Our milk is used to make raclette cheese: a specialty of the Valais area that is often imitated but never equalled. Our milk is also used for other milk products: tomme, raclette cheese, cream, yoghurt, Swiss Serac cheese, butter
Pouring, curdling, mashing, demoulding…do you know all the steps involved in transforming our milk into delicious cheese?
After each milking session (morning and evening), the milk is weighed and then poured into the pail, after which it must be used within 12 hours.
To curdle the milk, the cheesemaker adds lactic fermenting agents (bacteria for conservation) as well as rennet (enzymes for solidification). It is then heated for 30 minutes, during which the mixture is stirred constantly.
3. Cutting and draining
The coagulated mass is cut using what is sometimes referred to as a cheese harp (a device with thin metallic wires stretched across it) to reduce the size of the pieces until evenly sized granules are obtained.
The curd granules are gradually heated and mixed for 35 minutes, and the whey is separated out. The curd granules slowly withdraw, thereby concentrating the essential element of the milk.
The granules are recovered using woven cloth, and the whey stays in the pail. The bulk is then cut into equal portions and put into perforated round moulds to get rid of any remaining whey.
The moulds are turned five times in 24 hours. After turning them out of the mould, the cheesemaker places a tab on the mould that shows the place of manufacturing, the date and the approval number (for batch identification)
The moulds are then immersed in a brine bath for one or two days to improve their shelf life and to develop the microflora. A crust slowly forms, and the taste of the mix intensifies.
It takes at least 60 days for cheeses to mature in cellars, whose temperature, humidity and ventilation are carefully controlled. Moulds are regularly brushed and turned there.
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