Dutch Cheese Making

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Updated: 7/11/2013 2:44 pm
There are a lot of different types of cheese that you can get in a lot of different flavors these days.  

But take a trip up Highway 84 you will meet Berny and Teresa Mesman who own Dutch Cheese making and their specialty is gouda cheese. 

"This is all authentic dutch gouda cheese and it's made with a recipe and a starter that's been in our family for a very, very long time," Teresa Mesman said. "The starter is shipped to us from Holland and we use that every time we make cheese. Like I said it's all a gouda and we add seasonings and spices to it to make different flavors and varieties of the gouda." 

The dairy that provides the milk for the cheese has been in Berny Mesman's family since 1968 when his parents and the family moved from Bellflower, California and the cheese making has been around since 1986.  

"When my sister-in-law decided that's what she would like to do she actually went back to Holland and studied on a farmstead cheese making operation and thus all the equipment that was purchased and brought back for her operation," Teresa Mesman said. "And then she decided to step out of the cheese making business and let my father-in-law to take over. He wanted to do cheese the way he grew up making cheese on his farm in Holland." 

Teresa and Berny took over the entire business three years ago this month and now everyday Teresa comes in and continues the tradition that was started 27 years ago and makes cheese.  

"Each batch we start approximately 8:30 or 9 o'clock in the morning catching the milk out of the barn into our vat and then the whole day is involved in making the cheese," Teresa Mesman said. "It's actually in the vat for approximately five to six hours and then it's on the press for another five hours, another five to seven hours actually. And then after that it rests, the next day it goes into the brine water and then it goes onto the boards. All total cheese making is about a 60-day process because we don't pasteurize the milk so it has to age according to the law and also to get the optimal flavor of the cheese."

Even though there are long hours involved in making the cheese Teresa told us that it doesn't feel like a job at all to her. 

"It's sort of a passion of mine, since I've come into the family I'm very proud of their cheese making," Teresa Mesman said, "and my father-in-law took such care to make it the true dutch way, so I've just wanted to carry on that tradition." 

If you have a hankering for home-made, locally produced dutch gouda cheese, be sure to visit the Mesman family business at the Lubbock Downtown Farmers Market every second and fourth Saturday this summer.
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