Making Fancy Cheese at Home

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Making Fancy Cheese at Home

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.

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

Salting the finished fresh ricotta to make ricotta salata.
Mary teaching to "see" ricotta curds.
Goat feta draining and about to be stacked/pressed.
Proud newbie cheese makers and their ricotta.
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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 global licensing program for locally and independently produced Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

View more articles by Sabrina Merlo