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Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers

By Gianaclis Caldwell
Foreword by Ricki Carroll

The key to becoming a successful artisan cheesemaker is to develop the intuition essential for problem solving and developing unique styles of cheeses. There are an increasing number of books on the market about making cheese, but none approaches the intricacies of cheesemaking science alongside considerations for preparing each type of cheese variety in as much detail as Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking.

Indeed, this book fills a big hole in the market. Beginner guides leave you wanting more content and explanation of process, while recipe-based cookbooks often fail to dig deeper into the science, and therefore don’t allow for a truly intuitive cheesemaker to develop. Acclaimed cheesemaker Gianaclis Caldwell has written the book she wishes existed when she was starting out. Every serious home-scale artisan cheesemaker—even those just beginning to experiment—will want this book as their bible to take them from their first quick mozzarella to a French mimolette, and ultimately to designing their own unique cheeses.

This comprehensive and user-friendly guide thoroughly explains the art and science that allow milk to be transformed into epicurean masterpieces. Caldwell offers a deep look at the history, science, culture, and art of making artisan cheese on a small scale, and includes detailed information on equipment and setting up a home-scale operation. A large part of the book includes extensive process-based recipes dictating not only the hard numbers, but also the concepts behind each style of cheese and everything you want to know about affinage (aging) and using oils, brushes, waxes, infusions, and other creative aging and flavoring techniques. Also included are beautiful photographs, profiles of other cheesemakers, and in-depth appendices for quick reference in the preparation and aging room. Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking will also prove an invaluable resource for those with, or thinking of starting, a small-scale creamery.

Let Gianaclis Caldwell be your mentor, guide, and cheering section as you follow the pathway to a mastery of cheesemaking. For the avid home hobbyist to the serious commercial artisan, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is an irreplaceable resource.



Bookwatch Review-

Home hobbyists and any serious about commercial artisans will find Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking the ultimate key to moving from very basic ideas to creating masterpiece cheeses. Recipe-based cheese-making books alone often fail to cover the science and art of small-scale cheese making for all skill levels: this book packs in some thirty basic recipes with profiles of cheesemakers from around the world, information on home-scale equipment and cheese aging, and more. The result is a powerful recommendation that goes far beyond recipes alone to delve into the art and science of cheesemaking.

“Easy to understand and fun to read, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking provides valuable information on every aspect of cheesemaking—an excellent resource for both cheese makers and cheese lovers.”—Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation, and cheesemaker


"I am in awe! For anyone who has ever written a book or sweated over a cheese vat, you know that both require artistry, focus and discipline, dedication, time and more time, and perhaps a bit of creative insanity. Gianaclis Caldwell has either a twin or a clone! As an accomplished artisan enterprise in Southern Oregon, her cheeses from Pholia Farm are beautiful, luscious, and consistently at the top of the game. In her new book, she argues eloquently for the strong relationship between art and science, for deeper understanding and appreciation of milk, and the chemistry and alchemy of a cheese vat. With dozens of recipes, she guides us to create delicious, consistently top-quality cheeses. And as the landscape of American artisan cheese heads towards 1,000 small-scale producers, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking offers each of them new insights, essential knowledge, and encouragement to experiment and succeed. I deeply admire and respect her ability, standards, and work if I could just figure out how she did both!"--Jeffrey P. Roberts, author of The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese

"Gianaclis Caldwell, a farmstead cheese maker of famously delicious cheeses, has--amazingly--revealed all her hard-earned secrets in this wonderful new book. Reading Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is like taking an advanced cheese making class--not only do we learn how to make cheese at home, we learn the science behind the process, from flocculation to affinage. A must-read for anyone who wants to make cheeses at home."--Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

"I am truly knocked out by this wonderful book. Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is simply superb, and well-nigh flawless. Caldwell's voice comes through so clear, friendly, and free of clinicality. I have learned so much that I didn't realize I didn't know. In fact, the book is so good I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't even know how badly I needed it, and feel I am a vastly improved master cheesemonger for having been blessed with reading it."--Steven Jenkins, author of Cheese Primer

