What is “Artisan Cheese?”
Artisan cheese is produced in small batches, with particular attention paid to the tradition of the cheesemaker’s art, and thus uses as little mechanization as possible in the production of the cheese. Artisan cheeses may be made from all types of milk and may include various flavorings.
This definition is drawn from the definition developed by the American Cheese Society.
What is “Farmstead Cheese?”
In order for a cheese to be classified as “farmstead,” as defined by the American Cheese Society, the cheese must be made with milk from the farmer’s own herd, or flock, on the farm where the animals are raised. Milk used in the production of farmstead cheeses may not be obtained from any outside source. Farmstead cheeses may be made from all types of milk and may include various flavorings.
What is the Difference Between “Artisan Cheese” and “Farmstead Cheese?”
In brief, “artisan” concerns the manner in which the cheese is made, and “farmstead” relates to the source of the milk.
A cheese can be both artisan and farmstead, and can be one and not the other. For example, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company produces Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese, which is both artisan and farmstead. Cheeses made by Cowgirl Creamery are artisan cheeses, but are not farmstead since the milk is provided by the Straus Family Creamery.