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Getting Ready for Studying Cheesemaking in Denmark, Summer 2014

Posted 3/19/2014 8:22am by Merryl Winstein.

My trip to Denmark is nearing, and just like counting the days until a baby is born, I'm checking off each day from the calendar.  I can hardly believe I am going back again after all these years.

I have many different people to visit, and I feel welcomed already.  I will have an apartment as my home base, and the country is small enough that anywhere is within a 3 hour bus or train ride of anywhere else, I've been told.  Bike paths line every street and highway and I intend to ride throughout the whole flat country.

The cheesemaker I'm going to learn from knows all the old traditional methods, and that's what I'm going to learn.  He is also expert on the current industrial methods - his job is in that field.  So we can discuss the changes too, that have happened over the years since about 1975.  I feel like I got in under the wire both on eating those cheeses made the old-time artisan way when I was there before, and on having the lucky opportunity to learn from this generous expert.

The Danish cheeses aren't sold here much, not in St. Louis, MO at least: danbo, samsøe, maribo (kneaded curds, whatever that means), Danish style havarti with the real smear coating (not the mild kind you buy plastic wrapped, even though that's from Arle, the Danish cheese conglomerate), and about 10 others. We are going to see all five of the newer artisan plants, and some industrial ones too.

I realized after talking to him last time, that in Denmark people don't need to learn cheesemaking to eat excellent cheese, because they can just buy it all the time, anywhere. 

Here in the USA you have to make cheese yourself if you want the very best flavors, unless you are lucky enough to live near a cheesemaker, or a market where it's sold.  There is more delicious high quality cheese being made and sold here all the time in the USA, but it's not everywhere.

AS they say in Danish, "Vi tales ved" (We will talk more by and by)