Chester County Cheese Artisans proudly offer farmstead and artisanal cheeses made from the milk of cows, goats, and sheep. The air these herds breathe, the water they drink, and the vegetation on which they graze impart unique characteristics in Chester County cheeses similar to the "terroir" in a region's wines. When combined, the type of milk and the farm's special corner of the county make Chester County cheese finish with flavors found nowhere else in world.
Cows produce approximately 8 to 20 quarts per day, with two milkings a day. Cow milk production is consistent year round. Consider cheese made from cow milk to carry a buttery richness. Chester County Cheese Artisans produce natural milks free of added bovine growth hormones.
Goats produce 3 to 5 quarts of milk per day, with two daily milkings during a ten-month lactation. Cold winters cause the goats to produce less milk with a higher butterfat content, while warm summers cause a higher volume of milk with less butterfat to be produced. Goat milk is said to lend tangy, grassy flavors to cheese. The word "chèvre" means goat cheese, named for the French word for "goat." Where chèvre once referred to any cheese made from goat's milk, chèvre has evolved to become a variety of cheese all its own.
Sheep produce approximately one quart per day, with two milkings a day. Sheep milk production is seasonal and many sheep dairies have no production in the winter. Sheep milk imparts a mellow nuttiness in its cheeses. Well-known sheep milk cheeses include: Feta of Greece, Roquefort of France, Manchego from Spain, and the Pecorino Romano ("pecore" is Italian for "sheep") and Ricotta of Italy. It is thought that the vibrating of the baaing that the sheep make contributes to the milk's smoother consistency.