"If only Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking had been available a decade or so ago--my cheese making adventures would have been a lot less stressful. Already I see this as the new go-to book for my workshop attendees. Gianaclis Caldwell presents her method of making cheese as an intuitive process, and broaches the truly formidable task of the science of cheese making in an understandable way that only someone that has learned in the classroom and worked in the cheese room can. The section on surface ripened cheese is especially good since these cheeses are more difficult to ripen. Go out and get this book, if you haven't already."--Jim Wallace, New England Cheesemaking Supply Company

“Gianaclis Caldwell has poured her generous mind and heart into this book, and reveals the secret life of one of humanity’s most delicious foods. Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is a wealth of in-depth information won by first-hand experience, yet it’s friendly and reassuring and skillfully unpacks the science and craft of cheesemaking for the interested hobbyist and the artisan alike. After reading it, I’m more fascinated by cheese than ever! My next project may well be a few little bloomy rinds. . . .”—Margo True, Food Editor, Sunset Magazine

"Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is the one book that tells you everything you need to know to become an award-winning cheese maker. Caldwell's practical and straightforward explanations make this entire book (along with its amusing anecdotes) a great pleasure to read. She makes it clear that artisan cheesemaking is a serious endeavor; but her light-hearted approach will remove the fear factor and inspire you to make a go of it anyway. And for everyone who just loves to eat fine artisan cheeses, this book will elevate your respect for all that goes into their creation. Among the recent bounty of books on cheese, this one is a must-have."--Max McCalman, author of Mastering Cheese

"Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is a must-have book for the aspiring cheesemaker or cheesemonger. Not only is it amazingly easy to use as a reference book - laying out cheese science in as clear and jargon-free a way as possible - it's also a fun time for the cheese obsessed reader. Why does that rind look like that? How does that cheese get that amazing flavor? I'll admit, this book helped clear up some misperceptions I have held for twenty years about the way certain cheeses are made. I've read this once, but I know I will be referring to it over and over again.--Gordon Edgar, author of Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge

"Gianaclis Caldwell has combined her extensive knowledge as an award-winning cheesemaker with complementary information from a variety of sources to create a practical guide that will delight both aspiring and seasoned home-scale cheesemakers. Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking will be a valuable addition to any home cheesemaker's library."--Paul Kindstedt, author of Cheese and Culture and American Farmstead Cheese

"Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is a beautiful book, rich in theory and practice. Whether you want to deepen your appreciation and understanding for cheese, produce for your family, or bring artisanal cheeses to market, you won't be disappointed."--Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers and Long Way on a Little

“I have been waiting for a book like Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking for years. Gianaclis Caldwell’s detailed, thorough, and accurate guide is a godsend for both home cheesemakers just starting out as well as experienced professionals. Gianaclis has answered all of my tough questions in this remarkable tome; my only regret is that I needed this guide years ago when I was just starting out.”—Kurt Timmermeister, author of Growing a Farmer and commercial cheesemaker

"The first point to make is that this oversize book is stunningly presented, with easy-on-the-eye text, helpfully broken up by subject headings, several on a page. And the photographic illustrations are in rich color and with clear detailing that makes the close-up shots comfortable on the eye as well. This handbook is for readers serious in their interest in and pursuit of home cheesemaking. With authority and clarity, the author delves deeply into the subject, explaining all the scientific aspects of the processes involved (in her words, 'the beautiful interplay of science and art that goes into creating truly great cheeses'), including measuring acid development, aging cheese, adding flavors to cheese, and thinking about various ideas for equipment and work space. Part two is, as the author indicates, where the fun begins. Recipes are offered and explained in very easy terms. A complete package."

