A peek into the life of an urban cheese maker

Kappacasein Dairy; more than just a sandwich maker

Kappacasein stall at Borough Market

It is unlikely to come as a surprise to those who have eaten it, but the substantially upholstered  toasted cheese sandwich, put together by the team at Kappacasein, has recently been selected by ‘Time Out’ as one of the top ten finest dishes to be had at a restaurant or market stall in London. Given the staggering number of food outlets in the capital that is quite an accolade. However, what may be news to most people, who wait patiently in the queue in front of the stall at Borough Market to get their hands on those highly acclaimed toasties, is the fact that one of the cheeses that make up the filling is actually made within a mile of where they are standing.

Kappacasein has carved out a well deserved reputation among the foodie fraternity, office workers and general visitors to London’s busiest of markets for serving up a hearty, quality take on the humble cheese sandwich but their real stock in trade is as a producer of cheese from fresh raw organic cow’s milk. The dairy is tucked into a railway arch beneath the busy mainline tracks from London Bridge Station to the outer reaches of the city’s southern boroughs and beyond. Here most mornings of the working week Bill Oglethorpe and colleagues make cheese from roughly 300 litres of milk delivered daily. They produce a handful of cheeses, ranging from ricotta to their stalwart signature gruyere like cheese Bermondsey Hard Pressed.

Their way of working is aimed to bring out the best qualities of the milk. It is simple and traditional and gets under way as soon as the milk arrives direct from the farm, still warm in the churns. I’ll let the pictures now illustrate the process.

 

The organic raw milk is delivered to the dairy from a farm in Kent
The organic raw milk is delivered to the dairy from a farm in Kent
The milk is poured into a traditional 100 year old copper vat from Switzerland
The milk is poured into a traditional 100 year old copper vat from Switzerland
Animal rennet is stirred into the milk as it is being heated
Animal rennet is stirred into the milk as it is being heated
The Bermondsey Hard Pressed cheese is made like a traditional alpage  gruyere. The temperature and the consistency of the milk is carefully checked
The Bermondsey Hard Pressed cheese is made like a traditional alpage gruyere. The temperature and the consistency of the milk is carefully checked
The curds are cut when they reach the right temperature
The curds are cut when they reach the right temperature
The curds are then gathered up in a muslin cloth
The curds are then gathered up in a muslin cloth
The compressed curds are initially turned five times before being left overnight. The dairy produces approximately 12, 6kg wheels of Bermondsey Hard Pressed a week
The compressed curds are initially turned five times before being left overnight. The dairy produces approximately 12, 6kg wheels of Bermondsey Hard Pressed a week
The wheel is  carefully trimmed and then salt is rubbed into it before it left overnight
The wheel is carefully trimmed and then salt is rubbed into it before it is left overnight
During the maturation period of 6-12 months the wheels of cheese are washed and turned twice a week
During the maturation period of 6-12 months the wheels of cheese are washed and turned twice a week

 


Comments

Nick said...

Thanks for reading my blog post. Please let me know what you think. English only please :)

Noach said on

You managed to bring the taste of it all with this careful choice of forms, light and angles. With you cheese in England becomes as sacred as a holly man in India…
Thank you Nick, your work is inspiring and nourishing on many levels.

Your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your details are stored safely and never given out.

Nick Fleming Behind the Lens

Photographing while on the Armanath Yatra, Kashmir (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Portrait session with young sadhu during the Kumbh Mela in Hardwar (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Near Jammu (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Visit to Shaeedi Bhag, Anandpur Sahib (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
On the path up to Gaumukh (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Milan Bharti making a cup of tea, Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Photographing in Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Nick Fleming and sadhu at dawn on the ghats at Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Photographing In the garden of an Udasin ashram in Khankal near Hardwar during the Kumbh Mela (<a href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
Nick Fleming photographing a pilgrim on the ghat s at Varanasi (<a target="_blank" href="http://dalbirsindia.wordpress.com">Photo by Dalbir Singh</a>)
X

Get the latest photos,
stories, and inside news >

Problems...check your info and try again...

Your details are stored safely and never given out.

One more step...

Be sure to check your email and click the link contained within it to confirm your subscription...

Thank you!
(close this window)