Please support the Greenfield Recorder's COVID-19 coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate.

Thank you for your support of the Recorder.

Michael Moses, Publisher

‘Home Cheese Making’ by Ricki Carroll

  • “Home Cheese Making” by Ricki Carroll (Storey Publishing, 384 pages, $24.95) Contributed photo

For the Recorder
Published: 7/11/2019 8:30:57 AM

I have never met a cheese I didn’t like. Hard or soft, subtle or stinky, all cheeses call to me. I have attempted to make my own cheese only a couple of times — but I may have to try again now that I have read the updated fourth edition of “Home Cheese Making ”by Author Ricki Carroll of Ashfield.

Carroll, known as the “cheese queen,” was one of the founders of America’s contemporary artisan cheese industry. 

In 1978 she and her husband Bob founded New England Cheesemaking Supply, which is headquartered in South Deerfield. Their daughter, Sarah, now runs the company with her husband, Mark.

New England Cheesemaking Supply sells a wide variety of products involved in cheesemaking, from cultures that help milk and cream become cheese to molds and presses to shape the cheese. 

The cheese creations in “Home Cheese Making” generally call for specialized equipment, and the recipes for cheese may seem a little daunting to the novice. Happily, Carroll goes into great detail about how to achieve the best results and even includes a “What Went Wrong” chart to help the reader diagnose missteps.

I may or may not end up making any of the cheeses in the book — and there are many from which one can choose, from a relatively simple and quick ricotta to a complicated, in-need-of-long-aging Gorgonzola.

I think if I really pursue cheesemaking (a tempting pursuit for a food lover like me), I would like to start by attending a workshop from the Carrolls or from Sheila Litchfield in Heath, who teaches occasional classes on goat-cheese creation. The book can then back up experience I will already have.

Even if I don’t end up making cheese, Carroll’s descriptions of cheeses will help me as a consumer. I have tasted and savored many different cheeses from many different countries. “Home Cheese Making” can educate me about the ingredients and processes involved in my favorites.

The final, non-cheese recipes will also come in handy. After Carroll’s cheese formulas, she includes prescriptions for building cheese boards. She then moves on to recipes for foods that accompany cheese like jams, chutneys, and breads. The final recipes use cheeses as ingredients in a variety of foods, from soup to dessert.

The book is clearly written, excellently organized, and gorgeous to look at, with myriad color photographs.

Interspersed throughout the text are charming inspirational essays about artisan cheesemakers across the country and around the globe who are devoting their lives to making the world better, one cheese at a time. 

“Home Cheese Making” deserves a place in the collection of any food lover. 

Tinky Weisblat is the award-winning author of “The Pudding Hollow Cookbook,” “Pulling Taffy,” and “Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb.” Visit her website,

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


Copyright © 2019 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy