- How is Cabot cheddar cheese made?
- Are Cabot products made with pasteurized milk?
First, high quality cows’ milk is gathered from Cabot’s farmer-owners, pasteurized, and then poured into a temperature-controlled vat. A starter culture of lactic acid is added to the milk, which enables the milk to reach the proper acidity.
When they are satisfied that the milk is ready to be turned into cheese, our cheesemakers add a coagulating enzyme. In about 30 minutes the curd forms. The curds are cut, stirred, and pressed together to form 42, 225, or 670 pound blocks of cheddar. The cheddar is then aged, packaged, and ultimately distributed for our consumers to enjoy.
Yes. All of Cabot's products are made from pasteurized milk. Pasteurization destroys undesirable pathogenic microorganisms, such as E. coli or Listeria. We choose to be overly cautious in this area to ensure our dairy products are free of pathogens.
- How long does a dairy cow provide milk?
Cattle are two years old before they are able to become pregnant and enter the milking herd. They will remain in the milking herd as long as they are able to provide enough milk to cover costs, typically between six and nine years.
- What does Cabot do to ensure the proper treatment of its farmers herds?
- Do your cows have access to pasture?
Cabot and our parent cooperative, Agri-Mark, go to great lengths to ensure the safety, health, and happiness of our cattle. Fourteen of the fifteen members on our Board of Directors are active dairy farmers. Our farmers all rely on each other to provide high quality, safe milk that is in turn converted to various world class cheeses and other dairy products, and they know you can only achieve top notch results if your cattle are healthy and happy. What exactly do we do?
We are enrolled in program called FARM, Farmers Assuring Responsible Management, whose goal is to demonstrate and verify that milk producers are committed to the highest standards in animal care. As part of this program our twenty field representatives, who visit our farms every day, are trained to ensure that there is no mistreatment of any animals on our farms.
Our cows are raised in different ways. We are a cooperative of more than 1,200 family farms where each farm is independently managed. Each farm is different in terms of herd size, landscape, soil makeup, etc so practices differs among farms. We know that the majority of the 1,200 farm families pasture their herd during the late spring and summer months when weather allows. Others allow their cows to go out and get fresh air but do not pasture them. When the cows are not out to pasture they are in free-stall barns that provide plenty of space for eating and exercising. Bedding is changed frequently every day.
- What Do Cows Eat?
The main source of sustenance for the cows in our cooperative is corn silage, grass silage, pasture and dried hay (all of these are usually grown on the farm or locally) or a combination of these types of feed. Many of our farmer-owners work with dairy nutrition experts and will supplement the feed with high energy pellet grain or other commodities if needed to balance the cow’s diet properly. The goal is to give the cows plenty of nutritious food so that they stay healthy and provide good quality milk.
- Can I freeze Cabot cheeses?
We don’t recommend freezing our cheeses. Freezing cheese compromises the texture, typically resulting in extreme crumbling. The cheese is still fine for eating and cooking, but it can be more difficult to work with.
- Do Cabot products contain gluten?
- Do Cabot products contain antibiotics?
All of Cabot's products are gluten-free. Any and all ingredients, anti-caking agents, etc. are researched and verified to be gluten-free. For more information, click here
No antibiotics are in any Cabot products. Tests for antibiotics are conducted on all milk before it enters our plants according to all federal and state laws and regulations. There are serious penalties and consequences for our farmers if they were to ship milk from an animal on antibiotics. Testing throughout the milk handling process ensures that no mistakes can be made.
- What kind of rennet is used to make Cabot cheeses?
Cabot uses a microbial-based enzyme to manufacture all of our award-winning cheeses with the exception of our Processed American Cheese slices. The microbial-based enzyme coagulates the milk into curds and whey, and it is approved for vegetarians. This enzyme also allows our cheeses to pass kosher certification. Our Processed American Cheese slices are sourced from plants that Cabot does not own, so we cannot guarantee that they are made with microbial enzymes.
- Do Cabot Products contain GMOs?
- Why did my cheese mold before the sell-by date?
Cabot products have been tested and do not contain GMO’s.
We are a cooperative of more than 1200 small family farms from all six New England states and New York State, and each farm is different in acreage, the type of land they have and the crops they are able to grow.
The main source of sustenance for the cows in our cooperative is corn silage, grass silage, pasture and dried hay (all of these are usually grown on the farm or locally) or a combination of these types of feed. Many of our farmer-owners work with dairy nutrition experts and will supplement the feed with high energy pellet grain or other commodities if needed to balance the cow’s diet properly. The goal is to give the cows plenty of nutritious food so that they stay healthy and provide good quality milk. With 80% of corn production in the U.S. being of the GMO variety, the non GMO variety is hard to obtain and is usually limited to organic farms. For this reason our farmer-owners have not banned their own use of GMOs.
The combination of our USDA Grade A plant and airtight packaging usually prevents mold from growing on our cheeses. On rare occasions, however, mold makes an unsightly appearance. Sometimes even a microscopic leak in the packaging is all that is necessary for mold to grow. Please know that while the mold that grows on our cheese is unsightly, it is completely harmless.
- Why is my cheddar so crumbly?
As natural cheddar ages, it typically becomes drier and more crumbly in texture. Many Cheddar connoisseurs prefer this type of Cheddar. However, in extreme cases of crumbly cheddar, it is possible that the cheese froze, perhaps in transit or in storage. While the cheese is still fine for eating, melts well, and works nicely to flavor your favorite recipes, it may be more difficult to work with.
- Why is my cheese wet?
Proteins in the cheese give up moisture as they age in a process known as “synersis”. This is typically a small amount of moisture and it does not damage the cheese in any way, rather it allows the cheese to reach the next stage of maturity. We recommend you simply wipe off any excessive moisture, wrap the cheese in fresh plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator.
- What are the hard white objects in my Cheddar Cheese?
- Can people with lactose intolerance enjoy Cabot cheeses?
When cheddar cheese is described as "crunchy," "gritty," or containing hard, peppercorn sized white pellets, it is usually because of an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine occurs as the milk proteins age. At Cabot, we age our cheese naturally using our time-honored traditions. Cheddar that is aged over 12 months may contain milk proteins that have crystallized during the aging process. This process happens rarely and is not a defect in the aging process. This crystallized protein is not dangerous to eat and some customers even prefer it as a hallmark of outstanding "aged" cheddar. For more information, click here.
Yes, Cabot produces many cheeses that contain zero (0) grams of lactose including Cheddar, Reduced Fat Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack and Muenster. In general, eating any aged cheese should not affect those with lactose intolerance because lactose – the major carbohydrate in milk – disappears within 3 to 4 weeks after the cheese is made. For more information, click here