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April 8, 2010 Volume 31, No. 26

Smile, and just say cheese


Brian Civitello, center, shows participants at a three-day cheese-making workshop last week at Eckles Hall how to get started making a fine washed-rind cheese. Civitello has traveled extensively to study Italy’s diverse cheese-making systems and has worked for industry giants and has won national competitions. He is an instructor for Cheezsorce, based in Davisville, Mo. Nicholas Benner photo

The good stuff

Workshop cultivates interest in artisanal cheeses

When it comes to the world of cheese, many Americans can’t tell you the difference between a Gouda and a Gruyere. For them, a chunk of soft, processed cheese wrapped in plastic is just dandy, thank you very much. But appreciation for fine, European-style artisanal cheeses is catching on in this country.

Last week, MU’s Department of Food Science sponsored a three-day cheese-making workshop in Eckles Hall that brought participants from around the country and even from as far away as Quebec.

The goal of the workshop was to give dairy farmers and prospective producers who are new to the cheese-making process a hands-on look at how get started in the business. Specialty cheese-making could become a profitable sideline for Missouri’s dairy farmers.

Workshop instructors included cheese-making experts Neville McNaughton and Brian Civitello.