ForeWord Reviews-
"Somewhere between art and science, cheesemaking is not for the faint of heart. Caldwell begins her guide to the enterprise with a great deal of science. An extremely nuanced process becomes friendly through the author’s cheery advice and enthusiasm, then the book transitions into recipes that range from simple to quite advanced. A great guide for beginners and experts alike, Caldwell makes sense of the culture of cheese-making. Between recipes and advice, Caldwell gives credit to other experts in the field, pointing to relevant books, suppliers, and masters of the craft. The book also features a useful glossary of terms, an appendices with a troubleshooting guide, quick reference guide, and resources list. The layout is easy to read and well-organized; pictures illustrate what the end product should look like, a useful referent for those new to the process. More experienced cheesemakers will find ample difficulty to suit their study. Recipes start with the history of the cheese, then list ingredients, steps, and large-batch guidelines. From equipment to acidity, humidity to storage, Caldwell takes care to make sense of every step and each element. Throughout the process, she offers multiple options for further study and understanding, encouraging her readers to embrace the art, science, and community of cheesemaking. Caldwell’s comforting and impassioned talk of cheese will encourage any student willing to take on the adventure of cheesemaking. With its depth of information, this book will keep on giving as cheesemakers increase their mastery of the craft."


  • Winner - New England Book Show Award, Professional - Illustrated Category - 2013
  • Winner - ForeWord Magazine Book of Year: Gold Winner for Reference - 2013
  • Runner-up - New York Book Show Awards, Scholarly Category - 2013


Gianaclis Caldwell

Gianaclis Caldwell

In her first book, The Farmstead Creamery Advisor (Chelsea Green, 2010), Gianaclis presented would-be farmer-cheesemakers with a thorough guide to building and running a small, on-farm cheese business. In Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking (Chelsea Green, 2012) she provides guidance on the intricacies of cheesemaking science alongside considerations for preparing each type of cheese variety.

Gianaclis has been teaching all levels of cheesemaking for years, as well as speaking and teaching about the business of farmstead cheese, both at her family's licensed cheese dairy, Pholia Farm, and other venues, including the American Dairy Goat Association annual convention, the American Cheese Society Conference, and the Mother Earth News Fairs.

Gianaclis' aged, raw-milk cheeses have been recognized and applauded by America's foremost authorities on cheese. Pholia Farm cheeses have been included in many major books on artisan cheese, the latest being Max McCalman's Mastering Cheese, in which her Elk Mountain cheese is included in a short list of "rock stars of the 21st century." Her Hillis Peak cheese was the centerfold cheese in the Winter 2010 issue of Culture Magazine. She was one of the spotlighted cheesemakers in a recent publication Cheesemaking by Hobby Farms magazine for their Popular Kitchen Series


Gianaclis Caldwell's Blog
Gianaclis Caldwell's Facebook Page
Pholia Farm Website


November 12, 2015

Gianaclis Caldwell at Mother Earth News Institute

777 Waterwheel Drive, Seven Springs, PA, 15622 | Gianaclis Caldwell
Gianaclis Caldwell will be present at the debut of the Mother Earth News Institute, the inauguration of which is featuring four days of cheesemaking! The course, which is titled "The Joy of Cheese: Four Days of Cheesemaking Workshops & Tasting," is taking place November 12-15 at the Seven Spring Mountain Resort. Caldwell will be present throughout the weekend, will be teaching workshops and demos, and will be speaking on several occasions. The tuition package for "The Joy of Cheese" costs $689, the cost of which includes all of the workshops and demos, the reception dinners on both Thursday and Sunday, three nights of lodging at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, meals for all participants, complimentary copies of the books "One-Hour Cheese" and "Mastering Basic Cheesemaking," and a Deluxe Cheesemaking Kit from Urban Cheesecraft.

See all Events by this Author


Running a Small Scale Dairy Farm

Running a Small Scale Dairy Farm

Tour of the Pholia Farm

Pholia Farm and Gianaclis Caldwell

Pholia Farm - Southern Oregon Micro Creamery

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

Pages:368 pages
Book Art:Full-color photos throughout
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603583329
Pub. Date September 19, 2012
eBook: 9781603583336
Pub. Date September 19, 2012

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 368 pages, $40.00

eBook, 368 pages, $40.00