Since launching her cheese making workshops five years ago, Gabriola Island based cheese crafter Paula Maddison has witnessed a wonderful resurgence of the do-it-yourselfer.
Her students want to learn the ancient art of making homemade cheeses so they can save money, create homemade gifts, and most importantly, eat healthier.
“I think a lot of people are starting to look at the healthful benefits of creating your own. You know, getting rid of all the stuff that they are filling in our food,” Maddison told the Westerly News.
Maddison, who was befittingly born a Wisconsin Cheddarhead, moved to B.C. over 20 years ago and teaches people how to craft anything from sour cream and Stilton to Gorgonzola and hand stretched mozzarella.
And not only are her cheese making skills in high-demand—she hosts classes throughout Vancouver Island and she’ll be journeying to Tofino in June—but her students are craving more.
“It’s empowering. You get that whole sense of accomplishment. It’s the difference between buying a store bought cookie and making your own,” she said.
“People are saying, hey can you teach us how to can and make salsa? How do you smoke salmon? That whole getting back to doing it yourself there’s a huge resurgence in that right now, which is really super cool.”
Maddison views her cheese making teachings as a culinary activity that connects people to the land and an art form that can be passed down generationally. She relates it to an edible science of sorts, much like making bread or beer.
“With everything, it’s a lot easier than you would possibly think it would be,” Maddison said.
“I sort of demystify in my classes that you don’t need to own a cow. You can make some incredible beautiful cheese just using store bought pasteurized and homogenized milk.”