Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Azienda Agricola Arpisson, Part I: Cheesemaking

 Unlike most farms, each cow has a name and a specific place in the stable where she spends the night. Bringing in the cows takes a long time because Attilio has to chase each cow into position. He does this partly to make sure they all get along (mothers go next to daughters, etc), and partly because different cows give different amounts of milk, and this way he can go in order, making sure his milker gets all the way full without overflowing. The milking takes about four hours a day, because the 60 goats are all done by hand.

 Lucas gathers curds from the bottom of the big caldaia. Afterward the whey (siero) goes out to the pigs.

 Attilio has the biggest, knottiest hands I've ever seen.

 These goat cheeses will first be put in an insulated box (actually, an old fridge), with a lot of hot water, to draw out the whey still inside--buckets and buckets of it trickle out. Then we plop them out of the molds and set them by the windowsill for a little while, and then we salt them and carry them downstairs.

For more on cheesemaking at Arpisson, please see this post.

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