Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shaking the Hand of the Producer

Benjamin in Cheese Cave









Yesterday my son and I drove out to Dublin, Texas to meet one of the great Texas Artisan Dairyman and Cheese Maker at Veldhuizen Cheese. I was on a journey to find fresh milk to use in my croissants and brioche this weekend and what I found was a great Texas family. I set down and spoke with four generations of Dairymen, the entire Veldhuizen family, for more than 3 hours. They told me stories of how and why they got started in cheese making. I was so intrigued, because it was inline of how I got started baking bread. Stuart told me that about 8 years ago when the dairy market got hit, he was flat broke with 7 children. He knew that he had to do something that would add value to his true passion of the dairy and that would help the farm survive. This is how his cheese making career got started. He told me that he had no money to pay his feed bill or let alone by the cheese molds to make his cheeses. So he went to making the molds out of stuff on the farm, PVC pipes, etc. I was blown away at this man’s unwavering determination and dedication to his family and vocation. What came out of this is some of the greatest dairy products and cheese in the state.

The Fresh milk that I picked up yesterday was milked only hours before I was leaving. It is like no other milk that you get anywhere….Milk really has flavor…and man does this milk have flavor. You can taste the green grass that his herd feeds on all day in the rolling pastures of Dublin. I can’t wait to bring those flavors out in my brioche and croissants. I will also be using the eggs from the free range chickens that they have rooming the flower beds and pastures on the farm. I brought some cheese home and hope to be implementing some cheese for next week’s markets.

www.veldhuizencheese.com

See you all on Saturday..

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