World Cheese Culture – The United States of America
In the 1980s artisan cheese-making became popular in the United States as an offshoot of the “back-to-land” movement. During this decade, American cheese-makers did extensive research in Europe learning age-old practices. For example, we began to incorporate the French term terrior, which means wine or cheese is more than just an ingredient. It implies that something contains some essence of the land, the place, and the methods that produced it. In the United States, the term terrior has been redefined to mean, “a matter of process,” or converting land that was once used for farming, inventing new recipes, and improving society by improving the land. This is a popular concept in American cheese-making culture and it is why artisan cheese-making has become even more popular in following decades.
There is a massive difference between corporate cheese-makers and artisan cheese-makers. Corporate, big brand cheese-makers manufacture cheeses rather than taking more time to preserve the handmade process. On the contrary, artisan cheese-makers use age-old practices that originated in Europe when perfecting their cheese to a quality taste. In the United States of America, the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) regulates cheese-making much more than in Europe. The FDA ensures facilities are clean, law0-biding, and ethical. What makes the United States of America’s cheese regulations so different than Europe is the FDA does not tell cheese-makers what types of cheese they can or cannot make or how they must make them. It is again, another area where the artisan culture of cheese-making is vastly seen in our country and why our cheeses are so unique!
It is safe to say that cheese-makers, like winemakers, take pride in perfecting their unique craft. They give cheese different qualities and tastes by experimenting with new recipes. This experimentation is why cheese-making is a true art form. At Gold Creek Farms, our lead cheese-maker (Fernando) uses his experiences as a gourmet chef to influence the unique cheese flavors that can be found in our online cheese shop.
We would love to hear what you think about American cheese culture!
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