‘Every cheese maker knows that it takes great milk to make great cheese. But what does great milk really mean?’

A group of French scientists have recently created a groundbreaking guide to raw milk microbiology, demonstrating how to harness natural microbes to create cheeses that are not only safe, but also exceptional and unique. With nothing similar currently available in English, Bronwen Percival, cheese buyer for Neal’s Yard Dairy, is looking to raise £12,000 to translate and republish this guide to reach those in the English-speaking world.

Neal's Yard DairyThe French scientists have taken an unconventional approach when it comes to raw milk microbiology. Their evidence shows numerous advantages of preserving the natural equilibrium of the beneficial and neutral microorganisms found in raw milk. Most notably, much of the unique flavour and character of raw milk cheeses comes from the enzymes released by these microbes during the making and ageing process. Their findings also stem concerns about the safety of raw milk cheeses, as they discovered that preserving a healthy equilibrium of raw milk microbes can also ‘create a barrier effect against pathogens and actively contribute to milk and cheeses ability to avoid contamination.’

The guide contains everything you need to know about raw milk microflora and information on linking farming practices with the microbial composition of milk. Alongside this you’ll find practical information about raw milk microbes measurement techniques, seasonal variability, the different effects of livestock management practices and the holistic practices that can tip the microbial balance in a healthier direction.

Donations won’t go unrewarded: pledge £40 or more and you will receive a copy of the published book, £75 or more for a place at a Neal’s Yard Dairy Cheese tasting in London, or £500 or more for your name or company’s logo printed in the acknowledgement section at the front of the book.

Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust and dairy farmer, Patrick Holden, adds that ‘we are very happy to promote Bronwen’s Kickstarter campaign as we strongly believe in the merits of unpasteurised cheese.’ To support this project, visit their Kickstarter page and help to reshape modern farmhouse cheese making.

Feature image by Chiot’s Run, in text image by Paul Joseph

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