It is the year of the cheese: we’re going all the whey!

Fresh, Young, Soft, Hard, Aged and Blue: Let’s Make Cheese!


Twitter Hashtag: #Cheeseapalooza

Cheesy Team: A Canadian Foodie (Valerie), Deb The Locavore (Deb) , Big Addie (Addie) and Much To Do About Cheese (ian)

FIRST Challenge will be August 1, 2012, so be sure you submit your name and get your book to be ready to participate!

The Inspiration and Concept:

After lunch with Carmen, my life forever changed. No longer afraid to make cheese, I became obsessed. After the Eat Alberta 2012 participants learned how to make mozzarella, Deb came over and held my hand through the process. Not posted yet, as I am still working on “getting it right”, but I met Addie at the store while buying the milk and discovered he was also in a mid-cheese crisis. We made a date on the spot for him to come over and teach me how to make chevre. The rest is history, almost. Deb had been stalking Ian. I connected with Ian through twitter. He professes to be a novice, but we all put this together, anyway.

Addie, the physicist, Deb, the locavore, Ian, the “novice” cheesemaker with an entire site devoted to cheese making and myself, in the midst of a mid-cheese crisis, are kicking off twelve months of “Going all the whey!” and “Not crying over spilled milk!” through Cheeseapolooza, so aptly named ,and with homage to Charcuterpalooza, created by Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The Yummy Mummy, last year.

In Canada, the purchase of raw milk is illegal and the consequences of purchasing it from a farmer are very serious. So, we will not be able to use raw milk for any of our cheese making adventures, here, unless we find a farmer who will let us make it with his milk on his property. That is possible, and may happen, but we cannot count on it. Fortunately, we do have a couple of very good artisanal Alberta dairy farms that sell their milk through Planet Organic in Edmonton. We hope you will source excellent milk that will make great artisanal cheese. On that same note, Margot, one of our participants, has drawn to our attention a petition that is going to be presented to the Federal government. If you are a Canadian citizen and would consider signing this, that would help a great deal. The petition has to be in original form for the federal government. It is on the first page of

The first challenge will roll out August 1 and we are tickled with the positive response we have received after the pre-announcement went out at the end of June as we have a growing list of interested people.

Note: If you’re not a blogger, you can still participate. I will send options out to each of you once I know who you are.

Sponsors? We hope so, but that will only be possible if we get a group of participants large enough to make sponsorship a mutually beneficial arrangement. We will do our best.

The Text Book:

I have contacted Mary Karlin of Artisan Cheese Making at Home as we will use her book as our guide and she has agreed to mentor us though this project. More on that to come, but what an opportunity to develop a collaborative cheese making community with her guidance.

SIGN UP: Participation

  • Send me a message using the contact form on this website if you are interested in participating: copy and paste the following to the comment portion of the contact form and fill it in:
    • Real Name
    • Website/Blog name
    • Website URL
    • (If you don’t have a website or blog, just say so)
    • E-mail Address:
    • twitter handle
    • City and Country where you are from
  • Everyone participating will be listed here

Who Else is Participating?

Take a look and see! Our growing list is listed here.

Materials Needed

  1. On line copy or hard copy of Artisan Cheese Making at Home
  2. Take a look at the list of materials and supplies here, with the note under it

Note: There are many ways to improvise the long list of materials listed in Mary’s book; many of them you will already have, but don’t fret. We will provide ideas for you as we go so that you ca join us without working about this breaking your budget!

