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Women usually did the dairying on farms in the 18th and 19th centuries. Cheese was made in summer because the heat often soured milk before cream could rise and be collected for making butter. The cheese maker put something called rennet in the fresh milk to turn it into curds and whey. She then strained out the whey from the curds and packed the curds into a round, wooden hoop. The hoop was placed in the cheese press where the rest of the whey was "pressed" out from the curds to form a firm round cheese. The cheese was taken out of the press after about 2 days and lard was rubbed on it to help it form an airtight skin. Well-made cheeses that were properly taken care of could be eaten for a long time. They were an excellent trade item. Local storekeepers bought a lot of local cheese and sold it to traders who took it to cities or even as far away as the West Indies.


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Cheese press

creator   Unidentified
width   48.0"
depth   14.25"
height   41.0"
process/materials   wood
item type   Household Goods/Food Processing Tools & Equipment
accession #   #1881.087.01

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See Also...

Butter Churn

Milk Pan

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