Reichert's Dairy Air: Our Dairy Practices
My goal is to produce cheese of the very best quality for my customers. This includes flavor, texture, and appearance. To this end I work with small quantities of milk which gives me more control over the process.
Reichert's Dairy Air goats are milked in a heated and air conditioned milking parlor, which means I can keep the room and air in it very clean (and okay, I prefer to milk in a temperature controlled, fly-free room). Goats are very clean by nature so milking is a very sanitary process here at Reichert's Dairy Air. Their barn is also cleaned weekly for their health and to ensure clean tasting milk. Cheese judges can taste a dirty barn in the finished product (you lose points in these "aroma" categories: ammonia, goaty/barnyard, unclean, and unpleasantly earthy!), and I am pleased to say that I have never lost points in these categories!
Cheese is made in small batches by hand with attention to detail during ladling of the curds, draining and salting, to ensure best texture and flavor. I use fresh herbs for a clean, pure flavor, even though this means some of the most popular flavors are seasonal. My cheese is always sold fresh and has NEVER been frozen (it freezes well, but I believe it should be the customer's choice as there are some textural changes). The European cheeses are tended carefully as they age, checked and turned once or twice daily to ensure even ripening and rind development.
Reichert's Dairy Air is committed to good environmental practices. Chevre is packaged in biodegradable containers made of corn. Feta is packaged in wax lined paper. Robiola is packaged in a biodegradable, breathable cellophane cheese wrap. I prefer not to ship cheese to individual customers, for environmental reasons. I encourage you to find and support a small dairy in your area if possible. Cheese is ferried to Iowa City and Ames by kind and generous friends that are willing to make deliveries as part of their commute to work in exchange for cheese. All vendors selling my cheese are very understanding and cooperative with this arrangement as it's better for the environment.
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