At Smits & Co.w Farm Cheese in British Columbia, the art of crafting Gouda cheese is a meticulously orchestrated symphony of flavors and techniques. It all begins with the freshest milk, sourced from our dairy and transported through an underground conduit to the heart of our processing room, where a 1500-liter vat eagerly awaits its milky contents. After being pasteurized and meticulously cooled to precise temperatures, we introduce the magic of bacterial culture and rennet, setting the stage for the creation of cheese perfection. The milk is stirred with a gentle touch, nurturing the formation of delicate curds.
And then, the cutting commences. Gradually, we release a portion of whey, adjust the temperature, and continue to sculpt the curd. This delicate dance repeats once more before the cheese is allowed to rest and mature. As the whey is carefully drained, and perhaps, the infusion of spices grants one of our distinct flavored cheeses its character, the cheese is then lovingly packed into molds.
Turning the molds upside down, a brief interlude for respite, and then the cheese is liberated from its molds, flipped, and placed back within to prepare for pressing. Five hours elapse, the weight is lifted, and the molds' lids gracefully removed. The cheese enjoys a tranquil interlude at room temperature for a few hours before embarking on a transformative journey through a brine bath, where it absorbs the essence of salt and cultivates a robust rind. After its brine bath, each side of the cheese beckons for a day's reprieve to attain the perfect dryness.
Next comes the art of coating, applied to each side with the care and attention it deserves, followed by a day of tranquil drying after each application. This intricate process is repeated three times for every cheese, ensuring a harmonious finish.
The culmination of our labor is celebrated as the cheese finds its home in our ripening room, where it patiently matures for a period ranging from six weeks to an indulgent six months. Only then, after this meticulous journey, is our Gouda cheese deemed ready for sale, a testament to our unwavering commitment to the art of cheese making.