Farmstead Romano


Since I’m into foodie terminology today, do you know what farmstead cheese means? If you’re buying cheese from a small cheesemaker who calls their cheeses farmstead, that means that all the milk used to make their cheeses comes from cows (or goats) raised on their own farm. They’re not purchasing any of their milk elsewhere.

I made this pound of “farmstead” romano yesterday. Do you know how long romano has to age? See you next winter, my little romano……


  1. texwisgirl says:

    Love all this wonderful terminology you’re educating us with – since we hear it tossed around so easily in advertising blurbs. 🙂

  2. CindyP says:

    Next winter :bugeyed: I’d forget about it by then! LOL!

  3. BeckyW says:

    Good to know that term!

  4. Carmen at Old House Kitchen says:

    So is it Artisan Farmstead or Farmstead Artisanal Cheese? LOL! People pay a lot more for all those fancy names! Ha!

  5. Ramona says:

    Sounds like it has to age a year….

    But, I’m sure it’s going to be well worth it!

  6. Maria says:

    I love Romano, much better than Parmesano…..But a whole year? I had no idea you had to wait that long! Don’t forget to let us know how it turns out!

  7. Joanne Semanie says:

    What a pretty cheese.

  8. Nancy Stickler says:

    Holy cheese!! A year? It is beautiful though. Looks like a wheel of marble!

  9. Marlena says:

    Before I started seeing the process to make cheese and watching you go through the process on this blog, I thought cheese was a little bit expensive. Now I’m wondering why it doesn’t cost more! It’s a long, complicated process.

  10. Patchkat ~ Susan in TX says:

    What a lovely little guy! Where do you store your cheeses to allow them to age that long? Do you have somewhere that’s temperature controlled?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Susan, it depends on the temperature. I have a room I can close off in the basement that stays really cold in the winter and I also have a cheese cave (old fridge). I’m planning to get another small one for other cheeses that need a different temp range.

  11. drucillajoy says:

    a year!?! …oh dear…well, I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait, but that is a while..looks wonderful though!

  12. Imperious Fig says:

    I don’t think I could wait a year! I love cheese! Actually, hubby and I are trying to make homemade elderberry wine and once it is bottled – it has to age a year too!

  13. Martha in KS says:

    Patchkat, I was wondering the same thing. I pictured a guano-laced cave carved into a hill in Stringtown. I’m relieved to know that Suzanne hasn’t had to take up spelunking for the sake of her gorgeous cheese. Of course then she could proclaim “No bats were killed in the aging of this Farmstead Romano”.

    Suzanne, for lunch I’d love a sandwich made of farmstead cheese on artisan sourdough. Sounds delightful!

    P.S. where’s your car now?

  14. Michelle says:

    It’s beautiful! I can’t wait to hear how it tastes! :eating:

  15. EightPondFarm says:

    Or SHEEP, don’t forget the sheep! :sheep: :sheep: Gorgeous cheese, Suzanne. Just beautiful.

  16. Deb says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize that’s what the farmstead meant. I tried some farmstead cheddar a couple months ago…thought it was called that cause it used yogurt/buttermilk cultures instead of ones you buy. *giggle* Silly me. Thanks for the info! 🙂

    Your cheese looks wonderful, I haven’t tried much hard cheese yet…need a cheese refrigerator, so I can have more aging at a time.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Deb, there is a type of cheese called farmhouse cheddar. (That might or might NOT be farmstead also, depending on the farm, LOL.) Farmhouse cheddar is a cheddar shortcut recipe. The cheese doesn’t have to be aged as long. Though, it doesn’t include yogurt or buttermilk, so might not be what you’re talking about.

  17. Kathleen says:

    When I first read your heading I thought it said “Farmstead Romeo”! I was hoping for another story about the romantic adventures of goats!

  18. Alison says:

    Your cheeses are getting very pretty. :moo:

  19. Miss Judy says:

    Mine would probably age a lot longer because like CindyP I would forget about it. Then when I did remember it I would have to go on a “hunt” to find it. Or…I would have forgot that I made it and make some more… only to find the first when I put the new cheese in the exact same place to age.

