Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mirror, mirror on the wall

who's the biggest (and priciest) cheese producer of them all?

California is on its way to being number one, and my locale to reigning as #1 in high end cheese production.

In today's Press Democrat:

Frankly, if I want local cheese, I find I either have to go to the source, or make my local bigger (to include Humboldt and Del Norte counties). I can't afford the prices charged at local markets for local "artisan" cheese. (Too bad the cows aren't artisan. Organic maybe. No synthetic bovine growth hormone, certainly. But the increased yields of milk with fewer cows touted in the article can only mean that cows are being kept in a state for milking more months per year than is healthy for them or us.)

Just when I am wondering who does pay $20 a pound for cheese, my market sleuthing reveals this interesting phenomenon: the grocery cart in front of me in line holds three kinds of the pricey stuff - including a Humboldt County type I recognize as running $17 and up a pound - and a loaf of wonder bread. Will wonders never cease?

1 comment:

John Leech said...

Sonoma County dairy farmers are having trouble competing with Central Valley operations - economy of scale - for the generic white/yellow/white-with-holes cheese market. Going organic &/or high-end may well keep them in business.

Sonoma County goat farmers are making a go of it, if they go gourmet..... these include childhood friends of mine:

"Some of the milk used for their cheese and yogurt production comes from Tom and Heidi Kirkland, who first started O Tommy Boy! organic potatoes, and two months ago began milking 120 goats on their family ranch east of Valley Ford."

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat 12/26/2007