As April commences the clocks have been turned back and the pace of production is picking up. The morning starts with Venus visible in a sky that shows only the faintest hint of the light that is to come later. As the first newborn kids reach maturity and start to be weaned there is more milk – around 20 litres – which involves careful handling as I manoeuvre the full metal ‘bidon’. Around 28 cheeses are now ready to unmould each day and the cold room is slowly filling with racks of chèvre in various stages of drying – each one completely unique in character, even if batches have many similarities. As I rotate them 45° each day I can observe each detail; it is fascinating to see them mature – some have a crackly appearance, others are velvety smooth. There are so many variables: the weather; the quality of milk; the goat’s pasture and routine; the temperature (outdoors in general and the air in the controlled environment of the fromagerie, and then the milk when ferments are added); the amount of ferment and levain in relation to the quantity of milk; my handling and stirring and the time the caillé has to develop and set.
02 Apr This entry was published on April 2, 2014 at 11:34 am. It’s filed under Animals, Antipodean, Country Life, Country Living, Cuisine, Environment, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, Food, Forest, France, French Culture, Garden, La Vie Quotidienne, Landscape, Languedoc Roussillon, Life, Lifestyle, Living in France, Nature, New Zealander in France, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rural Life, Seasons, South of France, Tree-change and tagged artisanal cheese, bio, cheese, cheese making, cheese making diary, cheeses maturing, elevate, farm cheese, fermier, fromage de chèvre, fromage de chèvre l'affinage, fromage fermier, fromagerie, goat farm, goat's milk cheese, l'affinage, lait cru entier, making cheese traditionally, Mas Coste, maturing, Organic, spring, traditional goat's cheese, unpasteurised.