the cheese stands alone

delicious, delicious disappointment

One of the permutations of Feast we considered was the one where we built a creamery into it.  This wasn’t going to be easy, nor affordable, but Dave, who’s worked at Feast for years, had a two-year hiatus (or was it three, Dave?) during which he cut his cheese chops at Cowgirl  Creamery.  Oh, the plans we had: a separate creamery with a separate walk-in to keep at 50 degrees; a pasteurizer; a separate entrance because code requires unpasteurized product to be maintained separately from everything else (this is the same law that keeps you from getting unpasteurized cheeses from Europe unless they’ve been aged, like a Parmesan); floor drains and rubber boots.  We were getting close, when we discovered that there simply isn’t enough available, legal, unpasteurized cows’ milk in Arizona to start a venture like this.  From what I understand, the United Dairymen of Arizona is the only conduit by which local dairy farmers can sell to Shamrock, which means that anyone with a dairy that produces any significant quantity of cows’ milk in Arizona pasteurizes their milk.  All of it.  We scrapped our plans, because one or two guys with a Guernsey in his back yard simply can’t produce enough unpasteurized milk for the operation we wanted.  When Dave heard the siren’s song emanating from a goat farm and creamery in Greenville, Indiana, then, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, he investigated.  Then his wife did.  Dave hasn’t made an official decision yet, but I have noted that even in his physical posture, he’s leaning distinctly to the East.  This Monday, Dave starts a modest cheese program at Feast, and it’s my hope that Dan and Angie and I, who all work in Feast’s kitchen, can open our eyes and ears wide enough to make some modest cheese once Dave’s left, if in fact he leaves.  We’re in training.  The cheese we make will be made from organic but pasteurized milk, and with any luck, we’ll have developed enough skills in seven months to be able to make a handful of creamy, chewy and grainy cheeses that are worthy of the menu at Feast.  And if Dave moves to Indiana, we hope he’ll visit from time to time, and bring us cheese when he does.

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