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Rights: University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved.
Published 3 May 2012 Referencing Hub media
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Traditional cheesemaking is about working with your hands and controlling production based on what you see and feel is happening in the milk and the cheese. Here, Miel Meyer of Meyer Gouda Cheese explains some of the differences between traditional cheesemaking and larger-scale manufacture.

Teaching points:

  • View video footage or images of large-scale cheese manufacture and have students identify key differences between traditional processes and large-scale manufacture.
  • How has large-scale manufacturing impacted on developments in cheese products and cheesemaking processes?
  • Miel Meyer (Meyer Gouda Cheese
    For us to say we’re traditional is still about working with your hands, you know, getting elbows deep into the cheese, which we still do – cutting the blocks by hand, feeling the curds. In a non-traditional sense, it would be a pH measure – “Yes, the pH reached its point” – whereas with us, it’s about, “Yes, the curds feel good and they’re tasting good and it looks good” – you can see the milk.

    In large-scale manufacturing, they’ve got closed cheese vats so you can’t see the milk, whereas we’re still analysing the milk at a daily basis, we’re gauging what we’re doing using traditional methods. I think it’s important that we have traditional cheese manufacturing to keep the uniqueness and the quality of the cheeses as they are.

    You’ve got people that want to buy really cheap cheese. To make cheap cheese, you want to make lots of it and make it really quickly, and the cheaper it is, the more moisture there’ll be in it. For us, we can concentrate on the quality, not the quantity like in a large-scale manufacturer.

    We’ve got a large Dutch customer base. The large immigration is from Holland over the 80s and their children – they ate a lot of our cheeses and they still do. And you get food lovers who really appreciate the great taste in food, happy to spend a little bit more on a better quality product, and those tend to be our customers – someone that really appreciates those foods.

    Acknowledgements:
    Nathan Beier Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0
    Hannah Fouasnon
    Jonathan McPherskesen Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0