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Making cheese isn’t anything I ever considered, especially fancy cheese.  But recently, I had the pleasure of taking a Beginning Cheese Making class with author and chef Mary Karlin at The Fork, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company’s beautiful on-farm cooking class facility.

We made ricotta salata, a goat milk feta, Queso Oaxaca, and a Mozzarella.  I was entirely entranced by the fun of cheese-making and how delicious the results were, so much so, that I had to take home Mary’s amazing book, Artisan Cheese Making at Home.  This book is thorough, well-written, and well-designed: a DIY cheese bible. From yogurt to Mozzarella to Saint-Marcellin to Cambozola, Karlin’s book leads you through the steps to making them all.

While the book is great, if you happen to live in the Bay Area, I encourage you to reserve a spot at Karlin’s upcoming follow-on workshop at The Fork, Home-Stretched and Simple Curd Cheese.  You not only get hands-on experience with Karlin, but you also get to tour the Giacomini’s Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company’s dairy farm and cheese making plant, and have a farm-fresh lunch catered by The Fork.  We even got to do a cheese and wine/beer tasting at the end with the Giacomini’s cheese maker, Kuba Hemmerling. An indulgent but very educational day.  Highly recommended.

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Mary demonstrates stretching Mozzarella curds to make Queso Oaxaca, something like a string cheese with lime and salt. So good.

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Salting the finished fresh ricotta to make ricotta salata.

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Mary teaching to "see" ricotta curds.

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Goat feta draining and about to be stacked/pressed.

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Proud newbie cheese makers and their ricotta.

Sabrina Merlo

Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire’s licensing program for locally and independently produced “Mini” Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

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