VERY Well Aged Cheese

Two of the four pillars from the Tomb of Ptahmes in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, the Netherlands. Photo credit: Alexander Van Loon

Researchers have analysed a “whitish mass” found in a cloth covered jar in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian nobleman named Ptahmes, and they’ve determined that it must have been an ancient cheese! The tomb was sealed in the 13th century BCE, they think the cheese was made from cow, sheep, AND goat milk, and the cheese also shows the presence of the Brucellosis bacterium in one or more of the milked animals.


Unity Food Hub Offers Aging Space

This is from Justin Nadeau–

“We have made a few changes this year to our operations and I wanted to reach out. We have three (+/- 400 sq. ft.) cold storage units that are actively being marketed for rented space. I recently started working with a small creamery aging some natural rind gouda. I don’t know a lot about cheese aging but I have been able to bring one of our coolers to an aging environment and she is pleased with her cheese quality. She has asked for 48 deg and 85% humidity.

The units are professionally serviced, temperature monitored with alerts and alarms. The coolers are cleaned ceiling to floor bi-annually and the rolling shelving units are epoxy coated wire shelves from Regency. In the short term, renting for cheese is a trial because they are one small batch cheese maker and I would need to be able to fill the cooler or have someone interested in the whole cooler.

I would like to offer more of the space to other small batch cheese makers looking to rents a pallet or a few shelves. The space is flexible right now. I don’t know how different the environments are or the bacteria are between cheeses, maybe different makers wouldn’t want to mix their cheese in the same room.

I have learned that blue cheese and gouda don’t mix well in the aging environment. I wanted to reach out to see if there was interest from someone you know or work with in the cheese community. Maybe a startup cheese maker, or serious hobbyist, a cheese class that informs people where to start if they don’t have the space? I also don’t know if someone is already renting space like this.”

For more information about this opportunity contact:

Justin Nadeau, General Manager
Unity Food Hub
69 School St.
Unity, ME. 04988

Workshops 2013: Magical Microbiolgical Mystery Tour

This is a lecture
May 6 (Monday), 2013 from 11am to 3pm
Location: Pineland Farms Creamery, New Gloucester, ME

DIRECTIONS (link to PDF document):

Building # 19 on the map.

Have you ever wondered what turns a bland lump of salty curd into the amazing diversity of flavors, aromas, and appearances exhibited by the hundreds (if not thousands) of cheese varieties? More often than not these characteristics are initiated and controlled by organisms populating the surfaces of each cheese. Given that, how much do we know about what is happening on the cheese rind? Not much, it turns out. Cheesemakers *think* they know what happens when this mold is added, or a cheese is put into that cave, but microbiologists at Harvard’s FAS Center of Systems Biology have been testing these assumptions and finding that the cheese surface is a much more diverse environment than we could ever have imagined, involving some “usual suspects” as well as utterly alien influences.

This year the Guild has been able to schedule a member of the FAS lab, Benjamine Wolfe (who has worked with the Cheese Nun to figure out the secret lives of Geotrichum candidum) to visit Maine and update us on their research and findings as part of our May meeting to help us better understand our own aging situation, causes, and effects.

COST: This lecture is FREE to Maine Cheese Guild members. Non-members will pay $25 at the door, and their lecture fee will include membership in the Maine Cheese Guild.