artisan cheeses, in theory, are more interesting, complex and exciting. The cheesemaker can get creative with his recipe, methods and aging to accomplish a more robust and flavorful result.
Farmstead cheese is an Artisnal cheese that is made using the milk from the cheesemaker’s own herd of animals.
The thing I find most intriguing about Artisan cheese is that behind each cheese is a person, and a story.