To make a really great cheese, you need the right cows, the right people and the right process. At Burnett Dairy Cooperative, we have all three. As a proud dairy cooperative, we hold ourselves to the highest quality standards throughout our cheesemaking process, and it shows in the distinguished, delicious products we create.
Did you know that it takes 10 pounds of quality milk to make one pound of wholesome Wisconsin cheese? We start with milk from our own dairy farmers and cows, and then we add the right blend of precision and artistry for ultimate quality and control. Discover how we make the cheese that makes your menu stand out.
1. It all starts at our family farms.
All of our farmers share the same philosophy – that in order to produce the best milk and cheese, you need to give your cows the best care. That includes wholesome feed and a healthy environment.
2. Careful milking and safe transport.
Our farmers’ cows are milked two to three times per day, with each cow providing up to four gallons at each milking. Milk truck drivers transport the milk to our cheese plant, bringing in just over 1 million pounds per day from nearby farms.
3. Testing and pasteurization.
The incoming milk is first tested for quality and purity. Remember, it takes approximately 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese! Next, we pasteurize the milk to ensure product safety and uniformity.
4. Adding cultures and creativity.
Starter cultures, or good bacteria, are added that help determine the ultimate flavor and texture of each unique cheese. Next, a milk-clotting enzyme called rennet is included to coagulate the milk, forming a custard-like mass.
5. Crafting award-winning varieties.
For cheddar products, our artisan cheesemakers cook and stir the liquid whey and solid curd until the desired curd firmness is achieved. The curd is then pressed into blocks. Our award-winning pasta filata cheeses, Mozzarella and Provolone, are heated and stretched to authentic Italian standards and sold in block, shred, dice and our World Champion string cheese.
6. Packaged for perfection.
As the final step, we pack our artisan cheeses in popular sizes and practical forms to optimize prep and storage convenience for today’s fine foodservice establishments.