Discover the Best Cheese Making Classes Online
All cheese is made using the same four core ingredients: milk, an acid or a bacterial culture, a coagulant (typically rennet), and salt. The foundation of the cheese is the milk, which influences everything from flavor to texture to color in the end product. While cow’s milk is the most common milk used, other options like goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and even plant-based milks like soy milk can be used to produce distinct cheeses; you may be familiar with buffalo mozzarella, so named because it is made from buffalo’s milk, or with the distinctive kick of a goat cheese. Milk is then acidified with either an acid or a bacterial culture. This encourages the milk to produce lactic acid, which makes it easier for the eventual curds to expel the whey, and also influences the flavor and texture of the cheese. Once the milk is acidified, it is heated up and a coagulant is added. This coagulant, typically rennet, forces the milk to form curd, which is cut into smaller blocks and cooked for a time. Once the curds have had time to cook, the whey is drained from the curds using a cheesecloth, salt is added to the curd, and the cheese is shaped into its final form.
Why You Should Learn Cheese Making Online
As society has become increasingly automated, many people have developed an interest in learning or re-learning how to do things by hand. Food preparation in particular stands out as an area in which artisanal methods are vastly preferred to a reliance on mass-produced ingredients filled with preservatives.
If you’ve heard any celebrity chef on the Food Network valorize the importance of fresh, quality ingredients, you’ve probably heard them target cheese specifically. While it is easy to buy a pre-shredded or pre-sliced cheese in the grocery store, such cheeses are compromised by the preservatives added to prevent clumping. If fresh ingredients are crucial, these certainly aren’t fresh.
And what cheese could be fresher than a cheese made from scratch? Cheese making is a great hobby for anybody who cares about food or who cares about doing things by hand. Anyone with a taste for cheese can get value out of this hobby. From a quick hand-pulled mozzarella to a more complex aged cheese, there’s a type of cheese for any aspiring gourmand to make on their own time.
Virtual Cheese Making Classes
Online classes are a great way to acquire cheese making skills and knowledge from anywhere. Not everybody lives close to a quality cheesemonger conducting an in-person class, and even those who are that lucky may not have a schedule that matches up with course offerings. Enrolling in an online cheese making class is a great way to access the same quality guidance from an expert instructor who can provide step-by-step tips and demonstrate techniques, all without the need to commute to a local cheese shop or restaurant.
In general, these online classes require a bit of extra preparation. While an in-person class typically provides the necessary materials and a workspace suitable for cheese making, an online class isn’t readily able to provide either of those. While an instructor can provide a list of necessities, expect to secure those materials yourself and set up an adequate workspace in your home.
The current best options for online classes are cooking and tasting classes, which focus more on the applications of cheese after it has been made rather than the techniques for making cheese by hand. If you’re interested in the cheese making process itself, be sure to check back regularly as more classes become available!
Cooking with cheese can be a great, simple way to put handmade cheeses to good use. Aspiring chefs with a love of cheese might consider one of the online cooking classes offered by The League of Kitchens. The League of Kitchens is an NYC-based organization that offers culinary experiences taught by immigrants broadcasting from their own homes. The classes from The League of Kitchens are a great option for those seeking authentic cultural enrichment.
League of Kitchens offers a Greek Online Workshop and a Greek Cooking Online class for those interested in Greek cuisine. Learn how to make traditional Greek dishes like spanakopita, bouyiourdi, and Greek salad, all of which require a healthy amount of feta cheese.
A completely different culinary experience can be found in The League of Kitchens’ Mexican Online Workshop. Instead of Greek feta, get ready to pick up some queso blanco to make a delicious dish of black beans. Cotija cheese is an essential ingredient in esquites, a type of Mexican street corn. A different variety of Latin American flair can be had in the Argentinian Cooking Online. In this class, parmesan and ricotta come together to make a traditional Argentinian salad and gnocchi al pesto.
