who we are
Where milk begins its journey
Welcome to the Gilded Fern site! We are excited to have you along as we discover and create new cheeses. If you are visiting you are probably a cheese lover and maybe a cheese maker!
Did you ever ask yourself, “what is cheese? How is it made?” Sounds like a silly question, but when you really look into the process, cheese is a fascinating food, a result of interaction between different organisms (yeasts, molds, bacteria) and milk. In nature, the process starts within one of the stomachs (there are four) of a young ruminant (calf, lamb, kid). The milk proteins are cleaved of a particular bond, causing the milk to coagulate. *Interesting fact: the young ruminant has a special ‘groove’ called the esophageal or reticular groove. This groove (is certainly groovy by anyone’s standard!) makes passage of the milk into the stomach (abomasum) direct, allowing bypass of other areas of digestion. As the young ‘pre’-ruminant matures, this groove subsides and normal ruminant digestion begins to occur.
No one really knows when cheese making started but it is at least a few thousand (possibly 8000) years old. Around 2018, archeologists discovered one of the oldest known cheeses from Egypt at the site of a burial ground.