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FD 02 W — The History, Culture, and Science of Cheese: A Tasting Journey

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Apr 24—Jun 9
Refund Deadline: Apr 27
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $470
Instructor(s): Liz Thorpe, Zoe Brickley
Limit: 75
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Apr 24—Jun 9
7 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 27
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Liz Thorpe, Zoe Brickley
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In this course, we will discover how humanity is bound to cheese and how cheese is a magical summation of the land, animals, and chemistry from which it is cultivated. We will taste nearly two dozen cheeses throughout the course. Get ready for fresh, unripened cheeses, bloomy rind cheeses (brie types), washed rind cheeses (taleggio types), cheddars, alpine cheeses (swiss types), parmesan cheeses, washed curd cheeses (gouda types), manchegos, blue cheeses, and more. We’ll familiarize ourselves with the possibilities each style presents and consider the economics behind a cheese’s price tag.

By delving into the historical origins of cheese, students will learn how geographic and cultural circumstances yielded unique recipes and styles of cheese—no, blue cheese didn’t come from a shepherd’s lost lunch, but you can thank the farmwives of northern France for your brie-style cheeses and the monks of Burgundy for your stinky cheeses. We will examine the science of cheesemaking, from the nuances of milk chemistry to the fundamentals of cheesemaking and the alchemy of affinage (cheese aging), each with its myriad influences on a cheese’s flavor, texture, and ageability. We will learn that cheese types have objective flavors and aromas that can be anticipated and used to guide pairing. By the end of the course, students will have a deeper understanding of cheesemaking past and present, as well as a robust cheese vocabulary and an expanded palate.

This course includes optional cheese tastings. The cost will be approximately $150–$200. More details will be provided in class.

Founder, The People's Cheese

Liz Thorpe is a 20-year veteran of the cheese industry, author of two books, and a leading expert on cheese. She was vice president of Murray’s Cheese in New York, overseeing the company’s national expansion. As the founder of consulting company The People’s Cheese, Thorpe has worked with Amazon Fresh, CONO USA, and Major Food Group. She has appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show and has been featured on Epicurious.com.

Lead Educator, Jasper Hill Farm

Zoe Brickley began her cheese career as a cheesemonger and cave manager at Murray’s Cheese in New York. In 2009, she joined the team at Jasper Hill Farm, where she directs its communications, ecommerce, and creative work. She is an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional and Sensory Evaluator.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Liz Thorpe, The Book of Cheese (ISBN 978-1250063458)
(Recommended) Paul Kindstedt, Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization (ISBN 978-1603585064)