We had our second cheese make at the University of Minnesota Pilot Plant. Our plain curds went so well, that we were excited to do it again.
During the Farmers’ Markets and selling to stores, we had requests for flavored curds, so we decided to give it a try this time. We made Ranch, Garlic, and Bacon flavored curds. Ferndale Market is a free-range turkey farm in Cannon Falls, and they have a store on site. They asked if we could make some turkey and cranberry curds, so we thought we’d give that a try too. Since we were making curds for one business in town, we thought we would also try making wine soaked cheese curds. Every flavor turned out so well!
On top of the 200 pounds of cheddar curds we made, we also made 100 pounds of Queso Fresco. We had made this in our 4 gallon roasting pans, in our kitchens, and felt it was worth trying on a larger scale. We gave the recipe to Rey Miller, the Plant Manager, and he came up with a version for the vat. We experimented with it, can came up with 6 large blocks of Queso Fresco. Four of the blocks were pressed for about 3 hours, and the other two were left in the press overnight. We’ll see which one we like better. We are pretty excited about our Queso Fresco, as we will be the only Minnesota Artisan cheese makers making this type of cheese.
Packaging up the cheese took so long our first go-around. This time we had 2 friends/family members come to help us out. Kathy’s niece, Tracy, and Kathy’s college classmate, Betsy. They were so amazing, saved us a ton of time, and we are forever grateful for their assistance. Plus, we had even more fun and laughter with them around.
We have another day of making cheese at the U on the 11th. We can’t wait!