Two evocative passages from recent reports about cheesemaking:
From Chemistry World:
At Quicke’s, a cheesemaker puts a glass pipette into his mouth, sucks out some whey and titrates to track lactic acid development. At the correct acidity, he drains the vat into a cooler on a lower level and removes the whey, taking most of the remaining lactose with it. The remaining curds are shaped and coloured like popcorn. As they’re scooped to the cooler’s sides, they continue coagulating into one giant lump that the cheesemakers then cut into strips and pile into a stack.
From The Scientist (thanks to investigator Falk Fish for bringing this to our attention):
One cheese was cultured using a sample of microbes from the bellybutton of chef and acclaimed food writer Michael Pollan, and others with bacteria swabbed from Agapakis’s mouth and skin, artist Olafur Eliasson’s tears, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s nose, and another scientist’s feet.