A little while ago I wrote how the grass is greener, the herbs and flowers plentiful and the milk much richer in this time of year. The farmers started haying to get the richest and most nutritious hay for the winter. I have taken the opportunity to make some Alpine cheeses and as the pictures below show, the cheeses turn out much richer in color. The milk came from Jersey cows. (Yes I know, the cows in the picture above are not Jerseys, in fact, they are not even dairy cows). The milk is full of fat has plenty protein and is richer in minerals and flavor producing compounds. Even the ricotta I made from the whey was a rich yellow and was fuller of flavor then in winter.
Having made cheese only for a little over a year, this is the first time I experience the full implications of the seasons on the milk quality. After struggling with blowing cheeses from milk contaminated with gas producing bacteria, it is a real joy to make cheese from milk of a different grade.