Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cheese Head

I have 8 blogs waiting.  Waiting for the burst of inspiratiion to be finished.  Waiting for the 'Publish' button.  'Click'.  New post...

Spent the better part of the day at Fruition Farms Dairy & Creamery.  I am, if you've been reading, enthralled about cheese.  A cheese head in the making...  The science, the craft, the process, the cheese itself....  I asked Chef Alex Seidel if I could come and visit his cheesemaking operation and discuss an 'intership'.  I drove for two hours throught the early morning Denver crush of traffic south through Castle Rock and Franktown and farther south into Larkspur on East Cherry Creek Road.  No cell service, no traffic, nothing.  Just sheep, the dirt road, the farm and a cloudless sky.  By the time I left the sky was clouded but still sunny, the road was still dirt and I was more enthralled with cheese than when I arrived.  Dave Matthews sings about 'Gravediggers'...  I wonder if he'd do a tune about 'Cheesemakers...'.

Being in the presence of craftsmen is a peculiar thing.  Watching and listening to their ideas on food and cheese and rennet and construction woes and a diverse babble of topics makes me hunger for more knowledge, wisdom and magic.  The alchemy of transforming milk into cheese is easy but by no means, simple.  I want to speak the same language and want to be as crafty as they but they had a head start and it's beginning to pay off.  I was privy to much of the thoughts and planning of the cheese, cheesemaking and the dairy itself, which I will not divulge.  What I will share is the passion that Alex and Jimmy are bringing to their farm and to their cheese making.  The passion to make the best cheese possible.  To raise the best animals they can and to take care of them and the land as they must. 

In two recent months I have observed much of the cheese making industry and now I can say that I have seen the process in it's artisnal state - a method that these two have struck upon with great success.  Flavor & taste are King and now some of the biggest players in the cheese world are wanting to get their hands on the sheep's milk cheeses from Larkspur.  Big demand, small supply.  If you get some it will be your privilage...

I will share the pictures that they themselves posted on Facebook.  I took a hundred or so for my own use.  I believe in supporting local food crafters, if their product is good, and these guys are at the top of the list.  I hope to get back down south and see and learn some more.  My own journey in cheese continues on the local level, at the Cheese Importers in Longmont, The Truffle Cheese Shop in Denver and at Haystack Cheese in Niwot.  I am also getting back to Wisconsin to play with the Masters, but for now Fruition Farms Dairy and Creamery is my training ground.  Thanks Alex!  Thanks Jimmy!  Peace.


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