27 Apr 2011

School of Artisan Food teaches art of affinage

The School of Artisan Food has opened a new dairy training centre, which as well as running cheesemaking courses will provide students with an insight into the art of ‘affinage’.

Targeted at aspiring cheesemakers, existing professionals and dairy farmers, the 1,200 sq ft centre is based on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire. 

It houses several cheesemaking production areas and a range of professional equipment, including two 400-litre vats, peg mills and a press, as well as equipment for fresh and washed cheeses.

Six separate maturing rooms are a key feature of the new facility, which will enable students to learn more about how maturing affects different cheeses.

“The rooms and equipment are ideal for a first step in cheesemaking. We can also mature almost any variety of cheese and carry out experiments on weight loss during maturation,” said Val Bines, the School’s head of dairy. “The maturing facilities available at the Dairy Training Centre replicate the conditions available to ‘affineurs’, allowing students to examine and understand the importance of the maturing process.” 

Students enrolled on the Advanced Diploma in Artisan Food Production will use the new centre, as will people attending the School’s range of professional workshops.
Production methods for a wide range of dairy products will be taught including hard, soft and blue cheese, as well as yoghurt, ice-cream and butter.

For more information see: www.schoolofartisanfood.org

* First published in the Cheeswire section of Fine Food Digest's April 2010 issue. Click here and turn to p24.

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