The Challenge of Choosing a Cheese (illegal or not)

February 22, 2010

It's a foodie article of faith that when it comes to younger cheeses, raw milk will always make a better cheese than pasteurized milk. To test that belief, I found a cheese-maker who agreed to prepare two pairs of camembert, using the same techniques and milk from the same cow: one would be made of raw and the other of pasteurized milk. After 30 days, I performed a taste test with foodies, chefs and some local cheese mongers to see if the differences were apparent; the results of the taste test can be heard on Worldview, along with some insights into why it's illegal to sell raw milk cheese aged under 30 days -- and what we're missing by not having young raw milk cheese commercially available in the United States.

During the production of this piece, my friend Michael Gebert videotaped the underground cheese-making process, and it can be viewed here and on skyfullofbacon.com. Co-nominated for a James Beard Foundation multimedia award, Gebert's video blog documents the people and issues behind food in the Midwest. Singer songwriter James Farrell composed this cheese-appropriate tune, "Choosing a Cheese," which closes the Worldview segment. Check it out. Choosing a Cheese (final)