Artisanal cheese refers to cheeses produced by hand using the traditional craftsmanship of skilled cheesemakers. As a result the cheeses are often more complex in taste and variety. Many are aged and ripened to achieve certain aesthetics. This contrasts with the more mild flavors of mass-produced cheeses produced in large scale operations, often shipped and sold right away.
Part of the artisanal cheese making process is aging and ripening of the cheeses to develop flavor and textural characteristics. One type of artisanal cheese is known as farmstead cheese, made traditionally with milk from the producer's own herds of cows, sheep, and goats. Artisan cheeses may be made by mixing milk from multiple farms, whereas the more strict definition of farmstead cheese (or farmhouse cheese) requires that milk come only from one farm.
- "Presidia Artisan Somerset Cheddar". The Slow Food Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
- Giannaclis Caldwell (14 May 2010), Farmstead Creamery Advisor: The Complete Guide to Building and Running a Small, Farm-Based Cheese Business, Chelsea Green Publishing, pp. 6–7, ISBN 978-1-60358-283-4
- American Cheese Society
- California's Artisan Cheese Festival
- California Artisan Cheese Guild
- Ancil, Brandon. "Eat the rind, don't sweat the sweat – an artisan cheese primer." CNN.
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