If cooking sounds like too much effort, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy cheese. A truly refined option is to pair a quality cheese with a quality wine. This sort of luxury experience can be reproduced in Islands & Volcanoes, an online wine tasting class offered by NYC Wine Company. This class, which takes place over two separate sessions, is a guided tasting of six wines made out of grapes sourced from vineyards on islands and volcanoes. While the wine is the star of the class, the course does provide suggestions for cheese pairings that go perfectly with these exotic wines. As you secure the wines for this online class, opting to purchase some cheeses as well can take things to the next level.
Private Online Group Cheese Making Classes
A cheese tasting might be considered the prototypical sophisticated social gathering. In fact, The only activity that might be considered more elegant would be the close cousin of the cheese tasting: the wine and cheese tasting.
Whether you’re looking for a refined social gathering or a fun hands-on cheese making workshop for the whole family, CourseHorse offers live online cheese-related cooking and tasting classes for private groups.
Step into the world of artisanal cheese with CourseHorse’s Virtual Artisanal Cheese Tasting and learn to appreciate cheese in a whole new way. Or if you’re looking for a perfect pairing for your cheese, consider the Virtual Wine & Cheese Workshop for an extra level of refinement.
While CourseHorse’s offerings currently cater to the more refined activities of tastings, you don’t necessarily have to be posh about your cheese. If you’re more interested in making cheese than in eating cheese, you can contact CourseHorse to learn about additional options for cheese making classes, and they will get to work scheduling the perfect event for your group.
It’s easy to book a private class with CourseHorse. Even if you don’t have a precise headcount for your group, CourseHorse can schedule the date for you but won’t finalize payment until you’ve finalized your group, which means that you can easily change your group size after booking. Once you’ve booked, you’ll receive a confirmation of your booking within 24 hours, and your event provider will reach out to personally introduce themselves and provide some additional details about the class. CourseHorse conducts virtual classes over Zoom, but can easily accommodate other platforms like Microsoft Teams and Google Meets.
Online vs. In-Person Cheese Making Classes
While the best way to master cheese making techniques is to enroll in a class taught by an expert instructor, such classes can be taken in either an online or in-person format. Each option comes with its own advantages, so consider whether the hands-on intimacy of an in-person class or the flexibility of an online class is the preferable option.
The best part about an in-person class is the classroom environment. These classes are conducted in a workspace specifically set up for cheese making, and you’ll be face-to-face with an expert instructor who can demonstrate each step and who can answer any questions that arise throughout the process. It is this sort of access to expert instruction that makes classes the fastest, most effective way of acquiring the necessary skills to make cheese.
The major limitations of in-person classes are location and scheduling. Some geographic areas simply don’t have good options for in-person classes, or the in-person classes that are available take place too infrequently or at times that are inconvenient for those with busy work and home lives.
An online class can be a fantastic option for circumventing these difficulties of location and scheduling. Essentially, an online class is a great option for those who need a greater deal of flexibility; instead of needing to travel to a far-away location, an online class provides the flexibility to find a class that works for your schedule and that you can attend from your own home. These classes still provide the same real-time access to an expert that makes an in-person class so effective, meaning you’ll still be interacting with someone who can provide direct guidance, troubleshoot specific problems, and answer specific questions in real-time.
Can I Learn Cheese Making for Free Online?
Enrolling in a formal class can seem like a massive commitment. Especially for complete novices, investing the time and money into a class may sound like a big ask for getting into the hobby. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get started with cheese making through many of the free resources readily available online, like step-by-step blogs, hobbyist forums, and even video tutorials. These free resources are a great way to get a taste of the hobby, to pick up some basic skills and see if the hobby really is for you. If you’re more serious about taking your cheese making to the next level or have hit a wall that can’t be overcome by referencing these free resources, formal training with a cheese making expert is generally a preferable method. Guided instruction in real-time, rather than simply following pre-written or pre-recorded steps, helps most people to learn faster and to troubleshoot specific issues more effectively.