The Lady was thrilled to return to Roth-Kase, the factory where she attended Cheesemaking 101 last year.
The tour began in the making room where Lace Kase was being poured into hoops and flipped to remove more of the whey. This a low sodium and reduced fat cheese.
The group saw the vats where the milk is heated and pasteurized. The copper vats where The Lady helped make cheese last year were idle during this tour and she didn’t get to see her favorite Roth Kase cheesemaker, Bob.
The group headed downstairs to view the brining process and the finishing rooms where final touches are added to the cheeses before aging and/or shipping.
Despite the state-of-the-art automation that Roth-Kase, now a part of the Swiss Giant, Emmi, has embraced, there is still a tremendous amount of hands-on artisanship that goes into the entire operation, particularly their signature Gruyeres.
This plant uses 380K pounds of milk a day and makes about 35K pounds of cheese. Before shipping the whey out for protein purposes, the whey is run through a machine that takes out the remaining cream that is in turn used in the cheesemaking process. Again, there is little waste in the process. Everything is used.
In the packaging room, The Lady noticed that the Havarti being packaged had Boar’s Head labels…
After the tour, the group was treated to a sampling of Mezzaluna Fontina, Horseradish and Chives Double Cream Havarti, Rofumo, a naturally smoked Fontina, The Sur Choix Grand Cru Gruyere and Moody Blues, a naturally smoked blue cheese.
The Lady and I will review these samplings in more detail upon our return to the Pacific Northwest.
On to Crave Brothers in Waterloo.