‘Barely Legal’ Cheshire cheese available starting November 17th!
Zingerman’s Creamery Dutch-Belted cow’s milk comes from Andy Schneider’s Dairy Farm in Westphalia (northwest of Lansing). This dairy has a herd of Dutch-Belted cows which are extremely rare in the U.S. (there are slightly more than 200). What makes the Dutch Belted cow’s milk unique is its high butterfat and protein content, and the way in which the butterfat globules bond to one another. The bonds are small, creating a supremely dense, rich curd. Originating from the Alps, Dutch-Belted cows gained great popularity in Scandinavia until finally being introduced to the US.
Andy Schneider takes pains to produce a milk that is significantly better than the norm. The calves are provided their mother’s milk for ten months or until the mother kicks them off the teat, and the Creamery only gets the excess that the calves can’t drink. (This is the distinction of a dairy cow as opposed to meat cattle–the dairy cow produces more milk than the calf can take in). In the interest of economy, dairy farmers usually put the calves on formula and sell all the milk. Giving calves the milk that was intended for them creates an extremely healthy herd and allows for cows that the Schneiders milk well into their teens. Healthy cows equal healthy milk. Perfect for rich, complex cheeses that allow the natural flavor of this milk to come through.