Cultivation of a Cheesemonger

A Blog of Cheese Culture and Cultures

Creamery Apprenticeship


Since my last post I left New York City and have spent the last four months as a creamery apprentice at Cricket Creek Farm. I have been learning a lot, however, for the sake of getting a post up to you guys, I think it’s a lot more fun if you all had a photo-tour instead! Please enjoy the pictures!


my workplace

Cricket Creek Farm makes several different types of cheese.  Maggie’s Round, a raw-milk natural rind, Town Meeting; a raw-milk gouda-style cheese; the young and seasoned cheese, Hillside; Tobasi, a raw-milk washed rind; Berkshire Bloom, our bloomy rind, and various flavors of fresh cheese .  Here are some photos of Berkshire Bloom in production.


an apprentice’s mom helps out in the creamery ladling curd into Berkshire Bloom molds

Cheese Make Milk from the bulk tank – where it is collected after the cows come in for milking – is poured into the vat in the creamery through a set of stainless steel tubes. Cultures and rennet are added, the milk coagulates, and then the large curd mass is cut by hand before being cut by machine.  Cheese making requires smell, sight, taste, and touch.


An apprentice helps move the curds in the vat


A curd in the hand…

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 9.06.12 PM

Curds in molds of all different shapes and sizes


Berkshire Bloom at different ages. The cultures in the cheese continue to break down lipids and proteins over time.

Hillside, Cricket Creek Farm’s rindless cheese, rolled in garlic & herb and spicy red pepper blend.


Tobasi curds knit together in the mold to begin forming a cheese. Today, plastic is used to simulate the traditional basketweave pattern.


Cricket Creek Farm’s washed rind cheese, Tobasi, with a beautiful orange rind and perfect paste.


A little washed-rind/bloomy-rind experiment. If the rate of the protein breakdown at the surface is higher than that of the center, the cheese will get what is commonly known as “slipskin.”


Taste testing batches of Maggie’s Round, the younger natural rind cheese, from winter of 2011.


Farmer’s market table set up; wintertime, Troy, NY.

I am having a blast learning about cheese production and observing, feeling, and tasting my way through the changing seasons of milk, curd, and mold.  The next time you pass by some farmstand or artisinal cheese, stop to think about the work that goes into each wheel and understand that ours is a labor of love.




2 thoughts on “Creamery Apprenticeship

  1. wow! looks like a great place to make cheese – lucky you! Thanks for sharing your work.

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