Hi, I've received a few calls and emails from Chowhound friends-it seems that my virtual ears were ringing.
Just to set the record straight-I did indeed leave Egg Farm Dairy, back in June, due to a change in ownership.
I don't have much to say about what's happening there currently, as I'm not at all involved. I will add that this is not by my choice: the new owners have seen fit to essentially lock me out of the business.
What am I doing now? Nina and I have started the Grasslands Cheese Consortium. We're working with farmers in the Hudson, Harlem and Delaware Valleys, specifically farmers who graze their cows, milk seasonally, and feed little grain and NO animal by-products. Please visit www.cowsoutside.com for more information.
The first farm to beign Consortium cheese production is Sprout Creek Farm in Lagrangeville. Cheese production there is currently in the R&D stage: I'm back to making cheese in a five-gallon pail, like the good old days. Commercial production at Sprout Creek begins in March.
One of the things that I'm making experimentally right now is a 100% spontaneous fermentation cheese. This is way beyond raw milk: not only is the milk never heated, it isn't even cooled! I'm taking evening milk, allowing it to sour off overnight, then mixing it with morning milk. Only the native lactic flora from the udders are used.
The cheeses are delightful, as full of flavor a one week as you might expect at 2 months. To be legal for sale, the cheeses must be aged for 2 months. Of course, what i'm making now will never be legal for sale, as it is being produced at home, not in a licensed facility.
I'm also making real traditional ricotta, from whey, not milk, as I learned from my good freind Tillo, at Corzano-Paterno in Tuscany.
Anyway, that's how the world is spinning around here. Please note my new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Please drop in, read my daily blog, and sign the guestbook!
Jonathan & Nina