I love learning about food processes that I don’t know anything about. I always thought it would be so cool to be able to take the time to learn a lot about wine, or beer, or coffee. Well recently I got the opportunity to do just that, except with cheese! I love soft cheeses like ricotta or flavored cheeses that you can spread on crackers, so I was so excited to be able to take part in the Express Cheese Class with Second Act Artisan Cheese and Triangle Foodie Adventures.
In this three hour class of 6-8 people, we got to make two different types of cheese, with three flavors of each type. We started the class by learning about the process of making cheese. We even got to learn about the process of making aged cheeses, even though we were making a more accelerated version for our ready-to-eat cheeses. We then got into groups of two or three to start making our first cheese.
The first cheese was a Framage Facil (easy cheese) and was just that, super easy. It’s crazy how easy the process was. It involved a lot of stirring, and heat, and temperature taking, but we soon started to see cheese curds forming. Once we dumped the whey and were left with the cheese, each group mixed their own flavor for everyone to share. In my class we had a garlic and chive, sun dried tomato basil, and craisin, pepper, and South African Smoke cheese.
The second cheese we made was Ricotta. This cheese was just a little bit more complicated, but still easy to follow and hard to mess up. There was a little more waiting involved in this one, but in the mean time we got to see Rich’s (the host) cheese cellar where he kept all of the different cheese he’s made over the last few months. We also got to snack on Lauren’s (Rich’s wife) amazing chocolate chip cookies. For the Ricotta we kept one plain, added maple syrup, cinnamon, and orange zest to the other, and made chocolate mousse out of the third.
Once all of the cheese was ready we headed upstairs to the dining room and got to try all of the cheese together. Lauren set up an amazing little spread of crackers, bread, and fruit so that we could try our cheese different ways. I loved spreading the Framage Facil on the warm baguette and dipping strawberries in the chocolate ricotta. All of the cheese turned out so tasty, and it was so cool that we had actually made it! I think my favorite was the Framage Facil with South African Smoke and craisins. The flavor was just so unique and it went perfectly with that warm bread. There was so much cheese that we all got to take home a little bit of each one as well.
I loved taking this cheese class with Second Act Artisan Cheese and Triangle Foodie Adventures. One of my favorite parts was getting to spend time with Rich and Lauren. They were such nice people and very welcoming to open their house up to strangers so we could learn about Rich’s passion: cheese. It was fascinating to learn from Rich, who knows so much about the process. Rich also offers full day classes where you learn how to make some of the more complicated cheese and enjoy a lovely lunch. Any of the cheese classes that Rich offers are the perfect date night as well.
So if you love cheese, or are just curious about the process, I would highly suggest checking out Second Act Artisan cheese and taking a class yourself!