Cheese making

To preserve all the authenticity of its products, the Coopérative laitière de Yenne Porte de Savoie has combined a rich tradition of producing and ripening cheese with the use of modern equipment.

For several years, a quality initiative has been in place to manage all stages of production, from the collection of milk to the delivery of cheeses. An additional guarantee of the quality and safety of our products.

An organic line of production has also been developed which today accounts for 10% of our annual milk production. This has resulted in the production of Tommette and Gruyère de Savoie under the AB (organic farming) logo with ECOCERT certification.

The stages of traditional cheese making

The unpasteurised milk is collected every day from the Cooperative’s farms then transformed into cheese by master cheese makers in a series of stages which never change:

Curdling

The milk is heated to a temperature of 33°C then renneting is carried using an artisanal rennet named “recuite” This preparation which results from the soaking of calf rennet allows lactic starters and enzymes necessary for curdling to be introduced into the milk, which then turns into curds. (Duration around 30°)

Cutting the curd

When the curd has reached the level of firmness desired by the cheese maker, he proceeds to cut it using a curd knife. This stage lasts around 10 minutes and ends when the cheese maker has obtained the desired grain size.

Stirring and scalding

When the whey begins to run out from the curd grains, the cheese maker proceeds to the heating stage. This stage lasts around 60 minutes and helps to drain the curd.

Mouldin and pressing

The cheese maker then decides on the best moment to extract the content of his vat and thus separate the whey from the curd. Once placed in a mould and pressed for 6 hours, the curd is transformed into a “Dent du Chat” cheese.

Brining

After being left to rest for 24 hours, the cheese is immersed for 48 hours in a brine bath which gives the cheese its first salting.

Ripening

This lasts between 4 months and 12 months. In the cellar, at a temperature of around 9°C and in high humidity, the cheeses are salted, rubbed and turned twice every week.

The Coopérative laitière de Yenne opens its doors to you

Every year, the AFTALP (the Association for the Traditional Cheeses of the Savoie Alps) organises the Fête des fromages. Last year this celebration of cheese took place in Yenne on 15th July with a particular focus on Tomme de Savoie.

The Cooperative laitière de Yenne opened its doors wide for the occasion. More than 5,000 people came to find out about the cheeses of the Savoie, the riches and variety of their flavours and their production and farming methods.

This year there will be a new Open Day in July. On the programme will be a visit to the cheese dairy and the ripening cellars, a demonstration of artisanal production of Tomme de Savoie and a cheese and wine tasting. We will be inaugurating our new shop for the occasion.