All about cheese
Stanhoe and Barwick WI members were very fortunate to have Dr. Catherine Temple from Wighton speak wittily about her popular cheese production business, at their November meeting.
The farm has a herd of 120 Brown Swiss cows that give a rich milk suited to cheese making. This type of cow was cleverly illustrated with a hand-made hand puppet of an adorable Brown Swiss cow.
photo: Rosemary Brown
The cheese making process, which originally was the preservation of a surplus of milk, was explained with reference to the basic WI principles of preservation: hygiene (and Copy’s Green Farm ranks fourth out of 13,000 farms in a rating for hygiene); heating (as in bottling); drying (as in dried fruit); salting (as in salting vegetables); and freezing (temperature control).
As a chemist Mrs Temple explained about how rennet is used to make curds and whey, and the way in which the addition of cultures of good bacteria create different cheeses. As does the size of the cut-up curds and the temperature and length of drying time. A range of interesting hand-made cheese moulds were shown too, most collected on continental cycling holidays where a range of cheese producers were visited.
Nothing is wasted, as the whey is used to produce methane gas which powers a generator to heat water for cleaning purposes and centrally heating several houses. The farm is carbon-neutral, and has won an award for climate-sensitive farming.
The most enjoyable part of the afternoon of all for some members was when Mrs Temple produced a range of her cheeses: Wighton Cheese; Binham Blue; Wells Alpine; Copy’s Cloud; and Gurney Gold; and they were allowed to taste a sample.
A scientist was definitely at work behind the cheese production explained in this witty talk which was enjoyed by all.