This past Friday, the team here at the Oldways Cheese Coalition had the opportunity to attend a tasting and talk on artisan cheeses produced in Mongolia. This event was put on by Cheese Coalition members, Culture Magazine, along with Michael Morrow of the Mongolian Artisan Cheesemakers Union LLC (MACU).
Morrow is the Executive Director of the MACU, which is an organization dedicated to the promotion of artisan cheeses made in rural areas of Mongolia. While dairying in Mongolia is traditionally nomadic, Morrow and the 8 cheesemakers he works with are building production and aging facilities as well as working on the development of a training facility to educate future cheesemakers and further establish an international presence of Mongolian cheesemaking. The different cheesemakers of the MACU use milk from goats, sheep, cows, yaks, and camels to produce a variety of styles of cheese. Their cheeses are currently available in Russia and Japan, with aims of eventually breaking into a wider international market.
Attendees of this event were lucky enough to have a chance to try 6 cheeses produced by some of MACU’s cheesemakers, including:
-Gobi Caprino, a young goat cheese reminiscent of a young pecorino from Tuscany
-Herbed Goat Cheese, a soft ripened goat cheese rubbed with a blend of Mongolian herbs, similar to Juliana from Capriole Farms
-Khustai Gouda, a sharper, dry gouda style cheese which was one of the first cheeses produced under the MACU label
-Mountain Tizlit, a dry, crumbly cows milk cheese
-AB Valley Cheese, an extra aged very dry cheese, resembling a hard Italian table cheese
-1 year aged Yak Cheddar, a surprisingly soft and creamy aged cheddar due to the high butterfat content of yak’s milk that still developed slight crystallization despite the soft and squishy texture
Thank you to Culture Magazine, Michael Morrow, and the Mongolian Artisan Cheesemakers Union LLC for sharing this opportunity with cheese enthusiasts and professionals in the Boston area!
Daniel McElligott, Oldways Cheese Coalition Research Consultant