Farmstead cheese making is a delicate and sometimes challenging balance of science and art. Having a passion and love for what you do, will definitely be reflected in the end product.
You first must begin with the highest quality milk, which we are definitely very proud of at Nicolau Farms. Our milk is never altered or standardized, but vat pasteurized in small 50 gallon batches only being mildly heated to a 145°F. This older method of pasteurization suffices the legality of the process, yet does not impart a cooked flavor on the milk, and more importantly does not destroy the beneficial components for cheese making.
Our Fresh Cheese begins with this pasteurized milk and then is cultured for 24 hours, allowing the lactic acid to work hard to producing some of the finest, creamiest, fluffiest chevré you may ever enjoy. Next, the curds are delicately hand ladled into cheese clothes where their curds are left to drain for another 24 hours.
At this point, the cheese is gently blended with less than 1% sea salt, as well as other high quality ingredients depending on the desired flavor. After packaging, our fresh cheeses are immediately refrigerated to 38°F and prepared for shipping. When you enjoy Nicolau Farms Chevré, feel confident that you are enjoying the freshest and highest quality goat cheese available.
As with the fresh cheese, Aged Cheeses also begin with the same pasteurization process. At this point, the cheese maker determines what kind of aged cheese will be masterfully created and the artful process begins. Different cultures, rennet, and most importantly, the make process determines the final outcome of the finished product. For example, different cultures contain different beneficial bacteria which effect taste, texture, and overall appearance. The rennet (coagulant) also is very important.
Depending on the cheese, the cheese maker will use either: microbial vegan rennet, or natural goat rennet. During the make process, as well as the aging process, each one of Nicolau Farms cheeses are skillfully and delicately handled and cared for on a daily basis. After the cheese has been matured to the optimal point, they are hand selected for our customers to enjoy all of the efforts and hard work that Nicolau Farms puts into every ounce of cheese made on our farm.