Why We Love Raw Milk Cheese
Taste. Nutrition. Health. Tradition.
In short, taste! Raw milk is the only way to create a one-of-a-kind cheese that tastes of the place it comes from.
Want to start a spirited discussion among cheesemakers and cheesemongers? Bring up raw milk vs. pasteurized cheese. To be sure, there are some delicious pasteurized cheeses. But to really capture the taste of a place and the milk that made it, raw milk cheese wins every day.
Which brings us to one of our favorite “holidays” of the year –Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day, which this year is being celebrated on April 21.
Created by the Oldways Cheese Coalition, of which we are Colorado’s only members, this worldwide holiday offers cheese enthusiasts from Denver to Paris to Manhattan a chance to participate in events celebrating the distinctiveness and cultural heritage of raw milk cheese.
Cheese+Provisions is honored to host one of a handful of flagship events for the Oldways Cheese Coalition. We’ll be celebrating with a raw milk cheese bar featuring delicious American artisan raw milk cheeses and all our raw milk cheeses will be 15% off.
Why Should I Care About Raw Milk
Pasteurized milk is sterile milk. To create flavor, cheesemakers have to add starter cultures. But there are a limited number of cultures available. That means everyone is using the same “flavor packets,” so the cheeses aren’t unique. You can make the same cheese using milk from California or Japan.
Complex and Unique Tastes
With raw milk cheese, you taste the breed, the pasture the animals grazed – mountains, hills, valleys, plains – and the season they grazed.
Health and Nutrition
Raw milk cheese is a natural source of healthy probiotics to support better gut health and digestion. Also, a ton of vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids are stripped out in pasteurization. Raw milk cheese has higher levels of protein and CLA (a healthy Omega 3 fatty acid that helps with heart health and maintains lean body mass.) Like raw honey, it also helps with allergies and asthma.
Safety: Raw Milk Retains Good Bacteria
Pasteurization kills all the bacteria naturally present in milk, good or bad. So, if a bad bug is introduced into the cheese, there are no good bacteria to battle it. That’s why if you look at cheese recalls, there are three times as many for pasteurized cheeses as for raw milk cheeses.
Raw Milk is Not the Same as Raw Milk Cheese
Raw milk is much more dangerous than raw milk cheese. The fermentation process that is cheesemaking breaks down milk sugars into lactic acid, which kills most dangerous bacteria.
Tradition/Support Artisan Producers
Traditionally, cheese was always made with raw milk. It’s only in the last century that cheesemakers started pasteurizing the milk. In fact, the reason cheese was “invented” was as a way to preserve raw milk before refrigeration.