Cheese Making at New Mexico State

January 29/Las Cruces, N.M./US Fed News -- With the increased popularity of handcrafted cheeses, many people are getting into the cheese business either as a hobby or for profit. New Mexico State University is offering a way to learn the basics.

A three-day, hands-on artisan cheesemaking workshop will be given Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, by the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences food technology program.

"Participants will learn how to make cheese at home or as a small business," said Nancy Flores, Extension food technology specialist. "They will learn how to make a variety of cheeses including asadero, farmhouse, feta and mozzarella.

"This year with the help of Nancy Nathanya Coonridge, a local cheesemaker, we are also making raw milk cheese, which is a slightly different process than making it with pasteurized milk."

Joining Flores as speakers during the workshop will be Willis Fedio, NMSU food safety laboratory director; Alf Reeb, New Mexico Department of Agriculture dairy inspection division director; and Michael Patrick, NMSU Extension agricultural economist.

The workshop will cover finer points of cheesemaking, including the processes for making soft and crumble cheeses, aging cheeses and developing cheese cultures. Participants will learn about food safety issues such as sanitation, packaging and storage of cheese, as well as NMDA regulations. The course will also include basic business concepts and cost formulation.

The event will conclude with cheese tasting on Saturday.For more information, view the workshop brochure online at

From the February 7, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition