Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pasteurized Sheep's Milk Available in Colorado

Caille Gash and Marc Pfister
As far as we know, this is a first in the U.S.!

Cozy Cow Dairy in Windsor, Colorado (about an hour north of Denver) is now selling pasteurized sheep's milk in bottles when customers call and place an order.  If you call ahead for availability, you might just score some sheep's milk ice cream, as well!

Sheep's milk is sold in Europe, but here in the U.S., it has only been available from dairies online and it is shipped frozen.  Unlike cow's and goat's milk, sheep's milk is naturally homogenized, so it retains it's structure when frozen.  You can thaw it and use it to make cheese when you're ready.

You can't miss that cow on top!

Now that's a pretty barn

Caille Gash and her husband, Marc took over this venture in Windsor in November, 2011.  But, they have been making cheese much longer than that.

In fact, Caille had actually wanted to be a cheese maker since she was in the 8th grade.  She recently learned that the word cailler in French means "to curdle," so it seems clear that she was destined to be a cheese maker!

Coturnix Creamery (sheep's milk products) is the sister company to Cozy Cow (cow's milk products) and the "pet project" side of their business.

They are currently making a soft sheep's milk cheese (similar to chevre) and a hard cheese, called Roulette, which is aged from 2-4 months.  They have started selling these products in the Cozy Cow retail store, at the local farmer's markets and a few retail locations.

The sheep's milk comes from Irish Cream Sheep Dairy located in Bushnell, Nebraska.  The dairy is owned and operated by the Halligan family.

Caille interned there during lambing season about four years ago and learned, as she told us, that animal husbandry and milking and feeding are best left to experts.  The sheep's milk is hauled about 110 miles to Cozy Cow for processing.

The bottling room

Cheddar cheese curds

12 flavors of ice cream
If you're lucky enough to visit Cozy Cow, you can watch them make cheese, sample their products and take a tour of the farm. How's that for a nice way to spend the day?

This is a partial list of the products they make and sell at the dairy:

Milk (from cows and sheep)
Butter (during the winter months when the cream isn't going into ice cream)
Ice Cream (12 flavors): hand dipped cups, cones, shakes, malts and root beer floats
Cheese Curds (10 flavors)
Rocky Mountain Cheddar (aged and 3 flavors)
Colorado Colby
Roulette (an aged sheep's milk cheese)
Juustoleipa (HOO-stah-lee-pah) Scandinavian "bread cheese," baked during the cheese making process to caramelize the outside and form a crust
Fresh Spreadable Cheese (cow and sheep)
Krautburgers (4 flavors) Description at blog
Jersey Beef from Painted Prairie Dairy
Eggs from local farms

Colorado Colby

Cozy Cow Dairy & Coturnix Creamery

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