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Via Rueglio 39, Valchiusa fraz. Trausella, 10089 TO - Italy


May 20 - 24 2024


Tutto il giorno


800.00 €

Milklab: a Five-Day Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking

A great opportunity in Italy, last places available.

The course will be in English, so here are the programme and details. Last places available.

Milklab: a Five-Day Introduction to Natural Cheesemaking
with David Asher
Dates: 20-24 May, 2024
Price per person: 800EUR*
From culture propagation to rennet coagulation and on to affinage, this comprehensive and hands on course covers many aspects of a natural farmhouse cheesemaking. Students can expect to learn how simple traditional methods can lead to a safe, effective, and delicious raw (or pasteurized) milk cheesemaking; how the philosophies of fermentation of natural wine, beer, sourdough and dairy are all inter-related. There will also be discussions of the implications of raw milk cheesemaking for human health, and the complicated ethics of animal agriculture.
Day 1: we learn to create and care for the cultures of our cheese. We begin with a session on dairy fermentation, covering Clabber, Kefir, Amasi (an African milk beer) and a traditional cream-top yogurt.
Day 2: we use our cultures and rennet to make fresh lactic cheeses such as Cream Cheese, Chevre and Faisselle as well as Geotrichum-candidum ripened, French lactic goat cheeses such as Crottin, Valençay and Saint Marcellin.
Day 3: we look at rennet cheeses, preparing, in the morning, the basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese. By the afternoon, the curd’s acidity will have developed, and we’ll be able to stretch the cheese into Mozzarella, Queso Oaxaca and Burrata. We also explore the rind ecologies that can transform the fresh cheese into a ripe Camembert.
Day 4: we make a French Blue Cheese, Bleu d’Auvergne, and explore the cultivation of blue fungus that gives this cheese its beautiful blue eyes. On this day, we will also prepare rennet the traditional way.
Day 5: the final day we make an Alpine cheese, and see how this one method can evolve in many different directions including Tomme and Raclette. We explore the concepts of rind washing and how it influences the hard cheese’s evolution. And with its leftover whey we prepare a batch of traditional Ricotta.

Five days of learning allows students to see many styles of cheese through the many stages of their evolution and provides insight into how all cheeses can evolve from the very same milk, with the same cultures and the same rennet. The course will focus on natural methods and a full circle, small-scale cheesemaking: no freeze-dried cultures or synthetic enzymes will be used in any of our makes.

David Asher is a Natural Cheesemaker, and a leading advocate for raw milk cheesemaking.
A former farmer and goatherd from the west coast of Canada, David now travels widely,
sharing a very old but also very new approach to cheese, and extolling its significance
during these times. Through teaching about the use of in-house starter cultures and
natural rennet, David helps cheesemakers around the world reclaim
their traditional cheeses. He also explores the relations of all food fermentations, and the
important role of small scale and traditional cheese production in our modern world. David
is the author of ‘The Art of Natural Cheesemaking’ and the upcoming ‘Milk into Cheese’.

Class layout
Teaching time is roughly 9:00-12:00; 13:00-16:30, daily, for 5 days.
Breaks: breakfast snacks 8:45. Lunch is at 12:00, and 15-minute breaks at around 10:15
and 14:15.
***The class will be in English with translation into Italian available if needed. ***

Accommodations are the responsibility of the participants to arrange. We are compiling a
list of places we can recommend in the area – ranging from hotels, bed and breakfasts, and
camping options and will send if you are interested.

We will provide lunch, coffee, tea, and snacks, which is included in the five day course. We
will offer a convivial pizza dinner the day we make mozzarella. Otherwise, meals outside of
class are the responsibility of the participants. If interested, we will be happy to offer a list
of recommendations or arrange special dinners at different farms in the area.

*Price – 800 EUR
The price includes the 5-day course with David Asher, lunches, and coffee breaks/snacks.
There will be one pizza dinner included.