Cheese Lovers Newsletter (10.30.2020): How now, Brown Cow?
Hello Cheese Lovers,
We are getting close. Yes, we know, we know, the holidays are several weeks away. But here, it’s fewer than 11 days. We long-ago hit the cutoff for many of our cheeses, like St. Anthony (2 to 7 months), Lucky Linda (6 to 12 months) and Margie (3 months to 24 months) – which all take months to years to add to their aging process. But November 11 will be the final day we can make young munster or Brie for Thanksgiving delivery.
But it is most likely that any cheese purchased (minus Ridiculously Good Cheese Curds) was made days, weeks or months before today. So, due to that reverse engineering, we’re already thinking about how much cheese we have available for Thanksgiving through Christmas, into New Year’s Day… and in addition to hoping you’ll be making Redhead cheeses part of your holidays, we hope you plan early.
As of yesterday, we have added our Thanksgiving week and Christmas week shipping options. We unfortunately need to increase the shipping rate to $20 per stop, however are excited to offer FREE SHIPPING throughout much of Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas.
Pre-order for Thanksgiving and Christmas
We also have our Thanksgiving and Christmas routes up, so you can order now for it to arrive as close to your selected date as possible.
How now Brown Cow? (The actual question is, why do you have two breeds in your herd? Wouldn't one be better?)
The answer to this question involves an upset teenage girl, grading of cuteness and the Swiss. We'll leave names out to protect the innocent, but one of Alise's sisters was sick of showing dairy cattle (we'll tell you on the farm tour). She begged her parents to get a Brown Swiss and told them she'd be happy to show cattle again.
Why? Because they're cute. It's true - Holsteins are maybe more unique in spots, but being so ubiquitous in advertising and on farms doesn't make them unique. Holsteins originate from the Dutch provinces of North Holland and Friesland, and Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany. Originally called Holstein-Friesian, they weren't all that popular until an experiment in the 1960s. Actually, we had more Guernseys at the time, but we didn't have good measurement of milk and what was in it. After the University experiments of the 1960s came out, Holsteins ended up on top, and the Registered Holstein has had more research put into it since that time.
Brown Swiss, maybe obviously from Switzerland, aren't far behind. About 85% of the U.S. dairy herd is Holstein, 12% is Jersey, and 3% are Brown Swiss, with three other breeds - Ayrshire, Milking Shorthorn and Guernsey - being rounding errors.
Brown Swiss are cute because they're different and partially due to their ears. Holsteins come from an area, much like Minnesota, with prairielands and pasture. They're the functional producer. In Switzerland, however, cows much travel up and down the mountain with the grass, and over time their ears and other aspects helped the adapt to the changing climates.
And, while Jerry and Linda did buy their daughter a Brown Swiss, if she doesn't become pregnant she doesn't stay in the herd. But she was pregnant and multiplied. ***We are talking about the heifer becoming a cow here getting pregnant, not the human offspring of Jerry and Linda.***
And, because we only have so many spots in the barn, her offspring need to compete. Holsteins typically give slightly more milk with slightly less fat and protein percentage than Brown Swiss. But our family of Swiss is pretty comparable to our Holsteins, and therefore have earned their keep and grown to about 5% of the herd from that one animal.
That's it for this week - see you at the store Friday-Saturday noon to 2:30, at the farmers' markets, or on the route!