Step 1 - THE COWS!
Amish Farmers rise at dawn to begin the job of milking the cows and filling milk cans with some of the best milk around. The milk truck arrives at their farms later that morning and pick up gallons of this milk for delivery to the Broad Run Cheese House. Each year, the Broad Run Cheese House will use six MILLION pounds of milk to make their cheese. It takes 14 pounds of milk to make one pound of Swiss Cheese.
Step 2 - REMOVE THE CREAM
When the milk arrives at the Broad Run Cheese House, it is weighed and checked for butterfat and quality. The milk that arrives at Broad Run averages 3.8%. It is reduced to 3.2% after passing through the cream separator. The cream is later made into one of cheese most valuable bi-products, butter. The milk is loaded into large vats and the cooking process begins.
Step 3 - COOKING THE CHEESE
After entering the large vats, the milk is heated to 92 degrees and cultures are added. The cultures aid in ripening the milk, breaking down the body of the cheese, forming the holes and developing that delicious mellow flavor of Broad Run Swiss Cheese.
Next a product called Rennet is added. This helps thicken the milk. After the milk reaches the desired thickness, it is cut into cubes with a wire harp. The cubes are pulled with a scoop, and they begin to firm up. The wire harp continues to cut the cubes smaller and smaller until they are the size of a rice kernel. This "curd" is then cooked at 122 degrees for 30 minutes. Another 45 minutes of stirring allows the "curd" to reach the desired dryness. The stirrer is removed and the curd goes to the bottom of the kettle.
A cheese cloth is used to remove the curd. The cheese cloth is passed under the curd and gathered into a large ball. A chain hoist lifts the heavy ball of curd and whey. The liquid whey is later used by food processors in their products. At this point, the soon to be swiss is ready for pressing.
Step 4 - PRESSING
Step 4 places the cheese curd ball into large presses for 15 minutes where additional whey is squeezed out. This also forms the shape of the Swiss. The cheese is flopped and the process continues through out the afternoon riding the cheese of additional whey and moisture.
The next morning, these cheese squares are placed in a salt brine for 2 days. The salt brine helps harden the outer surface of the cheese. It is interesting to note that this process adds very little salt to the Swiss Cheese itself.
Step 5 - CURING THE CHEESE
After removal of the cheese from the brine tank, it is sealed in a plastic bag and sent to the curing room where a temperature of 75 degrees is maintained. When the cheese arrives at the curing room, it is solid, rubbery and tasteless. During the 4 to 6 weeks of curing, the cultures begin to grow causing the body of the cheese to break down, the holes to form and produce that great Swiss Cheese flavor to develop. The famous "holes" in Swiss Cheese form because of the gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of milk sugar in the cheese. The cheese maker takes periodic samples to determine if the holes body of the cheese are properly developed.
Once this has been reached, cheese is taken from the "warm cellar" into the cold room where the 40 degree temperatures stop the cultures from growing. The longer the cultures are allowed to work, the sharper the taste of the cheese. after the cheese is properly aged, it is ready for all of us to enjoy!
Step 6 - EATING THE CHEESE
The proof is in the pudding, or shall we say the CHEESE! Broad Run Swiss Cheese is indeed a real smile maker! Cheese making is both an art and a science. Either way, it sure makes a great product. At Broad Run Cheese, we can create great cheese plates, sell in blocks or ship anywhere via U.P.S. In addition to our own award winning Swiss, we also make our own Baby Swiss, Old Fashion Full Process Swiss (the original Swiss recipe), Munster, Butter Brick and Old Fashion Cheese Curd Treats. You can also purchase over 30 varieties on other cheeses such as Colby, Cheddar and even Limburger and Super Hot Pepper!
Along with great cheeses, Broadrun has a super curtain shop with gifts and elegant curtains for any room in your home. Click HERE to find out more. We also have a fantastic outdoor pottery and decoration area too. Chick HERE to visit that part of our store.
Call or visit us soon! The Broad Run Cheese House...
CHEESE, IT´S GOOD!