Over the years, our culinary program has developed beyond just fresh vegetables and fruit, to include a fully functional on-site farm producing meats and dairy on a daily basis. We had envisioned evolving our dairy program to include a wider variety of products, and over the course of time have been able to perfect recipes for everything from cheese to yogurt. We started our cheese making with the basics, fresh cheeses like the local criollo, feta and cream cheeses as well as sour cream and over time have perfected the processes of producing aged cheeses. Aged cheeses require much closer attention and very precise conditions to ensure food safety and develop perfect texture and flavor.
Just as with everything else we do at Rancho Santana, our cheese program is based on keeping things as natural as possible. We strive for low-intervention and minimal processing, for instance using only raw milk in the process. Many processed cheeses use pasteurized milk, introducing sterile cultures later into the process. With our method, we create ideal conditions and monitor our cheeses with careful attention to ensure the growth of good bacteria and food safety. Healthy bacteria is a crucial ingredient in developing a rich cheese with a depth of flavor—a key to making delicious cheese.
By creating two special, temperature-controlled rooms, our team has been able to achieve their goals of experimentation with a larger variety of cheeses. At the facility, the rooms are kept in perfect conditions for the cheese-making process. This control paired with the unmatched talents of the team has allowed us to create phenomenal aged cheeses, such as our bloom-rind goat and cow milk cheeses—La Chela and La Reina, respectively.
If you’d like to try our dairy offerings, be sure to stop by La Tienda. There you will find everything from Feta and Mozzarella to more complex varieties like Parmesan, Cheddar, and Alpine-style cheese.