Here’s why: Without milk, there can be no cheese worth its name!
Awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping cheeses all have one thing in common. They are created with the best quality milk.
No cheesemonger – no matter the skills or experience – can make great cheese from mediocre or subpar milk.
Here are some of the most crucial factors that determine the overall quality of milk:
- The health of the ruminants
- Their genetics
- Quality of their diets
- And seasons (yes, cheese is seasonal) – click here to read The 4 Seasons of Cheese Production (CLIMATES)
Where Do Good Milk Come From?
Fermented dairy products and cheeses are made from animals that subsist mostly on grass. These animals are what we call, ruminants.
‘Ruminant’ is derived from the Latin word ruminare, which means ‘to chew over again,’ which is exactly what they do.
Through ruminants’ unique digestive systems, they can eke nutrition from grass and other fibrous plants (which humans cannot digest) to turn them into milk.
Most of the cheeses are made from cow, goat, sheep, or buffalo’s milk.
Some parts of the world also use yaks, camels, and horses milk to make delicious fermented dairy products.
Milk Composition in Different Mammals (Comparison)
Depending on what their babies need, milk from different mammals have different nutritional composition as seen above.
Great Milk Starts With Grass
“You are what you eat” applies not only to humans but also to ruminants.
If cheese’s primordial ingredient is milk, then milk’s primordial ingredient is grass.
A cow that eats the fresh pasture in the summer will produce different flavor, quality, and composition milk when eating the dry hay in the winter.
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