Saturday, May 16, 2009

Back Home Again

My last few days in Germany I spent at my friends Thomas' family farm. While I was there, we were able to do some siteseeing. We visited Munich and stoped at the Hofbrauhaus. On my last day in Germany, Monday, we visited the amazing Neuschwanstein Castle in the Alps. On Tuesday I flew back to America and my amazing trip came to an end. I would like to thank everybody who helped me with my trip, especially the Dairy Business Innovation Center and the Babcock Institute. A special thanks to Norm Monsen and Jeanne Carpenter. Now that I'm back home, I'm returning to work at Crave Brother Farmstead Cheese.  Thanks to everyone who read along during my trip and I hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Visiting Switzerland and Germany

When I was in Switzerland last week, I was able to tour a couple Appenzeller factories and a large affinage facility where they mature Appenzeller and other Swiss type cheeses. When I wasn't touring cheese factories, I was out in the Alps and visiting local villages and cities. After my stay in Switzerland, I made my way up to Germany were I met up with one of my old roommates, Daniel, who is from Germany. We drove to the city of Zittau, located in Eastern Germany near the border of the Poland and the Czech Republic. My family immigrated from the Zittau area.  After spending two days in Eastern Germany, we drove back to his house in Bocholt, near the boarder of Holland. I spent a day there touring some farms and sightseeing. From there, I took the train to Bolvarie to do some sightseeing and visit a friend of mine. I only have  few days left of this amazing trip until I need to fly back home.

Monday, May 4, 2009

On the Road Again

Sunday morning I took the train to Newton St. Cyres in southwestern England, close to the city of Exter. In Newton St. Cyres, I spent three day at Quickes Traditional, makers of traditional Bandage Cheddar from the milk of their 500 cow herd.  The Quickes family has been farming in Newton St. Cyres for over 450 years. Twenty-five years ago, Sir John Quickes built the dairy, where his daughter Mary continues to manage the dairy. After three days of helping in the cheese factory and aging rooms, I headed by train to Dover, England, where I took the ferry to Calais, Frances to spend the night. On Friday I boarded the train to my friend Walter’s house in Bischofzell, Switzerland. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodbye Gubbeen

Last week I had to say my goodbyes to the Fergusons and Gubbeen Cheese, and begin my trip to London. I spent Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week in London. Thursday and Friday I spent at Neal's Yard, one of the world's top cheese shops, working in the Arches. The Arches is where they receive and take care of all the cheese that Neal's Yard sells. They have four aging rooms for soft ripened and mold ripened cheese and one large room for aging hard cheeses. I was also able to get a tour of their shop located in the Borough Market. When I wasn't at Neal's Yard, I was out exploring the city. I was able to see many of the London sites, including: Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, and the Globe. This week I will take the train to Quickes Cheddar located in South Western England. Another adventure!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cashel Blue

This last week was my final full week in Ireland. On Monday morning I took the bus up to the city of Cashel, which is one hour north of the city of Cork.  I spent the rest of the day touring Cashel. I saw the Cashel Rock, which is a 12th century Celtic cathedral that over looks the city. 

On Tuesday I met up with Jane and Louis Grubb, the founders of Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese. They gave me a tour of their factory, just outside the city of Cashel. I was also able to spend time with their daughter, Sarah and her husband Sergio, as they sampled and hand picked cheese to fill their orders. They explained to me what they are looking for in their cheese and how to care for blue cheese as it ages. That night I headed back to the Gubbeen where I spent the rest of the week helping in the cheese factory. Two more of my cheesse I made were ready for sampling.  I liked them better then the first two, but still are not perfect yet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My first Irish Cheese is Ready!

Last week was a short week, as we didn't work on Good Friday.  Once again I spent my time at Gubbeen between helping with making cheese and curing cheese. Some of the first cheeses I made here were finally mature enougth for me to taste. I was very pleased with the results and so was Giana. I just need to fine tune them a little bit. I was able to explore the Irish country side by bike a little more this weekend. The rest of my time has been planing my trip to England and then on to Switzerland and Germany.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fermoy Natural Cheese Company

Another week's has gone by.  I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Gubeen this week making and curing cheese.  On Thursday morning, I went up to the city of Cork to help out with the farmers market.  After helping with the market I took a bus up to the city of Fermoy.  In Fermoy I meet up with Frank and Gudrig Shinnik, owners of Fermoy Natural Cheese Company

Fermoy Natural Cheese Company is a small farmstead cheese factory.  They produce four different types of raw milk cheese, three of them are washed rind cheeses.  On Friday morning I was able to watch them making Cais Dubh, a Gouda type cheese. On Saturday I helped Frank with his cheese deliverers to small cheese shops along the coast of Southern Ireland. I can't believe I only have two weeks left in Ireland before I head to England.