The Purpose

  • to demystify the very simple fresh and young cheese making processes and grow from there
  • to learn history and traditional heritage recipes from various parts of the world that we can each apply within our own locality

The Expectations

  • know your local artisan dairy farmers and to source the best quality of milk possible within your region
  • work to use all of your cheese product and byproducts to avoid waste; share with us how you do that (neighbours and friends love cheese, too)
  • write about your personal experience with the process and the effect that each experience has had upon those at your table
  • participate as often as you can throughout the 10-12 month process without any obligation to do it every month
  • post your cheese making experience for that month by the 21 of the month
  • please do not post Mary’s recipes; however, do post your list of ingredients and write about your process
  • take photographs of your cheese to be included in the monthly round up
  • e-mail me when you have posted your response to the challenge with the following information:
    • photo of your cheese 300 x 400 pixels in high resolution
    • your first name
    • blog name
    • link to your blog
    • post title if different than the cheese name
    • link to your post
    • city and country where you are from

Note: don’t expect there to be a great reward like there was at the end of Charcutapolooza; we loved their model as it was so successful; our success will be measured by the fun we have together and what each of us learns about cheese making (sponsorships will happen if there are a lot of participants)

The Process

  • I’ll post a monthly challenge on the 1st of each month that the Cheesy Team designs together. There will be a method to our madness. We will start with an easy few challenges the first month, and at some point, as aging is required for some of our target cheeses this year, we will be asking you to have a couple of things going at once. We will still keep it simple. And fun!
  • You’ll have one month to complete the challenge and to post your response to it.
  • I will also post my response by the first of each month, with the new challenge at the end of that post, as I have never made most of these cheeses before; fortunately, others in our team have, and we have Mary as our guide
  • Ian and Deb will also post their take on the challenge on each of their sites, and Addie will post his on Tumbler.
  • It is our hope that Mary will chime in with some tips and quips at the beginning or at the end of each challenge; the exact manner of her working process with us is yet not determined
  • There will be a round up of all of the posts by the 15th of each month
  • Challenge One will be posted August 1.

The Badge

  • display of the Cheesepalooza Badge would be appreciated, but is not required:
    • Right click on the badge to the top right and save the image to your desktop; insert in your site and link it to:

Getting Started

We have a preparation outline for you here that is aligned with Mary’s book!


Q: What happened after an explosion at a French cheese factory? A: All that was left was de brie.


We are all about the cheese! Let’s share the expertise amongst us and see where this year will take us. Send us a cheesy photo of you with a great big smile on your face to add to our Cheesepalooza Collage!

And remember, don’t cry over spilt milk ….


  1. says

    FABULOUS idea! I’m going to a $249 cheese making class in August so I wish I found you soo er! I’d love o be a part of a group that’s passionate about making CHEEEEEESE! Thanks to Nicola from Nic Cooks for the retweet of this Cheesepalooza. Can’t wait!

  2. says

    I think this sounds like a lot of fun! I was sad to miss EatAlberta. This will give me a chance to try out cheese making with some people to ask questions to and also get me some hilarious blog posts Im thinking. 😀

    • Valerie says

      Welcome to the group, Genevieve! Can’t wait to get started!
      So glad to have you join us!

    • Valerie says

      Hey! Ntala!
      I don’t think you can as Goat’s milk has a different composition – but, then again, with Ian and Mary’s expertise, maybe you can. Certainly won’t hurt to try – and there would be a conversion of sorts you would learn early on….I will let Ian answer this one.

      • says

        Hi Valerie,
        I realize that there is a difference and have looked at your list of cheeses and feel confident that I will do just fine. I have my own goats that I milk and so it will challenge me to do some different cheeses. My challenge will be when they dry up and getting milk, but I would really appreciate the experence. I look forward to it. Sincerely Ntala Quintilio

        • Valerie says

          How fortunate you are to have your own goats! It will be such a wonderful learning experience for us all as you work to adapt the recipes to goat milk with the advice and assistance of Ian and Mary! I cannot wait! :) Valerie

    • says

      It will be a challenge, but I think you can make most of the cheeses with Goat Milk. You will have to compensate with larger curd for higher moisture cheese. I use goat/cow mix for my Parmesan so I don’t have to buy lipase.

    • Valerie says

      Your excitement is contagious! I am going shopping today to a fabric store to buy some good cheesecloth.

  3. says

    Hi valerie
    I love your blog and aam excited to participate in the Cheesapalooza. I hope this is the right place to subscribe.
    I am looking forward to this project
    Marg Carey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>