Cheese makers get slice of the action

Photo: Judith Sommerville, centre, with, from left, sisters Shirley Thomas and Heather Spurdle, their mother Kirsty Bell and Shirley's daughter Laura Bawden.

By Mick Jensen

Feta, ricotta, brie and haloumi were all made with enthusiasm by participants on the Cheese Making For The Beginner workshop held in Methven last week.

Held as part of the Methven Summer School programme, the art of crafting cheese was explained by local Judith Sommerville, who passed on her knowledge to 16 novices.

Mrs Sommerville, a former school teacher, began her cheese making journey five years ago when she and her husband converted their Alford Forest farm to dairying.

Students on the cheese making course also included other local dairy farmers, who brought along their own farm-produced milk.

They were taken through the practical process of turning milk into cheese.

The starting process for every cheese was very similar, but the way in which you dealt with the curd often distinguished the different cheeses, said Mrs Somerville.

Participants had been encouraged to bring along their own personal saucepans, colanders and containers to give them confidence with the basic accessories needed to make cheese, Mrs Somerville said.

The hands-on course also supplied participants with a starter pack of rennet, feta culture and pipette, as well as recipes, to encourage them to take the cheese making process into their own kitchens.Running SneakersNike News