  20. Alyce Shane says:

    What a beautiful romano! I would call him “Raymond”.

  21. Jackie says:

    The cheeses are looking awesome, great job. I have a really hard time not cracking them open to see what’s going on in there….

  22. Lisabeth Olson says:

    Your cheese is so beautiful Suzanne. Do you have a thermostat in your cave? I make some fresh milk (Artisan) cheese and made my first Blue yesterday (day 2 of the process) from some Neufchatel I amde the day before (can be used the same as Cream Cheese). I was told I need a side by side for the air flow and a special thermostat to keep it between 40 and 55 degrees. So I haven’t made any aged cheese until now. I figured I can get the Blue Cheese aged before it gets too warm. I hope, it is suppose to take 2 months max. I would like to make Pepper Jack as it is one of BO’s favoritesbut am a little concerned about the aging process as I don’t want to ruin any cheese.
    Do you make butter? If so what do you do with the milk left over? I make butter and the other day I couldn’t stand the milk going to the pigs or frozen ground, so I made it the same way you do Neufchatel. I need to let it cure longer, but the flavor is WONDERFUL. Have you heard of anyone doing that and what do they call it if so?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Lisabeth, I have made cheese from the buttermilk left over from making butter. It’s called buttermilk cheese. I made it using a recipe in the Home Cheese Making book from New England Cheesemaking. Otherwise, I use the milk for buttermilk biscuits etc, just in baking anything in place of milk. Most of my regular milk goes to hard cheeses.

  23. whaledancer says:

    Hmmm, I wonder what fresh, un-aged romano would taste like? It wouldn’t have that sharp, dry quality of aged romano, but it maight be good in its own right. Maybe you should make another one just to find out (while you’re waiting for the first one to age).

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      You can eat romano as a “table cheese” (like a regular slicing cheese) at 3 months, but it won’t have that sharper flavor and it won’t be hard enough to grate. It’s recommended to age it at least 10 months for that. I’ll probably make some more and try one as a “young” cheese just to see!

  24. Yvonne says:

    I thought the same as Kathleen about the title at first glance…

    “Farmstead Romeo”! 😆

  25. Urbanite says:

    Your cheese is beautiful! I’ve got my first parmesan cheese aging (it is 1 month old now). But I can’t wait for a year to find out how it turns out. It would be another year before the second cheese would be ready. So my plan is to make a batch every 2 months so that I’ve have an ongoing supply. Talk about a leap of faith! I might end up with a lot of inedible cheese.

    For those of you wondering, you don’t make the cheese and then leave it. You have to keep turning it, at first daily and then weekly. The parmesan needs to be rubbed with olive oil every 2 months. So by the time my cheese is ready, we’ll have established a serious relationship!

  26. Mandy says:

    I just tried my hand at a batch of cheddar cheese from the Home Cheese Making book too! I can barely wait the 3-12 months to try it, much like Urbanite! It’s from raw milk of Jersey cows. How do you gauge the humidity where you store it? Can it be kept in a tupperware container once it’s covered in wax or does it need to “breathe?” We have a garage that’s kept at 50 degrees until summertime, but after that I’m tempted to keep it in my parents’ cellar to maintain the humidity. There, however I’m concerned about critters getting into it despite the wax seal. What are you doing with your cheese while it ages? Thanks for your descriptions – I want to be like you as I try my hand at homesteading!! You’re quite the motivator!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Mandy, I don’t have a hygrometer, so I can only guess at this point. I’m planning to get a hygrometer soon. That’s the only sure way to know the humidity. The cheese is already sealed in the wax, so it doesn’t matter what you put it in, tupperware, baggie, etc, just be sure critters can’t get to it in the garage!

  27. Sandra daniels says:

    This is great, so motivating. We just made our first batch of farmhouse cheddar a couple days ago. I made a lot of soft cheeses first (and yogurt) mostly with goat’s milk. But now that we getting milk from the cows, we will really be able to get into this. My only concern is that every couple months, we have to travel away from home for about 5 or 6 days and I don’t know about leaving the cheeses unattended for that time. While we’re gone, I’ll only be able to maintain about 65 degrees for the cheeses. Think that will be okay as long as we don’t leave newly made ones?

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