There are approximately 60,000 bacteria in a tablespoon of unpasteurized milk. These numbers are made up of scores of different types and we need these bacterium to make cheese. As the bacteria multiply, they convert the sugar (lactose) into lactic acid (which, if left unchecked is why milk goes sour). How a cheesemaker controls the rate of the growth of bacteria, in part determines the type of cheese being made. Anyone who has left milk out on the counter overnight, knows that temperature is the major control factor that affects bacteria growth and therefore is a critical tool for the cheesemaker.

When we pasteurize the milk we dramatically reduce the starting number of these bacteria and slow down the souring process, but more important to the cheesemaker, we obliterate many of the different strains of bacteria which are each adding nuance and depth to the flavor of the finished cheese.

We’ve begun using multiple strains of bacteria cultures in an attempt to replenish some of the flavor of the raw milk. This will be, for us, a long term project of mixing and blending different strains until we find the balance we’re seeking.

Last Mozzarella Making Classes of the Term. We’re down to our last five mozzarella making classes until fall, but there are still some spaces available. April 12, April 19, April 26, May 3 and finally May 10 and there are still some spaces available. We’ve had a lot of fun as we make fresh mozzarella from milk, then using raw curd from BelGioso we make Mozzarella and Myrtle (a specialty from Campagna, where we braid the stretched curd and surround it with aromatic Myrtle branches) and Burrata (essentially a mozzarella balloon filled with shredded mozzarella and heavy cream). So, if you’d like to learn how to make this classic cheese, you’ll need to do so by May 10th. Call us at 734-929-0500 for reservations.