If you need to contact us for any reason, email urbancheesecraft (at) gmail.com.
We get asked how we started this venture often. I always think, how does anything start? You learn about this, move on to that, end up at something that lasts. It’s kinda long but here’s the story:
After researching and learning lots about making our food from local ingredients, we were inspired to make our own cheese. When we tried to find local cheese making supplies though, we had no luck.
This is Portland, Oregon- the capital of D.I.Y.! How could this be?! We were determined to learn despite this bummer so we begrudgingly purchased supplies from faraway sources on the Internet. We tried to follow recipes online but were overwhelmed by the complexity and the special equipment we seemed to need to get started (calibrated presses, humidity gauges, acidity testers oh my!).
With the knowledge that people have been making cheese for thousands of years with simple recipes and without fancy equipment, we persevered. After endless (still learning!) late nights of weeding through lots of info. we understood that there are many, many fresh cheeses that do not require aging and that we can make at home with little or no special equipment. We tried many, shared them with friends at gatherings and enjoyed the oohs, ahhs and questions.
We thought more people would be happy to have this skill, so we decided to make it easier for others to get started making and enjoying their own homemade cheese too.
We researched wholesalers, tested recipes, sourced quality supplies in the west coast (for the most part- we’re always striving for closer and closer suppliers) to create simple kits for fresh cheeses; no cows of your own or long-term aging required. This means you can buy a gallon of milk at the grocery store and be eating your own fresh cheese within an hour! This amazed us too and we want to spread the word. Making fresh cheeses is a simple skill that has been somewhat lost in the past few decades of quantity over quality and we’d like to help it get back into kitchens- even city kitchens where we don’t have space for bulky equipment (or cows- though in Portland we can have goats, yay!).
Our easy-to-follow instructions and affordable kits and supplies make it simple for cheese making novices to get started. There’s a low investment in time and cost but high reward in self-sufficiency and quality!
In less than an hour you can enjoy fresh mozzarella, ricotta, queso blanco, goat cheese and more- made in your very own kitchen, using the milk of your choice. Try it and you won’t believe you didn’t do it sooner. As we learn, we will teach, so look for more kits in the future. Happy cheese making! Claudia and Jeff
By the way, I (Claudia) work at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, you’re welcome to check out my work there too!