June has turned out to be even more busy than May with lots of cheesemaking and renovations in progress to support our expansion. We have tripled our production capacity thanks to the installation of our new vat. In the future you can expect to see some fresh cheeses too!
To support this expansion we are also selling at more farmers’ markets than ever! Come see us at the Bowen Road market Wednesday evenings in Nanaimo, the Esquimalt market Thursday evenings, the Duncan Farmer’s market Saturday mornings, the Cedar market Sunday mornings, and the Oak Bay market every third Wednesday evening of the month.
Our ageing room is officially full of maturing cheeses without a spare shelf to be seen. If you haven’t noticed already, we strongly favour natural rinds on our cheeses. Many large production facilities prefer to wax or vacuum seal their cheeses to keep a pristine rind but this can inhibit flavour and texture development. We choose to control what develops on our rind by choosing different “washes” to encourage certain friendly developmental bacteria. For example we wash our Pennymede in a blonde Belgian-style beer to encourage B. Linens bacteria (the bacteria that makes certain cheeses stinky and turns the rind orange/pink) and Geotrichum Candidum yeast (this breaks down proteins and fats leading to a soft gooey cheese) while the 6% alcohol in the beer prevents any other molds from growing. To be clear, when we “wash” a cheese we dip a large circular brush into a bit of the liquid and gently rub it on the surface of the cheese so that it is just damp. By using a brush versus just dunking the whole wheel helps to develop an even rind on the cheese. Below are three photos of Pennymede at one day old, three weeks old, and eight weeks old. Not only has the rind matured significantly, but you can feel the interior of the cheese getting softer and softer.
On the farm we are still patiently awaiting the arrival of hoards of goat babies. We hope to start welcoming them as early as the end of this month!